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  1. #1
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    Internal cable routing

    I'm close to start my first bamboo bike build. Parts are in shipment. I'm just finalizing the geometry and specs. One item I'm not sure how I want to tackle. I would like to internally route my cables. I need assistance in how to do this. Not sure what material to use, or any special fittings, ect. Any help appreciated.
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  2. #2
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    Hey man. Here's a terse visual log of the first frame I made without supervision when I barely knew my butt from a hole in the ground in terms of composites construction.

    I got the housing-housings from Home Depot. Warning: compressing the carbon warped these plastic tubes. They were not stiff enough for the job.

    Were I to do it again on the cheap I'd use some aluminum tubing or something. Just did some searching on McMaster-Carr and found some useful stuff for not too much cost, probably $30 for a frame's worth. If you're going to use carbon for the frame joints, be sure to insulate this metal tubing with a fiberglass layer first to avoid galvanic corrosion.

    Be sure to practice cutting the bamboo in various ways before trying to internally route the actual poles you want to use. Working with bamboo is mostly like woodworking, with some asterisks. Biggest one is that bamboo is kinda like string cheese, you can peel long fibers apart.

    What species of bamboo are you using?
    Latitude: 44.93 N

  3. #3
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    Drew, the blog is fantastic. Nice build. Im using iron and Tonkin bamboo. I plan to build my bike with the same method as you did. I'm building a cyclocross frame.
    I ride a bike, therefore I am!

  4. #4
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    Good species choice. May I ask who is your supplier? Some people don't know what the heck they are selling - I'd be glad to add someone to my very short list of pole suppliers who aren't bozos.
    Latitude: 44.93 N

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Diller View Post
    Good species choice. May I ask who is your supplier? Some people don't know what the heck they are selling - I'd be glad to add someone to my very short list of pole suppliers who aren't bozos.
    Perhaps we need to start a bamboo supplier thread. I haven't had luck finding good suppliers. Of all the suppliers I've tried, could you believe the best luck I've had is fresh green poles from ebay? I still have some stock from four years ago that I still use which were heat treated in my oven and not a single split pole. Can't say the same from any othe suppliers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kosayno View Post
    Of all the suppliers I've tried, could you believe the best luck I've had is fresh green poles from ebay?
    ARGGHHH!!! YES!! FOR @#$* SAKE YES. So many duds.

    That said, I happily recommend:

    Whispering Winds Bamboo - they have beautiful and quite sturdy Gigantochloa atroviolecea, stays mostly black after drying, almost as dense and overbuilt as Dendrocalamus. Expensive shipping because coming from Hawaii. They know their plants, they know what they are selling. Pleasant to talk to. EDIT: Also none of their Gigantochloa poles have split on me! Crazy!

    Brightside Bamboo - Bamboo nursery, landscaping, farming, and poles - Brightside Bamboo - I'm leery of Phyllostachys but the 'decora' strain he has growing is quite beautiful and has a fairly low crack failure percentage, less than 40% for me so far. David seems a nice guy and replies to communication.
    Latitude: 44.93 N

  7. #7
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    This thread is going a bit off topic but what the heck. I also was wondering if you guys used aluminum head tube / bb? If so how did you keep the aluminum and carbon from contacting each other? I purchased a small piece of Kevlar cloth and was thinking about making the first wrap with it and then start the carbon wrapping. Any thoughts??
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by iwantalitebike View Post
    This thread is going a bit off topic but what the heck. I also was wondering if you guys used aluminum head tube / bb? If so how did you keep the aluminum and carbon from contacting each other? I purchased a small piece of Kevlar cloth and was thinking about making the first wrap with it and then start the carbon wrapping. Any thoughts??
    Drew already mentioned laying fiberglass between the metal and cf. If I'm gonna add any material between the metal and cf, might as well use something stronger than fiberglass so I've been using kevlar cloth and it works fine.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Diller View Post


    ARGGHHH!!! YES!! FOR @#$* SAKE YES. So many duds.

    That said, I happily recommend:

    Whispering Winds Bamboo - they have beautiful and quite sturdy Gigantochloa atroviolecea, stays mostly black after drying, almost as dense and overbuilt as Dendrocalamus. Expensive shipping because coming from Hawaii. They know their plants, they know what they are selling. Pleasant to talk to. EDIT: Also none of their Gigantochloa poles have split on me! Crazy!

    Brightside Bamboo - Bamboo nursery, landscaping, farming, and poles - Brightside Bamboo - I'm leery of Phyllostachys but the 'decora' strain he has growing is quite beautiful and has a fairly low crack failure percentage, less than 40% for me so far. David seems a nice guy and replies to communication.
    Thanks, Drew. My google skills must suck because neither of these came up during my search. Looks like whispering bamboo has exactly what I want. I'm also thinking about using iron bamboo for the stays. Have you found and green iron poles?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by kosayno View Post
    Have you found and green iron poles?
    No - the iron poles all come from outside the lower 48, and it is apparently illegal to ship hydrated poles to the lower 48.

    Got that tidbit of info from Yucatan Bamboo, who does have some decent iron bamboo, but their attention to detail isn't great and the shipping intervals are months long. They are on my "OK" list which is one item long.

    Pretty sure you could make a tank with Yuca's poles. The poles I received were apparently young by their standards, heh, ok... Theirs have an extremely low split rate, less than 25%, but I sure wouldn't want to build many frames with those poles. Good for down tubes I suppose.
    Latitude: 44.93 N

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Diller View Post
    it is apparently illegal to ship hydrated poles to the lower 48.
    I learned this a couple years ago when researching whether I could bring back some beautiful poles I had cut down when I was moving back to US from Laos. I was hoping there was someone growing iron bamboo here in the US.

    I've been trying to grow 5 different species of phyllostachys in my backyard for the last two years without success. Even though the species I'm growing are supposedly hardy enough for Colorado, they still die in the winter and then new shoots come up in spring and summer. The tallest bamboo I've grown so far is 8' high but not very thin.

  12. #12
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    Drew
    My supplier for the bamboo is Bamboo Bike Supplies. I waited to post since I wasn't sure the quality. It seems to look good. There are a couple imperfections but all in all the bamboo is strong and secure.
    I ride a bike, therefore I am!

  13. #13
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    Thanks. I'll evaluate a kit.

    BTW, accounting for unusable bamboo rate of larger shipments, those prices are mostly fair.
    Latitude: 44.93 N

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