bamboo bikes

Bamboo MK2

Bamboo MK2. Redesigned addressing bottom bracket & toe overlap. New wrapping technique. Quick build. R’s verdict? “It’s really good, I really love the red!”

Hot on the heels of the first Bamboo Bike post comes this short one for Bamboo MK2.

Design & Build

Bamboo MK2 1

Using RattleCAD I resigned R’s frame. Using the replacement kit I set about building. This time however I used a less sticky messy method to form the ‘lugs’. I got the idea from Calfee Design’s DIY kits. I used pre-impregnated casting tape. It hardens on exposure to water. You can dip it and squeeze or wrap it on ‘dry’ and allow the moisture in the air to harden it; I tried both methods, they both work equally as well. From my initial experience I’ll go with dry in future but then wet my gloved hands half way through as the epoxy begins to get sticky. You have about 5 minutes to work the roll of tape before it goes off.

I then sanded down the lugs to remove the odd fold of tape or where necessary simply cut any excess off with a Stanley.

Calfee then used body filler for any voids and prepare for painting. I however used the epoxy from the kit. I’d bought red tape but on curing this went a day glow pink. Not what R was after. So I purchased an epoxy colour – signal red. Wow! The colour was great and the advantage of using epoxy over just a filler was it soaked into the interstitial spaces of the tape weave which I expect has made it stronger overall . Final coat covered most of the tape texture. I grabbed the clear coat spray and gave it several layers, then realising it was satin not gloss so it took a little of the vibrant red edge off.

Finish & Ride

With no time to get some gloss clear coat (shops had closed) I dismantled the original MK1 and transferred it all over to Bamboo MK2. New cables done and it was ready!

The following day R tried it out on the Randonneé 100km Brevet Populaire organised by Audax Club Bristol member Izzy.

Bamboo MK2 3

Verdict: “it’s really good, I really love the red!”

Observations: no toe overlap so more confidence on the hills; lower BB so R is on and off with ease and not teetering when stopping.

Just need to get my old rack modded by the welder down the road and we are good to go for the summer!

What next?

What cyclists doesn’t yearn for n+1? Bamboo MK2 was created to solve the issues of the first; it is a tourer and general use bike. The internal hub gear is excellent for this but is like a brick! Plus I’ve probably over engineered the ‘lugs’ looking at other bamboo bikes. R wants to go further and faster. As such I’ve started designing ‘The Red Rocket’. Wheels are built; with a little help 😀

Carbon forks acquired. I’ll use an old 105 11s cassette I have that has seen only slight use. Cranks will be from MK1 as I purchased the next length up for MK2. Carbon seat post from a bike a rarely use any more. I have just enough bamboo from the previous kits left over, these err on the small and light side which is why I didn’t use for the tourers but will be perfect for a racer. I intend to reuse the dropouts & BB shell from the MK1 if I can cut them out of the epoxy.

Parts Missing:

And this is where I’m on a begging mission. I’d prefer not to do this as there are people out there with much more worthy causes and needs. But at the moment due to changes in life circumstances I’m unable to fuel my son’s passion further. So should you think that this is a worthy cause I’ve created a pool for people to chip in.

All parts can be reused as I intend to upsize with bamboo frames as R grows requiring just new rims and spokes for bigger wheels, cranks and handlebars. Any help towards parts, or donations of similar (please comment below), will be much appreciated.

Bamboo MK2 9