A distinguishing factor between our process and many others out there is that we have nearly complete control over the manufacturing process–from bamboo selection to the finished product. We begin by hand selecting the bamboo (while its still growing in the ground!) at our local friend’s bamboo farm. We then wait until it is at its peak level of maturity for delivering its highest strength to size ratio. It is then harvested and transported to the smokehouse to be treated for the next several months before making its way to our shop. Once there, it is sorted, inspected and categorized by tube size. Each frame’s tube-set is selected specifically for the size and type of bike (ex. tubes for an XL road frame or medium cyclo-cross frame).
Other materials we source for the build process are of the highest quality standards. That’s everything from dropouts and head-tubes to the carbon fiber and epoxy resins. Our unique carbon layup schedule and carbon-to-bamboo bonding process allows for a very secure bond that withstands stress and fatigue as well as extreme temperature and humidity changes. Wrapping a bunch of carbon fiber or other fiber of choice around the bamboo tubes to secure them in place just doesn’t cut it. Our frames are bench-crafted by hand to ensure no detail is overlooked. A lot of attention and a lot of time then go into the shaping and sculpting of the hand-laid carbon lug work to complement the natural beauty of the bamboo. The frames are then inspected again before the finish is applied and again before packaging and shipment to your doorstep.
So, we’ve been a little busy here since the last post… a long time ago. We are crankin’ up production of our bamboo bikes as quickly as we can. The demand has been growing faster than we are keeping up. We’ve got a back log now of at least 8 weeks, likely longer. This is a good problem.
We’ve added several apprentices and are excited about the bike builder’s family growing. They are catching on quick and learning how to work together to be more productive and help each other understand the importance of quality choices.
http://www.bikerumor.com/2012/03/01/found-webbworks-monsoon-cx-bamboo-bike/ is a recent post about our bikes and the recently introduced cyclocross frame. It is awesome! (The post and the bike.)
Steel or Aluminum vs Bamboo? No comparison! January, 2009
Both Steel and Aluminum have a tremendous negative impact on the environment, with a large carbon footprint. And it is not reproduced quickly.
Bamboo, however, creates oxygen for us and has a positive impact on our environment. It takes 3 to 5 years for bamboo to become mature enough to use for this type of construction. Sweet!
WHAT ABOUT DURABILITY?
Bamboo an amazing material! During my research of this product, I was continually impressed. I am convinced that it is another one of God’s miracles.
It’s strength to weight ratio is stronger than steel and it naturally absorbs a lot of road noise or vibrations.
The trick is to be sure there are no bugs in it. Otherwise, the durability gets eaten away over time, literally! Not Fun!
There are many different ways to treat the bamboo before using it for our ride-able art. We use “green” methods that have been proven over time by the natives here in Asia. They have centuries of experience with bamboo and use it for just about everything!
An email that we received today from a customer who took delivery in early 2010.
Another endurance test of your bamboo bike.
During April 11 – 15, I rode the bamboo bike from Dali to Shangrila in Yunnan, China. The maximum height on this route recorded in my GPS is 3,294 meters. Some parts of the road are bad because of on-going construction work. To my releif, the bamboo bike survived.
To share you my pride owning this worderful bamboo bike, I am enclosing some photos.
We just finished up another custom ordered Hilltribe bamboo bicycle frame! This one is for Scott at TTR bike shop in Greenville, SC (http://www.ttrbikes.com/). It will be his touring/commuting bike and I have a feeling it will be hitting the Swamp Rabbit Trail in the very near future (http://greenvillerec.com/parks/swamp-rabbit).
Scott is planning to equip this bike with Shimano’s new 11 speed internal rear hub. This hub is designed to give a wide range of gear ratios while utilizing a single chainring up front. No more front derailleur. Nice work Scott!
A new set of disc brakes will bring the 700c x 35 city / touring tires to stop in any kind of weather. Speaking of weather, we will be protecting Scott’s clothes with a pair of Bamboo Fenders. Scott thinks he’s using one of the new Bamboo Fenders from Planet Bike. Wait until he catches wind of the custom fenders we’re going to ship to him just in time for Easter. Shh, don’t tell him. This is new to our product line, and not officially released yet. Just another benefit of ordering a custom bamboo bike from Webb Works!
Siam is pictured here in training. He is catching on quickly, and we have made a lot of progress on the Doctor’s frame. The doctor that this is heading to resides in New Hampshire, USA.