Posted by: Brendan | April 3, 2008

The Bag o’ Hammers

First, let’s get it out of the way: Yes, it’s real. And yes, it rides!


…and yes, that background really is where we live.




Extra big thanks go out to Matt & Anton, both of whom helped make this side project more fun than a barrel ‘o monkeys… or a bag o’ hammers, as the case may be.

I think bamboo is cool. There, I said it. Here’s why:

Embodied energy– Bamboo has a relatively low embodied energy value compared to other building materials. Aluminum, by comparison, has a relatively high embodied energy measure, though this in itself should not imply a normative statement of sustainability. The fact that this measure does not take the product’s life cycle into account is often overlooked. Even with eco-unfriendly adhesives at the joints, I’m willing to accept bamboo as being “greener” than aluminum, quite a bit greener for that matter.

Working with the material– tube miters, surface treatment lashing, etc- these things in themselves are as much a creative endeavor as the bicycle design itself. As tig welding has been around (only) some 60 years or so- and aluminum alloys’ corresponding metallurgy has evolved- it’s now at a point where we can order up a set of off-the-shelf tubes, a handful of weld wire, and a tig torch & make a bike. Not so with bamboo bicycles- from my perspective there’s still a lot to learn about this material & it’s use in dynamic structures. Admittedly, the potential for development holds a lot of appeal for me.



  1. Neat!

  2. Awesome amigo! Thats pretty cool. Looks like you have the tubing down – it’s just the joint bonding. Why not just machine some AL lugs?

  3. Actually, there are some lugs under there, albeit not many. There’s a couple inches of internal lugging in the seat tube, same goes for the seatstays at the dropout junctions.

    Head tube lugs would probably help… but I dunno, it’s fun having more bamboo, less AL, in 3rd world kinda way!

  4. Stand by for the all bamboo mountain bike, none of this hybrid stuff! Sanding joints tonight, re resin in process, full build e.t.a. 10 days (with resin, tung oil, bastard parts round up.) looking for a hanger…..

    Also, aluminum extracycle cannondale retrofit soon to be uner way.

  5. Wow, that is awesome guys! It is a fun looking bike and I can’t help but think “Gilligans Island” when I see that thing. You gotta make a coconut helmet to go with it. 🙂

    Anyway, lots of neat ideas coming out of Siren. Lots of fun to come here and see what’s cookin’. Keep on keepin’ on!

  6. Super Awesome!

  7. The bike is way fun to ride, I can’t stress that enough. It has the right geometry for a “fun bike” too, which helps a lot. With no derailleurs, it sounds pretty cool too, as the bamboo sounds like nothing else rolling down trail.

    Gotta admit, this won’t be the last bamboocycle we build! (been thinking about it way too much)


  8. thats way cool!!

    I think I might have to try my hand at that sometime

    With some of the wood working I’ve done I’ve always wanted to try…

    What’s it wigh in at?

  9. This frame weighs in around 6lbs, maybe even a little more. It’s not particularly light, which is actually a little reassuring.

  10. […] it or not, this bike has become my go-to after work crank-machine. I’ve grown confident enough to ride hard on it- […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: