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Old 2014-10-06, 05:52 PM   #1
Jaime Yann
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Bambooni: Challenge to create a Bamboo Unicycle

Hello everyone!

It's been a dream to ride a bamboo unicycle since I saw these beautiful bamboo bikes go out, and I recently decided to launch a challenge to create a challenge to make a bamboo frame that can withstand the abuse of extreme riding.

The idea is to gather a Prize in crowdfunding, and then launch a contest to find a solution in Open Source for anyone to study, modify, produce or distribute it. Once we got a solution that meets all the criteria of strength, lightness and production costs, and that the design and documentation to make it released in Open Licence, then the inventors get the Reward.

I was inspired by the story of Napoleon's challenges. During european wars his troops couldn't get the food for his troop in good shape. So he decided to launch a Challenge Prize to see if there was a solution out there, and this is how we got canned foods today.

If we could put together a Prize among us, I think it could attract the attention of inventors that can develop this kind of innovation for the community, and still pay for their work.

For now the campaign is being prepared, but if you are interested, you can subscribe to the newsletter here and get the latest news.

It would be amazing if you could share your feedback and knowing if you'd be interested by this as users or creators
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Old 2014-10-06, 05:58 PM   #2
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I'm trying to visualize the benefits of this...
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Old 2014-10-06, 06:09 PM   #3
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Well, bamboo is light, strong, and renewable. I think it's worth a shot
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Old 2014-10-06, 06:18 PM   #4
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Bamboo frames have been discussed here before, and the consenus, I think, was that bamboo lacked the stiffness needed for a uni frame. Unlike a bike, a uni is subjected to all sorts of rotational force when we pedal, or so it was written in some dark corner of this forum. Apparently UDC was even going to start production at some bamboo bike frame company in Taiwan, but then decided it wasn't feasible.
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Old 2014-10-06, 08:23 PM   #5
Juni
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This pdf shows that a bamboo unicycle has already been made...Looks like a sweet uni
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Old 2014-10-06, 10:03 PM   #6
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For the challenge thing... So we have to make it or discuss? I'd be happier to make it haha I'll check out for Bamboo online
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Old 2014-10-07, 12:06 AM   #7
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It certainly would be amazing to find that bamboo is a superior frame material. Aluminum is pretty darn perfect.
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Old 2014-10-07, 12:30 AM   #8
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I just saw this article while looking for Bamboo tubings on the web. I still haven't found any tubings except for a whole bike tubeset. We'd only need chainstays/seatstays and seattube. I'm still checking, I am motivated for that

http://www.gizmag.com/bamboo-bicycle...natives/31292/
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Old 2014-10-07, 03:50 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Juni View Post
This pdf shows that a bamboo unicycle has already been made...Looks like a sweet uni
Yeah, that's the story I was referring to above. With the admittedly very pretty photos, it says "This as a feasible design that could be mass produced is unlikely. The bamboo itself has a lot of flex and would likely break because of the torque the frame receives during normal riding."

Just now I was riding in the dark, watching the crazy circular pattern my frame-mounted headlight made on the pavement because of my pedaling. A bike headlight doesn't do that.

If you want to build your own uni, learn to weld! It's probably a lot more trouble than gluing a bunch of sticks together, but it is certainly more reliable once you get comfortable with it, plus it's a valuable skill.
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Old 2014-10-07, 03:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by song View Post
If you want to build your own uni, learn to weld! It's probably a lot more trouble than gluing a bunch of sticks together, but it is certainly more reliable once you get comfortable with it, plus it's a valuable skill.
As a welders point of view, I really want to try making that Bamboo uni I am seriously looking into making one! I really like to test different things even if it seems ridiculous. The Bamboo frame in the article could easily be made better and stiffer, I'm not sure it'll be stiff enough (probably not) but there's a way to make it better!

I once made a Fatty frame out of fiber glass hockey sticks. I rode it for 5km, then I realised why no one made fiberglass bicycle frames.
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Old 2014-10-07, 05:07 PM   #11
Jaime Yann
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Thanks for your answers guys!

Quote:
Originally Posted by LanceB
I'm trying to visualize the benefits of this...
Quote:
Originally Posted by evil-nick
Well, bamboo is light, strong, and renewable. I think it's worth a shot
These are some of the benefits, and I would add that if we manage to make it available in Open Source, others will be able to build upon it and improve or customize it
Besides, if the documentation is open, maybe new manufacturers could sprout in countries with bamboo where it's hard to retail for our "mainstream" manufacturers. More people could try on unicycling around the world.

Quote:
Originally Posted by song
Bamboo frames have been discussed here before, and the consenus, I think, was that bamboo lacked the stiffness needed for a uni frame. Unlike a bike, a uni is subjected to all sorts of rotational force when we pedal, or so it was written in some dark corner of this forum. Apparently UDC was even going to start production at some bamboo bike frame company in Taiwan, but then decided it wasn't feasible.
Well, that's why we want to make a challenge out of this. We don't know if it is feasible, we can't say many people have put their mind into it. Maybe by showing as a community that we are motivated by this innovation someone will put its craft and mind into it.

At least it seems to have already motivated Jakob!

I am creating the judging criteria with Kris Holm, Roger Davies and the people of monociclos.com, and there will be 4 judging phases every 6 months until there is a solution. If there is a functional solution after any judging phase, we give the Reward to the inventor. If there isn't any satisfying solution after these 4 phases (2 years) the idea is to give back the money that was gathered for the Prize to the backers.
If there is a solution, we'll have made evolve the unicycling technology and everybody wins, otherwise we'll all get our money back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaco_flans
I just saw this article while looking for Bamboo tubings on the web. I still haven't found any tubings except for a whole bike tubeset. We'd only need chainstays/seatstays and seattube. I'm still checking, I am motivated for that
http://www.gizmag.com/bamboo-bicycle...natives/31292/
Really cool stuff, I am waiting to see what you come up with Jacob!
It's amazing to see how fast bike technology is moving forward. Bamboo bikes are going in many different ways.

For instance there is the one you shared, but there are other innovative ways of treating bamboo:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...ref=nav_search

http://www.fastcoexist.com/1682795/a...bamboo-bikes#2

http://calfeedesign.com/bamboo/

I am sure there is an innovation out there that can find a way of making Bamboo torsionally rigid and able of taking extreme riding.

Hopefully the the campaign can get started in November, but I wanted to keep you posted before that and get to know what are your expectations of a bamboo unicycle
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Old 2014-10-07, 05:08 PM   #12
Jaime Yann
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Thanks for your answers guys!

Quote:
Originally Posted by LanceB
I'm trying to visualize the benefits of this...
Quote:
Originally Posted by evil-nick
Well, bamboo is light, strong, and renewable. I think it's worth a shot
These are some of the benefits, and I would add that if we manage to make it available in Open Source, others will be able to build upon it and improve or customize it
Besides, if the documentation is open, maybe new manufacturers could sprout in countries with bamboo where it's hard to retail for our "mainstream" manufacturers. More people could try on unicycling around the world.

Quote:
Originally Posted by song
Bamboo frames have been discussed here before, and the consenus, I think, was that bamboo lacked the stiffness needed for a uni frame. Unlike a bike, a uni is subjected to all sorts of rotational force when we pedal, or so it was written in some dark corner of this forum. Apparently UDC was even going to start production at some bamboo bike frame company in Taiwan, but then decided it wasn't feasible.
Well, that's why we want to make a challenge out of this. We don't know if it is feasible, we can't say many people have put their mind into it. Maybe by showing as a community that we are motivated by this innovation someone will put its craft and mind into it.

At least it seems it has already motivated Jakob to look into it!

I am creating the judging criteria with Kris Holm, Roger Davies and the people of monociclos.com, and we'll judge it in 4 phases of 6 months until there is a solution. If there is a functional solution after a judging phase, we give the Reward to the inventor. If there isn't any satisfying solution after 2 years the idea is to give back the money that was gathered for the Prize to the backers.
If there is a solution, we'll have made evolve the unicycling technology and everybody wins, otherwise we'll all get our money back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaco_flans
I just saw this article while looking for Bamboo tubings on the web. I still haven't found any tubings except for a whole bike tubeset. We'd only need chainstays/seatstays and seattube. I'm still checking, I am motivated for that
http://www.gizmag.com/bamboo-bicycle...natives/31292/
Really cool stuff, I am waiting to see what you come up with Jacob!
It's amazing to see how fast bike technology is moving forward. Bamboo bikes are going in many different ways.

For instance there is the one you shared, but there are other innovative ways of treating bamboo:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...ref=nav_search

http://www.fastcoexist.com/1682795/a...bamboo-bikes#2

http://calfeedesign.com/bamboo/

I am sure there is an innovation out there in the mind of someone around the world that can find a way of making Bamboo torsionally rigid and able of taking extreme riding.

Hopefully the the campaign can get started in November, but I wanted to keep you posted before that and get to know what are your expectations of a bamboo unicycle
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Old 2014-10-07, 07:54 PM   #13
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A "bamboo" uni can be made very stiff, in the same way that Calfee makes its bamboo bikes; by turning it into a composite. At that point it basically behaves like carbon fiber, and you can use carbon fiber for the joints. It'd certainly be cool. Not so cool that I'll fund someone else's commercial R&D, though.
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Old 2014-10-08, 01:29 AM   #14
blueharmony
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I don't see any bamboo BMX or Trials bikes, could be I'm not looking hard enough. Makes me wonder about Muni on bamboo, also street, trials, flat...
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Old 2014-10-08, 02:38 AM   #15
tholub
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blueharmony View Post
I don't see any bamboo BMX or Trials bikes, could be I'm not looking hard enough. Makes me wonder about Muni on bamboo, also street, trials, flat...
Bamboo (and carbon fibre, for that matter) is brittle on impact relative to metal, so it's not ideal for disciplines where hitting the frame on hard objects is common.

Last edited by tholub; 2014-10-08 at 02:38 AM.
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