I've been cycling since I can remember, and assembled and maintained bikes most of my adult life. I have never made a bicycle from scratch though.........
I was researching, and read about the Bamboo Bicycle Club.
They offer workshops to provide the knowledge and tools for people to make their own bamboo bike frame, with custom geometry. You sign-up, pay, decide what kind of frame you'd like to make, send measurements, and then in two intense days of a weekend workshop self assemble a bespoke frame...... I wanted to make a slightly compressed road bike.
And I made this; ready-made metal bottom bracket, seat insert and head-tube, custom stainless drop-outs (thanks James), Moso bamboo, joints wrapped with woven hemp and two-part epoxy. Flintstonesque.
Two weeks later, after amassing all the components, I went back to the club and assisted by James, assembled my road bike.
The front derailleur and water bottle rack were hemped on, and pretty much everything else (including threading the drop-out lug for the rear-derailleur) went to plan.
It rides beautifully. It's fast, very fast, nimble, and smooth too!!
If it, or I, do not crack too much, we'll ride the London to Brighton as part of Chelsea Cadence this year..... see below
— Neil Cummings (@neilarise) June 15, 2014
Bamboo Bicycle Club
Unit 8, Caxton works