Posts Tagged ‘Bike building’

A Bike is Born

Posted: February 15, 2017 in Cycling
Tags: , , ,

I built a bike frame this weekend, I build it using bamboo and hemp with some epoxy resin and a few metal bits. Here are a few pictures of the stages of construction

bike-1

It all started with a jig that holds the metal head tube and the bottom bracket

bike-21

We then selected just the right bits of bamboo

bike-4

Measured them up against the jig to ensure they were just right. I’d selected a few spares as well, just in case I was visited by the catastrophe fairy

bike-11

Then the bamboo had to be cut to fit round the metal bits using a viscous cutting tool and an angle measuring thing (it has a name, I don’t know it)

bike-10

The masking tape was there to keep splinters to a minimum, splinters are painful.

bike-15

The hole is then cut at the correct angle to fit the tube. This is repeated for all the tubes…

bike-19

They can then be put into place on the jig to for the first triangle. A blob of epoxy holds the tubs in place but the tape holds them in place until the epoxy is dry. The cup of tea in the corner is a vital lubricant for the novice bike builder.

bike-22

The dropouts are then fixed into position on the jig…

bike-24

and slots cut into the chain stays and seat stays so that they fit into the dropouts.

bike-25

The chain stays are then fitted into place and fixed using epoxy

bike-28

As are the seat stays.

bike-30

It now looks like a frame but it doesn’t look like it will stay together in a strong wind.

bike-41

The frame is held together with hemp strips that are soaked in epoxy resin and then wrapped around the tubes

bike-42

Like this.

bike-44

Once the joint is formed it is wrapped in electrical tape whilst the epoxy sets

bike-46

Initially the epoxy gets warm as the reaction hardens it, then it cools. Once it is cool the electrical tape can be removed

bike-47

And there we have it, one bike frame born from a pile of bamboo, some hemp and a few metal bits. It needs to be finished and lacquered to become a proper frame and then equipped to become a real bike but that will have to wait a while.

This was all done on a weekend course with the Bamboo Bicycle Club

 

Advertisements