Engineers James Marr and Ian McMillan are founders of the first UK bamboo bicycle building workshop. Their aim – to teach all of the knowledge they’ve accumulated to those of us who would otherwise have no idea how to build such a thing.
Calfee Design revived the concept in recent years after they were first introduced in 1894 by Bamboo Cycle Co. Ltd. Far from being a novelty the properties of bamboo are surprising. Bamboo tubes can resist up to 40kN/cm2. Steel can only resist around 37kN/cm2. Combined with it’s lightness bamboo is actually an ideal material for bike making.
The community of bicycle makers have created some astonishing contraptions. The extreme customisability and cheapness of them is certainly appealing.
Bamboo Bicycle Club are selling all the bits you need to build your own for only £289. Bare in mind that a decent prebuilt bike costs double that and lacks any feeling of self accomplishment.
Their workshops are held at the weekend near the Olympic Park (presumably so you can stress test your new creation at the velodrome).