Apr 162010

Here it is, the bike I built during the January [2010] frame building class. Instead of painting it, I blued the frame with Birchwood Casey gun bluing, $7.95 a bottle at the local gun shop. After that I gave it several coats of paste wax. One ride on wet roads left it a little spotty with surface rust, so I coated it with Boeshield instead. It seems to be working. It isn’t a permanent finish, like paint, but I can easily touch it up and repair it. I’ll see how it goes…kind of an experiment. Ezra from Fastboy Cycles turned me on to it. Deep Vs, shellacked Nitto Dirt Drop bars, and a Brooks B-17 Special round out my “steampunk” special. It is one awesome ride. Every now and then I pedal along and catch myself thinking, I built this…I built all of it! It’s zippy and fast, but comfortable and rock-stable. Thanks to Ron, Gary, and Joseph Ahearne for their expertise, help, encouragement, and patience. I have nothing but great memories (and an awesome bike) from UBI! Also, got a line on a 20 year old Henry James jig today. Frame #2 is just around the corner…

 Posted by at 2:31 pm
Apr 162010

Here’s a few pics of my fillet brazed touring frame I built during your April 20 [2009] course. I have ridden it from Lincoln City, OR to Berekeley, CA with no problems. Thanks so much Ron, Gary and Rich!

 Posted by at 2:25 pm
Apr 162010

Here is the finished product (650B with Paragon stainless sliding dropouts). The finished filing without a vise was a bear, but everything cleaned up really nice. The paint was done by Class Act Powder here in Portland. As for the ride, it is very responsive and loves to climb hills, basically everything I could ask for. The total weight is 26 lbs. 4 oz. with suspension fork and pedals. I definitely learned a ton about both design and technique, which I will take forward with my next build. A big thanks to Ron and Gary.

 Posted by at 2:16 pm
Apr 162010

I built this in Jim Kish’s 2009 Ti Class. I wanted a light, durable cyclocross bike that would leave me fresher at the end of a cross race than my aluminum ‘cross bike. As pictured, the bike weighs just under 19 lbs with pedals, and rides like a dream.

There are some things I might change next time around, but I’m very pleased with it as a first effort and am looking forward to tackling the ‘cross scene this fall with my new creation. Overall, riding a bike built from scratch was a very rewarding experience.

 Posted by at 2:03 pm
Apr 152010

Built in Jim Kish’s Ti class. A mix of trail / jump bike and a whole lot of fun. Can’t thank UBI, Jim and Gary enough for the awesome class and the amount of knowledge gained from it.

 Posted by at 5:23 pm
Apr 152010

After a year and a half, the mixte frame I built has become a bicycle! My intent was to create a high-speed commuter bike, one that would get me to work in no time flat, would handle well in traffic and would also be fun to ride. It does, and it’s fabulous. Some of the special features: the integral rack (that I built despite Gary’s opposition) makes so much sense that I wonder why all frames don’t include one — there are no bolts to rattle loose, the bridges provide a place to bolt the fender on, thus eliminating fender stays, and the thing is totally solid. I had a tough time figuring out where to run the bar-end shifter cables since they conflicted with the brakes, so I ended up drilling the handlebars the shifter cables through the bar. Other than that, assembly went smoothly and the bike has everything I want, right down to the handlebar-mounted coffee cup holder. It also matches my bag perfectly. Thanks so much for the great class!

Part of the reason why it took me a year and a half to complete the bike was that the unconventional design meant that I left UBI with a few bridges short of a frame, so I had to take a metalworking class to learn to machine aluminum blocks into tubing holders for my vise, and upgrade my torch with a better tip, and outfit my workshop with the right files, and do a bunch of other prep work before I could install the last few bridges. But now my workspace is all set to build a bike for my husband, who’s been bugging me to hurry up and finish my bike already.

 Posted by at 4:56 pm
Apr 152010


Just finished up the bike that I started for my son last November in your frame building class. Thanks to you and Gary it looks pretty much the way that I imagined it would. There are some things that I’ll do differently next time around, but I’m satisfied with it as a first effort and a learning exercise. Thanks again for a wonderful two weeks.

 Posted by at 4:55 pm