The present study aims at development of composites based on powdered phenolic matrices (novolac) and both untreated and alkali treated bamboo fibers by a compression molding technique. Bamboo strips were treated with varying concentration (10, 15, and 20%) of caustic soda solution. The concentration of alkali solution used for treatment is the main influencing factor on the dynamic mechanical and thermal properties. The composites were evaluated by means of dynamic mechanical and differential scanning calorimetry analysis. The results reveal that the elastic and thermal properties are also dependent on the concentration of alkali used for treatment. DSC study reveals that the thermal stability of the cured resin has been lowered by the incorporation of the resin, though the alkali treatment of the fiber imparts better thermal stability to the composites than the untreated one. DMT analysis reveals that the dynamic mechanical properties are best with 20% alkali-treated fiber composites. The success of composite formation of a powdered phenolic resin is evident by the IR study of the composite. © 2009 SAGE Publications.