Aug 162010

I attended UBI’s brazing course in August of 2009. I wanted a practical bicycle to be used for everyday fun, everyday practicality, and everyday style. I already commute daily on a vintage steel bike, but wanted one that I could casually go to the farmer’s market, go the movies, go to dinner, coffee, run weekend errands. I am infatuated with the Porteur style French bicycles of the 1920′s and 30′s that dominated the Parisian streets delivering newspapers and courier goods. It’s upright and comfortable, classic in styling, propped for utility but tweaked for Portland, Ore. living. Some highlights are wooden fenders, leather accouterments, integrated brass bell into stem, and nearly all U.S.A. made parts.

 Posted by at 11:57 am
Jul 022010

I’ve ridden it several times, and I like it quite a bit! Ron and Gary, thanks for all your help and encouragement. Despite the basement parts group, it rides and fits like I hoped it would. The paint job was done by the Color Factory, in Waretown,NJ. The learning process continues in my shop, where I hope to use my oxy/acetylene for more than cleaning out solder stuck in my plumbing torch.

[Gallery editor's note: Cory submitted this to us back in January, but it got lost in email heck. My apologies.]

 Posted by at 11:57 am
Jul 012010

I attended the very first frame building class in April at UBI’s Portland campus. I wanted to build a city bike that would be good for year-round riding but comfortable for longer rides as well. Furthermore, I wanted something elegant, beautiful and with fine detail, like many classic Italian road bikes I admire. Aside from Ron, we were also fortunate to have Joseph and Tony helping out in the class as well. With their help, I have managed to build something even nicer than what I imagined. Although I tend to prefer a single speed bike now, I chose a dropout with a derailleur hanger on it and added cable guides, should I, or my knees decide that I’d like some gears for a change. I also brazed on eyelets for fenders, water-bottles and a rack, in the event that I want to do some touring at some point in time. I chose Columbus tubing, which kept my bike in the “Italian spirit” along with the Campy & Cinelli components that I threw on it. Oh and most importantly, the name comes from my first love, my family. My children’s names are Benjamin and Isabella. I am forever grateful to them and my awesome wife for understanding my obsession enough to let me use two weeks of my vacation time to build myself a bicycle. If UBI did not open a campus here in Portland, I never would have been able to have done this. My bike fits me perfectly and rides like a dream. I could not be happier with what I now call my own.

 Posted by at 8:42 am
May 102010

Hello all. I’ve been meaning to send these few pics of the bike I ended up brazing in Ashland at the March [2010] class. Thanks again for all the great instruction. It’s Kaisei 019 OS, about 565mm square, 75 HtA/74 StA. Dura Ace cranks, bb, hubs, cog, lockring, Sugino 75 s3 Gigas chainring, Thomson post and x2 stem, Velocity aeros, black DT comp spokes, Michelin Krylion carbons, Ritchey Pro Logic 2 bars, Selle Italia SL saddle. It has Ultegra SPD-SL pedals on it now. Vroom vroom. I was thinking about some sparkly black metallic, but now that it’s built up, I’m pretty addicted to the raw steel. Maybe some more finishing and just a clear coat? Who knows.

 Posted by at 10:57 am
May 102010


Here is my single speed made in the March ’09 Chromoly Brazing class. The frame turned out great, and rides better than I ever imagined. Built up with vintage components – mostly Campy NR/SR stuff I had “retired” 20 years ago. The only concession to current technology was the fitting of Speedplay pedals. My old Record Superleggara’s look cool, but it didn’t take long to remember what a pain (literally) clips and straps are. I couldn’t wait to build and ride it, so I gave the frame a “rattle can” paint job instead of sending it out to a pro. Two months and almost 400 miles in, it’s holding up real well. The final touch was the addition of a lugged stem I finished last week. It felt good to pick up the torch once again. Brazing the stainless was “fun” and finishing took forever, but I like the result. Next up, a single speed MTB for my daughter. After that, who knows? Thanks again to Ron, Gary, Nate and the rest of the guys at UBI.

 Posted by at 10:48 am
May 102010

I’m finally riding the bike I built in the August frame class [taught by Paul Sadoff]. The 26″ two-speed BMX with disc brakes concept seems to have resulted in a fun, if kind of weird, bike. Thanks for teaching me how to build it. I had this thing rolling around my head for months and it’s great to roll it down the street now. I had a long delay for the hubs. It tracks straight, is a blast to ride, not too heavy, and everyone that rides it has fun. Thanks for showing me how to build it.

 Posted by at 10:39 am
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