We wanted to start sharing with you some of the fantastic independent frame builders from around the globe. We go into a little detail about the brands, but generally, we want to show the beauty and craftsmanship of frame builders. We are firm believers that it is better to spend on a custom frame from a frame builder than from one of the larger brands models that aren't to your specifications or body.
The only way we thought we could start this Framebuilder Fridays was to let you know about the outstanding work of The Bicycle Academy. What better way to introduce frame building extraordinaires to you than bringing you an academy set up to help make the frame builders of the future.
Images courtesy of The Bicycle Academy
Based in Frome, Somerset, UK, The Bicycle Academy offers courses for all shapes of frame builders. From cycling enthusiasts wanting to learn more about how to build a bike frame, to Pro's who are looking to hone and refine their skill set and take themselves to new heights in the industry. They try to teach students with the most basic tooling possible, so if a student was to take this further, they understand the minimal tools needed to create a bicycle.
Back in May of this year, I took part in the '7 Day Bespoke Framebuilding Course.' Craving to learn how to make a bicycle frame after putting together complete bikes in the past, I signed myself up. What 'The Bicycle Academy' offered has been simply a life-changing experience; the breadth of knowledge that each member of the team has is astounding. Not only that, but they have a passion for passing that on to the frame builders of the next generation.
The seven-day course is designed to give you a bit of everything in terms of knowledge, so you can figure out which part of it you enjoy the most if you wanted to take frame building more serious. Day's one and two were spent in front of the drawing board and on the bike fit machine. You are learning the nuances in different parts of the composition of a frame and how they can change the ride and feel of a bike. With the bike fit, we are taken through a precise and knowledgable way to give a basic fit for people in the future.
Disclaimer, The Bicycle Academy always aim to educate people the right way, informing us that bike fit can cause serious injury to riders and we should only offer this service with a lot of further research and knowledge building.
We then move on to designing our frames. I decided I wanted to build a gravel bike that I can use next year while cycling from Lands End to John O Groats. The theory learned previously is now put into practice. We see how affecting things such as head angle can massively affect not only the aesthetics but more importantly, how the bike will ride once built up.
The next few days of the process is to learn and understand the brazing techniques used in bicycle frame manufacturing. Also, we learn how to hand mitre tubing for bicycles. Mitring is a repetitive process to ensure tubes have the best fit up possible for when the joint needs to be brazed.
The final few days are spent working on our bicycle frame, taught in a way that allows you to soak up all the knowledge on offer, but also to be able to replicate the process in the future. We also learn how to check our bicycle frames are true, and the manipulation all frames need to go through to ensure they are as accurate as can be.
It is a truly unique experience that we would recommend any cycling enthusiast to take. Not only that, but you end up with your custom bicycle frame, built to your specifications for the purpose you want to ride it.
For more information about The Bicycle Academy, please visit: