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Old 2014-10-09, 03:05 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by jaco_flans View Post
Man, that is one sexy unicycle frame!

It occurs to me that while the properties of bamboo would seem to indicate that road riding would be the best application for it, its inherent flexibility may work against it as the frame legs get longer (as with the 36'r frame). Perhaps it would work best to shoot for a 24" or 26" frame, but design it specifically with a Schlumpf hub in mind. (Or jackshaft gears, whatever.) Just a thought.
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Old 2014-10-10, 10:00 PM   #32
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Where do you get this kind of bamboo?
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Old 2014-10-11, 05:44 AM   #33
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As far as I know there is only one type of bamboo. Probably wrong though.
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Old 2014-10-11, 08:49 PM   #34
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This kind would be the easiest to get for me but I doubt that it has satisfactory mechanical properties:

Last edited by Gilby; 2015-04-08 at 02:16 PM.
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Old 2014-10-11, 11:01 PM   #35
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As far as I know there is only one type of bamboo. Probably wrong though.
Fun Facts about bamboo!

Bamboo is not a wood, but a sub-family of the Grasses family.

There are over 600 genera of bamboo and approx 10,000 species.

Bamboo has a unique internal structure; depending on the species, it can range from very flimsy to very, very strong: "The high tensile longitudinal fibres of a bamboo culm are set in a softer matrix and are structurally very similar to carbon fibre. On a strength to weight basis, bamboo culms are stronger than steel." (Bell, 19.)

(I've propogated over a dozen species of bamboo and built many things with it, but no unicycles. Yet.)

Last edited by newob; 2014-10-11 at 11:01 PM.
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Old 2014-10-11, 11:36 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by newob View Post
Fun Facts about bamboo!

Bamboo is not a wood, but a sub-family of the Grasses family.

There are over 600 genera of bamboo and approx 10,000 species.

Bamboo has a unique internal structure; depending on the species, it can range from very flimsy to very, very strong: "The high tensile longitudinal fibres of a bamboo culm are set in a softer matrix and are structurally very similar to carbon fibre. On a strength to weight basis, bamboo culms are stronger than steel." (Bell, 19.)
This is all true, but the comparison to CF is a bit misleading. In all of the reading I've done on Bamboo for fishing rods it is most comparable to Fibreglass in terms of modulus. And this is the highest modulus bamboo that's available. It is possible that someone has genetically engineered bamboo to have a higher modulus, but I haven't heard of it.

So, in the end I think the design will be critical to gaining the stiffness needed on a uni. I liked the photo of the bike that was made with split bamboo tubes much like a fly rod. I think that method could pay off. What about a composite with split bamboo and CF stringers in the joints between the bamboo splits? That would look cool too!
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Old 2014-10-12, 07:23 AM   #37
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We need the genetic engineers to make it grow already forked.
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Old 2014-10-12, 01:39 PM   #38
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We need the genetic engineers to make it grow already forked.
You can train it around a form as it grows. That would be a slick way to make a frame.
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Old 2014-10-12, 02:18 PM   #39
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I'm not sure if this sounds dumb, I'm half asleep after a long day at work, but how about bamboo plywood? I'm not clued up on woodwork, but I'm sure I remember seeing, or reading something about plywood being strong?
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Old 2014-10-12, 03:25 PM   #40
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I've got bamboo plywood on my cupboards at my house.
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Old 2014-10-12, 03:40 PM   #41
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If you really wanted to do plywood it would be better to go with the laminated tubing shown on the Lamboo bike.
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Old 2014-10-12, 08:37 PM   #42
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I liked the photo of the bike that was made with split bamboo tubes much like a fly rod.
I was taken by that one too. The project is very nicely done and well presented all around. It occurred to me a little while later, though, that it might be characteristic of a certain worldview to want to turn it into an engineered material instead of using the way it comes out of the ground, even though growing as such a great structural shape is one of the advantages of bamboo.

But it's a way to get more wall thickness while limiting overall diameter, which could be a big help for the main tubes between the rider's legs and the wheel--especially for riders with chunky calves like mine that want to rub on frames even with flattened steel tubes there.

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but how about bamboo plywood?
Bamboo flooring, kitchen counter tops, cutting boards... Lots of DIY projects to be found out there using those as source materials. Google turns up various laminated bamboo project boards too, although it seems that they tend not to be called plywood. And I haven't happened to see any locally yet.

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Old 2014-10-31, 01:40 PM   #43
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Here are some good news, the first Bamboo BMX has been built, and it seems to be pretty tough (at least on a one day ride):

http://mpora.com/articles/bamboo-bmx-bike-break

More news: We are broadening the challenge to other practices besides extreme riding, such as collective sports and long distances, to make it more inclusive of more mainstream disciplines.
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Old 2014-11-01, 03:35 AM   #44
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That's a fun BMX video, and that bamboo looks very strong, but the unicycly-est part of that bike, the front fork, is NOT bamboo!

One possibiity for building a bamboo uni might be to make the frame extremely fat, but only front-to-back, so as not to force you to ride bowlegged: Tubing with an oval cross-section of 75cm x 27cm could be pretty strong stuff, IMHO.
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Old 2014-11-03, 12:57 AM   #45
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but the unicycly-est part of that bike, the front fork, is NOT bamboo!
Good point there! That seems to be pretty typical of bamboo bike frames. But then...

It looks like the rear wheel took at least as much punishment as the front, and it's held by the bamboo seat and chain stays--with plenty of extra material to beef up the joints of course, since bamboo doesn't want to grow with extra thickness where you'd want to have it. Looking at the Bamboo Bicycle Club site, I'm guessing they used hemp fiber with epoxy resin to build it up.

Although the bicycle-front-fork frame style is simpler and much more common for unicycles, the "rear triangle" with four stays plus seat tube winds up being like a double hoop design, a la Nimbus Oregon and Impulse and Hunter custom unicycle frames. The need for the front fork to pivot in the head tube for steering, which restricts front fork designs, doesn't apply to unicycles. You could even think of it as a pair of radically fat front-to-back tubes with the structurally less effective middle part chopped away.

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