Gooey, sticky, hempy. The Bamboo bike joint.

There are plenty of magic tricks that go into a bamboo bikes.

First, it’s a bike frame made out of a plant, folks. That’s just crazy on some level. Bamboo tubes that can grow right in your own backyard or just about anywhere in the world that isn’t heavy on Winter. There’s no such thing as a titanium plant or sticking a few steel seeds in the ground and waiting until Spring for a new time set up pop up.

The holding power of hemp

Just saying the words bamboo and bike in the same sentence makes me smile. It’s the bike designer’s rabbit pulled out of the hat. There’s a jaw drop, a holy moly, how did you do that? It’s like making a rocket-ship out of cardboard.

And yet in many ways, Bamboo is an ideal frame material. My bamboo gravel bike is designed and crafted by Calfee Design and they’ve been doing bamboo for something like 15-20 years. According to Calfee, bamboo is crash tolerant, has amazing vibration dampening, a low carbon footprint and it’s a functional work of art.

Shaping and molding

I’ve done several posts on the building of my Calfee bamboo bike and you’ll find them here, here and here. Today, I want to do a quick pass on yet another magic trick of the bamboo bike: the hemp lug. In this case, it’s hemp fabric that comes in a rope variety that’s soaked in an eco resin, then wrapped around the joint. It then hardens before it is sanded and shaped into a smooth-looking and seamless bond. It’s a natural fiber lugs, nature’s own weld.

Here are two pictures of my bike, taken during that soaking and wrapping process. I’m actually out of sequence because a previous post showed the sanded down after effect. But this is the step before that. Super cool and super unique.

Stay tuned because the bike will be finished in a few days, just a week prior to the first adventure — the Peter Sagan gravel fondo in Truckee, California up in the Sierra mountains on May 5th.

 

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