They say ‘if you want it done right, you gotta do it yourself.’ But what if you have zero experience? According to the folks at bamboo bee bicycles, that’s not a problem, especially with their new BIY 2 Bike kit. You may remember the brand from their first BIY kit which allowed users to create and build their own bamboo bicycle which sounds like it could be a recipe for disaster, but apparently it went over pretty well.
However, there were a number of things that customers mentioned could be improved which was the starting point for BIY 2. With a new custom jig and frame tubes shipped to fit your individual needs, BIY 2 claims you can build your own bike in under 5 hours…
At this point you’re probably wondering how they took a 2-3 day process which includes a lot of epoxy drying time and slashed it down to just 5 hours. The answer seems to lie in their new “in-house fiber roll” which is impregnated with epoxy. Compared to more traditional hemp fiber rolls that you have to apply epoxy to, this method eliminates the need for extra goop and cuts out a large chunk of time. However, bamboo bee mentions that this 5 hour claim is for a basic finish. For a “professional finish” (probably like the photos of bikes shown) it will take more time and materials. It’s unclear how this In-house fiber roll actually sets, but they make it sound pretty simple – just don’t expect the finish product to look like those in the photos.
A big part of BIY 2 is the adjustable jig which supposedly allows for nearly any bike shape or size. It probably won’t be replacing any Anvil jigs any time soon, but it does look interesting. The integrated measurements allow for easy custom frame designs down to the head tube, bottom bracket and dropouts. The jig is reusable and supposedly can be used for materials other than bamboo. The Kickstarter mentions steel tubes will be available but only for a classic road bike layout.
While there will initially be 5 designs to choose from (26″ mountain bike, 29er mountain bike, Road bike, Step through Bike, and Kids bikes), bamboo bee has created an app that will act as a database for custom designs that customers come up with. In the future you should be able to choose from a number of different bikes just by selecting an option in the app and build it up.
Bike kits currently start at $249 which includes a BIY 2 builder jig and a Builder frame kit with all of the frame parts needed (tubes precut and mitered to your specifications). Kits do not include the actual bike parts, so it’s time to start rounding up all those old parts in your garage. Estimated delivery is October 2016.