Jon Ellis's bamboo commuter - Bike Magic

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Jon Ellis’s bamboo commuter



Back in Spring 2004, a mate of mine, Shane Slater, built a carbon mountain bike in his shed and proceeded to race it 100km up and down Welsh mountains while the lacquer was still wet. As anyone who’s seen it in the flesh will doubtless testify, it’s the best thing ever.

Duly inspired, I wracked my brains to come up with a project daft/ cool enough to match Shane’s seat tube-less carbon singlespeed. Bamboo was the only answer. At the time, it seemed like a pretty fresh concept. Could it be that this was a genuinely original (if borderline idiotic) idea?

Fast forward three years, and it’s catching on. Craig Calfee‘s busy selling them, and winning bucketloads of awards in the process. And check out Brano Meres‘ slick-looking machine, still the only bamboo mountain bike I’m aware of [there’s also Calfee’s one-off bamboo mountain tandem – Ed].

My first frame is a commuter, which I’m currently using two or three times a week in central London. It’s lovely ‘n all, but I’m more interested in racing a homemade bamboo rig. With a bit of luck, I’ll compete the second half of the 2007 NPS season on a bike made predominantly from grass and glue. Awesome.

I need a suitable donor frame to get a BB shell and things from, though. If you’ve got anything suitable (can be slightly broken, doesn’t matter) lurking in your shed, I’d like to hear about it…

Over to you

Got an interesting bike that you’d like to tell the world (or that subset of the world that reads BM) about? We’re not too bothered whether it’s singlespeed, geared, hardtail, rigid, FS or whatever – it just has to be something unique. We’re looking for bikes that have had a lot of time invested in them by their owners. Send us a pic and some words about what it is and why it’s like that and we’ll run the best ones here…


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