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  1. #1
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    Steel VS Alu VS...Bamboo?

    Still unsure about the material I want to go with.
    What's your favorite material? Convince me.

    What's your take on the bamboo/aluminium bikes?
    Boo Bicycles Alubooyah SLX Fat Bike - Boo Bicycles

  2. #2
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    Fatbike - I don't care what material. The frame is a small proportion of the weight and if the tyres are suitably soft, I can't detect any difference in feel.

    As for bamboo, it's great stuff, but someone invents a bamboo bike every 10 years or so, and as it evolves with real world use, it uses less and less bamboo.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 57º36' Highlands, Scotland

  3. #3
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    You can do bamboo, but it's honestly more of a novelty material.

  4. #4
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    Bamboo is a great material for static applications, like flooring, but I can't help but questions its use for a bicycle frame. I'd ride one if it was free

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    Bamboo is a great material for static applications, like flooring, but I can't help but questions its use for a bicycle frame. I'd ride one if it was free
    It's supposed to make the frame lighter and more flexible. Floors use the flexibility of the wood, so I suppose a bike can too, eh?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    Bamboo is a great material for static applications, like flooring, but I can't help but questions its use for a bicycle frame. I'd ride one if it was free
    In its grown form there's all sorts of challenges joining the tubes.

    It would make a great frame material if it was built up in laminations. That would be labour intensive, but I'll bet someone has done it.

    Drew Diller has built a few - find his stuff on the frame and fatbike forums.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 57º36' Highlands, Scotland

  7. #7
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    Bamboo is pretty amazing stuff. When I was in China, you'd see very, very tall scaffolding around buildings made of bamboo.

    And you can eat it when it's young.
    "I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by." -Douglas Adams.

  8. #8
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    If you watched Gilligan's Island you know that bamboo can do pretty much anything.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  9. #9
    sluice box
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    I would just go with whatever Mongoose frames are made of. I think they use some type of meteorite.
    ptarmigan hardcore

  10. #10
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    I have a fly rod made of bamboo.

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

  11. #11
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    Bamboo is supposed to right like Titanium with the strength of steel, which does sound really cool for a hardtail FB.

  12. #12
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    Steel always on a hardtail no matter how big the tires.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by KenPsz View Post
    Bamboo is supposed to right like Titanium with the strength of steel, which does sound really cool for a hardtail FB.
    Yes, bamboo is just like titanium.

    I have a piece of land to sell you, great views of the ocean, it's dry at low tide....

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    Yes, bamboo is just like titanium.

    I have a piece of land to sell you, great views of the ocean, it's dry at low tide....
    Did I say Bamboo is just like titanium? No I said it is supposed to ride like titanium so a big difference between what I said and your response to what you think I said.

    I don't own a bamboo frame so I can only go by what I have read about bamboo frames, but the ride qualities are why I keep thinking about building one.

    Here is a article I read about it

    "The stiff but supple feel of titanium"
    " Bamboo, although it shares a similar ride quality to titanium is a little flexier than a titanium tube set of relative diameter. "

    Bike Review: Bamboo Cross Country 29er ? Source Cycles

  15. #15
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    Thanks for all the input, I will go with steel.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by hasnoidea View Post
    Thanks for all the input, I will go with steel.
    Good choice steel is real!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by KenPsz View Post
    Good choice steel is real!
    So is wool.

    That's why I wear steel wool underwear. I'm so real.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 57º36' Highlands, Scotland

  18. #18
    will rant for food
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    Bamboo is pretty fun but the main drawback is processing cost. Like, all the nitty gritty back channel stuff. Where do you get it from, how many of the poles are bicycle worthy, how does it ship, what government bodies put their nose in it. It's hard to select for high quality poles or to move it from one continent to another and still deliver a cost competitive product.

    If you're in the US lower 48, this concept may change with time as global warming continues. Growing conditions might migrate, and large swaths of industrial US bamboo plantations might develop.

    Maybe.

    Anyway, when I was making bamboo frames for fun, I was like "Hey I could do this for reasonable cost, I bet."

    I was wrong. I'll make ya a bamboo frame - a good one, one that'll last - but it's going to be a mad expensive functional piece of art.

    In the intervening years, I decided to focus on bike frames that'll provide more value to a broader selection of people. But... that doesn't make me explicitly anti-bamboo or anything. I'm sure I have quite a few bamboo builds ahead of me. It's just that the manufacturing methods for other materials are far more streamlined.

    It's kinda like, if you have to ask, you probably shouldn't be pursuing a bamboo build. Again, I have no angst against, and rather a lot of affection for, the raw material itself.
    Disclaimer: I run Regular Cycles (as of 2016). As a profiteer of the bicycle industry, I am not to be taken very seriously.

  19. #19
    will rant for food
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    And the reason James Wolf gets to call himself Bamboo Master is because he is the Bamboo Master. He makes quite a bit more than just bicycles.

    The most successful bamboo bike outfits have their own plantations, essentially, and were already experts in the material before they thought about making bikes with them.
    Disclaimer: I run Regular Cycles (as of 2016). As a profiteer of the bicycle industry, I am not to be taken very seriously.

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