Build Your Own Bamboo Frame, Industry Nine's Hidden Tools - Interbike 2015

Sep 16, 2015 at 21:54
by Mike Levy  
Interbike 2015


Bamboobee DIY Bamboo Bike Frame

I think that most of us would love to be able to build our own bike frame, even if it was a simple hardtail solely for getting around on, but the thought of cutting steel tubes, welding them together and doing all of the work can seem pretty overwhelming. Better to leave it to the skilled pros who can explain MIG welding or a miter cut in their sleep. Wood, on the other hand, is a much easier material to work with and, when it comes to building a frame out of plants, bamboo is the material of choice. Bamboo frames aren't a new thing - they've been around since the early 1900s - but Bamboobee is doing it a bit different: they'll mail you a DIY bamboo frame kit that you can assemble on your own. The kits come in small, medium and large sizes, and you can add things like a basket or fenders, obviously both made of wood. The kit sells for $179 USD on the company's website, which seems like a reasonable price for the experience, although you'll need to factor in the cost of international shipping depending on where you live.


Interbike 2015
You get to turn all of this wood into a bike frame.
Interbike 2015
Even the cable guides are pieces of bamboo that you epoxy into place.


The kit includes almost everything that you'll need to get the job done: all of the bamboo tubes, a set of stainless steel dropouts and a threaded aluminum tube for the bottom bracket, an aluminum seat tube, and even a set of bamboo cable guides. Twenty five meters of hemp fiber are used to join the tubes, and you'll also get a file to smooth the joints between the tubes before you join them. What you won't see in the box, however, is the required epoxy to bond the wood together. For that you'll have to head down to your local hardware store. The most interesting thing in the box has to be the one-time use frame jig that helps you get everything lined up correctly.


Interbike 2015
Hemp fiber is wrapped around the joints after you epoxy the tubes together.
Interbike 2015
For obvious reasons, Bamboobee doesn't use wood for the dropouts, bottom bracket shell and seat tube.


Bamboobee's DIY frame kit probably isn't something that you'd want to take out to the jumps, but it looks like it'd do just fine as a "get around" bike that's very different than other things out there. More importantly, the experience of building your own bamboo bike would be pretty damn cool.




Interbike 2015


Industry Nine's Hidden Tool Kit

I don't like backpacks and I don't like stuffing my pockets full of stuff, so the more things I can attach to my bike the better. Industry Nine obviously thinks the same. Their Matchstix axle and tool system lets you carry most of the required trail-side tools inside of their front or rear axles, meaning that they're out of sight but also there when you need them. No more making sure that you grabbed your trusty multi-tool and then trying to find a place for it in what could already be cramped quarters if you're heading out for a big lap, and Industry Nine says that the total system weight for a front and rear Matchstix axle setup (with the tools in one axle) actually weighs twenty grams less than two standard Maxles.


Interbike 2015
The chain tool is in the handle and all of the tool bits are stored in a tube that slides down the center of the axle.
Interbike 2015
The bits are pulled out through holes punched in the tube.


The axle's handle doubles as the handle for the built-in chain tool and it's also home to a spoke wrench, while the tool bits are stored in a clear rubber tube that runs down the center of the axle. There's holes in the tube that correspond to each tool bit and you access them by bending the tube and pushing the bit out. The bit then fits into the tool handle in order to provide the required leverage. All of the usual hex bits are included, as well as a T25 torx tool, and there's even a spot where a 10 or 11-speed quick link can be stored. Matchstix axles will be available by November, with options to fit both Boost and standard axles for FOX and RockShox forks ($55 USD), as well as Boost and 142mm rear ends ($65 USD), and the tool kit to fit inside will be sold separately for $95 USD.


MENTIONS: @Industry-Nine




75 Comments

  • + 46
 Increasing unsprung weight?! People were hung for less...
  • + 9
 Carrying it in the axle reduces inertia compared to carying it inside the tire, so...
  • + 6
 Industry 9 is claiming 20g weight *savings* over stock Maxxles.
It's the thought of paying $200 to replace my $15 multitool that makes me want to round up the posse & a good length of rope...
  • + 4
 My bad, make that $215, plus tax...
  • + 3
 @Veloscente: I get where you're coming from - you can get a nice Park toolkit for that money. On the other hand, this is Industry 9 we're talking about - I9 of the wild ano aluminum spokes. I don't know that they ever claimed to be anything but boutique. Paul, for example, sells a $90 lockring wrench. They can make whatever they want - thank goodness we have other options.
  • + 34
 It's a cool concept, but is carrying a multi-tool that hard? Do you want to remove your axle just to have access to some allen keys?
  • + 45
 Damn right I do. Integration is next to godliness.


...wait, HOW much?
  • + 18
 it is not that hard to carry them. but i find it hard to remember. i am very interested in this axle/tool system. just since i know for sure i will have my axle no matter what.
  • + 7
 Fail Friday will never be the same again.
  • + 5
 For adventure racing this concept is amazing! One less thing to remember to pack while in transition
  • + 24
 I used to use a wine cork up my seatpost to store small parts like powerlinks and cable ties and even some cash, worked fine for a long time and cost me a bottle of wine so win win
  • + 4
 A little pricey, and as @chrisclifford ^^^^^^ asks; Carrying a multitool is a problem? Remove the axle and get those fricken bits out of the little tube out on the trail? In the rain? At dusk? With my eyes? Oh, and I have bamboo growing out in my garden, so a project for the weekend maybe.......That sound? Power saw.
  • + 1
 So i've just looked on Bamboo Bee's website at possibly getting one of these frames for the fact I can build it myself.

How do the joints in the pictures from Interbike look so smooth compared to the kit you get with the frame?
  • + 3
 @mretard basically a shit load of sanding and re-epoxying. Build frame, epoxy, sand down through epoxy, re-epoxy, sand down again, and on, and on, and on, and Ariston...
  • + 1
 Makes sense to get the smoother look i guess, a lot of extra time
  • + 9
 A wine cork up your seat post? That doesn't sound right.
  • + 5
 Sounds perfectly right
  • + 7
 You actually don't remove the axle to access the tool and bits. The handle is held in by an o ring, and the bit set is attached to the masterlink holder, which is also held in with an o ring. So you can access everything, while leaving the axle in place
  • + 6
 Mind blown. Thank you.
  • + 2
 @mretard, they used the Loose Hemp Fiber from Bamboobee (bamboobee.net/product/build-it-yourself-bike-loose-hemp-fiber)
  • + 2
 @chrisclifford carrying a multi tool is not hard...but after enough crashes, you begin to realize the less shit you have on you the less chance of you getting hurt...my super small park multi tool left the fattest scraping bruise on my thigh where as if nothing had been in my pocket I would have had no scrape or bruise. i've also seen a blog about a rider who became paralyzed after he crashed with a shock pump in his backpack.
  • + 2
 Mine (Pro, 22 tools) actually weights as much as everything else I carry (at nearly 180 grams), but damn, is that overcomplicating it or what - why not just pack it in a saddle/frame bag? And my guess is that tube won't last long, either.

Anyway, for once that'd be something I'd definitely invest in titanium parts if there was any, though.

And about the bamboo thing, surprised to see no jokes about hemp and pipes packed together in the same package..
  • + 1
 I thought the $60 swat cage was steep, but I forked out the money for it. Bought em for all of my bikes after 1 ride.

Don't see this being $150 better
  • + 2
 I always thought they should make a tool kit that fits inside your handle bar and uses your grip as the handle for the wrench. It could lock on one side with a quick disconnect for ease of use and it could hold more since you have two grips.
  • + 2
 @KMKAR i did wonder if that was the case, thanks for clarifying that, might be a present to myself next year
  • + 1
 Aye, looks like the loose fibre stuff too, good catch! I really want to know if I can build it up as a track frame/fixed gear so i can rock up at the velodrome/club runs on it! Very interested.
  • + 31
 Someone at Industry Nine was thinking about how to smuggle their stash into Utah when they came up with this. The prototype is still doing its job I bet.
  • + 2
 Haha. People in Colorado appreciates their efforts!
  • + 13
 Grammar - when it is spoken it rarely bothers me, perhaps because I hear it so often. But when I read it I wonder why.

"There's holes in the tube that correspond to each tool bit and you access them by bending the tube and pushing the bit out."

What is wrong with this sentence?

The verb "to be", expressed in the third person singular, is referring to a plural hole, or holes. Therefore, it should read "There are..." or using the far less common abbreviation "There're...".

Sorry about that. I couldn't help myself.

Alls I know is that the sentence sounded funny and was written funny.
  • + 9
 For all intensive purposes I seen this in all his articles.
  • + 3
 @conv3rt - I laughed my ass off at your comment. Thanks. That's another favorite of mine, "I seen."

Then there are yous guys.
  • + 3
 ha! totally...
  • + 9
 You could build that frame and then burn it - now you have that carbon fibre frame you've always wanted!
  • + 8
 Wait, so you buy the axle's, but they don't come with the tools inside? You have to buy that seperately?
  • + 6
 Yeah... great idea but an extra $95usd for the tool bits seems a bit insane.
  • + 3
 Weight weenies, perhaps? Or matchy-matchy types? If the whole kit is lighter than a pair of Maxles, the axles must be impressively light on their own. I9 is a wheel company, after all, though carrying two chain breakers all the time seems a little unnecessary.
  • + 2
 Oh, never mind that. It's more likely to be for people who want to use the tool across multiple bikes. You can get whichever axle you want for each bike you have, and then one toolkit to swap between them.
  • + 1
 It makes sense when you think of how many axle configurations are out there. Someone can buy the tool kit and the specific axle's that they'll need.
  • + 8
 The Bamboobee would make a great pub crawl bike
  • + 4
 I like it that I9 is doing some innovation here. Yeah... it's expensive, but I'll pay a little extra to support my local NC brand. Their wheels are bad ass too. Way to go I9 for doing something creative here. I'll take one!
  • + 5
 Nice. There's so much wasted empty space on bikes; few things please me more than filling those spaces with something useful.
  • + 2
 ...but not at $150. Jeez. I'll keep my Rocket Ratchet, thanks.
  • + 77
 I drilled out my frame and filled it with mayo...
  • + 1
 @justincs: you're my hero
  • + 3
 The idea of the hidden tools i think is super cool and neat. in a Bike Packing situation where your not in a hurry or in a race and something goes wrong you have the necessary tools stowed away but the tools do not take up room for necessary gear
  • + 5
 I'm interested in the bamboo frame for commuting, but will I have to ride fixie or coaster brake?
  • + 1
 I like the idea of the Bamboo bike just a little town bike etc but is it just me or is there no where to mount a rear brake....?
The only potential I can see is going down the fixie route....no thanks, or shimano nexus with a drum brake, again not my favourite of braking options, I'd rather fit a set of Avid Mag's or XTR V's
  • + 3
 The local univiersity does a frame-building class with Paul Brodie, but I think the bamboo frame fits my schedule and budget a little better. I just might give this a go.
  • + 3
 That axle is so damn practical! Love it, wish it wasn't so damn much though
  • + 2
 in the uk there is also bamboo bicycle club who supply make at home frames for road/ mountain bike/ tandem/ fat bike. im tempted.
  • + 3
 Yes, because all the skilled pros know the best steel frames are MIG welded (facepalm).
  • + 6
 Don't talk shit about Magna!
  • + 21
 @BungedUP - Who said that the best frames are MIG welded? I said that he'd be able to explain the process, that's all. You know, I almost didn't bother putting that in there because I knew someone would have some sort of smart comment and there it is.
  • + 31
 @mikelevy: On behalf of the Pinkbike readership as well as myself specifically, I'd like to thank you and your fellow Pinkbike journos for braving the Vegas heat and wearying flights so we don't have to. Bringing us this kind of volume so quickly must take a lot of work and stress, and though we're a bunch of nitpicking cheeky bastards, we really do appreciate it - after all, without these articles to complain about, our lives would be completely empty.
  • + 3
 You could MIG a bike, if you know what you are doing you can make a MIG weld equally effective as a TIG. MIG is just much easier to be fooled into thinking you executed adequate penetration when in reality it ended up being cold. Wouldn't want to be behind that head tube.
  • + 2
 ^^^ I'm not sure if that's genuine or genuine sarcasm
  • - 2
 See the funny thing is, I was a professional production frame builder for 8 years, so you are basically aiming this comment at me. And while yes, I can tell you a bunch about MIG welding because I have also done industrial work, many people who are professional frame builders don't know the first about MIG welding. And why would they? It's an entirely different discipline of welding, generally used for a different class of products. It's like saying that the best bike industry journalists know how to write a good novel. Why would THAT be the thing you call out, as opposed to something that they actually DO day in and day out?

Otherwise, I liked the coverage.
  • + 0
 Someone's getting banned from PinkBike
  • + 2
 Im going to build me a bamboo frame! Smile
IM going to build a custom frame for under two hundred bucks!!!!!
  • + 3
 hipster environment humper level unlocked
  • + 1
 My QR axle handles are scarred from rocks/crashes. I love i9 and know they make tough stuff; I just hope they built that with klutzy people like me in mind.
  • + 1
 in Brazil we have a bikes manufacturer of bamboo, look here: www.facebook.com/ArtBikeBamboo?fref=ts
  • + 2
 Now that is innovation. I9 just took another step up for me.
  • + 1
 My next bike has to be made out of a metal called microlattice it"s 100 times lighter then styrofoam
  • + 1
 Does the Bamboo bike come with a Kaftan Raffia sandals?
  • + 1
 Shake "Tool Kit", obtain "Kool Tit "
  • + 1
 This way, when the bamboo bike falls apart, they can blame you.
  • + 2
 i want the frame...
  • + 1
 What's the website to order the bamboo frame kit?
  • + 1
 google the company name, first link I think
  • + 1
 Why is the bamboo bike not called the MacGyver?
  • + 1
 i likw poop
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