From Fists and Steel to Jungle Bicycle Part 2

I initially set out to make a café racer style bicycle, using among other things the Joe Lewis Detroit fist as my inspiration. After spending quite a bit of time in my friend’s shop trying to perfect my welding skills, I bailed on this idea. I did not feel confident enough welding the thin walled steel tubing I wanted to use or that I would be able produce something I was happy with. I still want to do something like this in the future but I’ll have to learn and hone TIG welding. However, I decided late in the project to switch to another arguably more interesting concept: make it out of bamboo!

joe-louis-fist-detroit-mi-nicholas-grunas joe-louis-fist-statue-jefferson-and-woodward-ave-detroit-michigan-gordon-deancedd06aee7eeaf4e376f2477ef1b3199

While completing the switch to bamboo my inspiration started to shift. I began to examine a more natural, jungle type aesthetic. I called upon memories of Kipling’s The Jungle Book to frame my aesthetic and design. I eventually settled upon:

“Riding and seeing this bicycle should feel like living with Mowgli in The Jungle Book or a friendly FARC guerrilla fighter on patrol”

  • Handmade, resourceful looking
  • Natural fibers
  • From materials you would find in the jungle

I also wanted a warm art deco feel to it therefore I finished it with a slightly tinted urethane to help bring out warm tones in the bamboo.

“Warm” Art Deco


Overall I am very happy with how the project turned out and in the future I hope to make a few more of these with the knowledge I’ve gained. For future work I still need to finish acquiring the parts to turn the frame into a rideable bike. As my budget allows I will build this bike up and show it off around town and campus.

IMG_6449  IMG_6447   \  IMG_6443   IMG_6439 IMG_1897


aesthetics, bamboo, bamboo bicycle, bike, bikes, Dan, Daniel Moody, Moody
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5 Comments. Leave new

  • Derek Sikora
    May 3, 2016 7:39 pm

    Wow this looks great! Those are some burly knots you have connecting the different members. Does it work with the wheels and handlebars attached? It would look sweet if you ran all the cabling for the breaks and what not through the frame!

  • Jacob Mccormick
    May 1, 2016 9:22 pm

    Really nice job with the frame Daniel! I was for sure a bit skeptical of the idea at first, mainly how you would connect the different pieces, but you definitely pulled it off really nicely, it looks very sturdy.

  • I am impressed by your pod presentation last week. I am really looking forward to seeing your real bamboo bike. You said that you would possibly get one on this Friday. Will you upload a video with you actually riding a bamboo bike? I think many people are willing to see this video! Overall, your project is wonderful! Good job!

  • Really nice job! I am impressed at how well it turned out. It is unfortunate that you went over budget by so much. If you need more parts you can check to see if the component design class will donate parts to the cause. They keep parts in the DIDL and I would try contacting Mark Wrenchler to see if they would donate parts.

  • Your bamboo bicycle frame came out nicely, I would have liked to seen it with all the wheels and handlebars attached. I think for me, personally, you could have used a different type of rope to wrap the joints by using something thinner and something without the stripping going on. It would minimize weight but also make it look less bulky around the joints. But, it might look good as it is now if you had the wheels and handlebars attached. Other than that, I hope the ride quality is good, it would be interesting what kind of things you could redesign if you had to.


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