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Threepenny Bikes:

My name is David Wendt. I’m a new builder based in Washington DC, making custom frames from bamboo in very small batches–no more than ten per year.

I worked for years as a mechanical and sculptural fabricator, building everything from puppets and props for Broadway shows to architectural fixtures in Gothic churches. I love experimenting with new materials, problem solving, and beautifully crafted work.

I get my preferred bamboo varieties fresh cut from groves in Virginia and California. I treat each pole with fire and tung oil, then let them dry before using them to build my frames. I use carbon fiber and kevlar for my joints, and titanium for the bits and pieces.

2011 Bikes:
Cross Beltway:

I originally built this frame to lab test with friends from George Washington University (mind the gaffer’s tape). The frame is built to the geometry of my Surly Cross Check. Using motion and biometric analysis we’re comparing the flexibility and performance of my bamboo frame with my steel frame. I took the parts off my steel frame to reduce the number of variables, but I liked this bike so much that my poor steel frame is still waiting six months later to get its wheels back. The joints are no-frills™ carbon fiber. The rear drop-outs, head tube, seat tube sleeve, bottom bracket shell, brake bridge, and cable stops are all titanium.

Mt P. Cruiser:

Naomi likes step-through frames, which gave me the chance to experiment a bit. The joints are carbon fiber with gold leaf trim. The head tube, bottom bracket shell, rear dropouts, brake bridge, and cable stops are all titanium. The handle bar grips are elk leather with cork bar ends. The bike also features an 8-speed internally geared hub, a pretty 1/8 inch chain, and a brass bell.