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
Apr 152010

The build of the bike was very much inspired by British “club racers” and “all-rounders” of the 50′s and 60′s. Being my first frame, I liked the idea that a single bike could be built to be ridden with a number of intentions. British racers used to ride geared/fendered bikes to the track, often carrying a spare set of track wheels on fork mounted “sprint carriers” and then convert it to a “path racer”…only to re-install the fenders, brakes and other bits before heading home.

Knowing that I will never part with this first frame, I wanted a versatile build that I could set up in a number of ways for the rest of my life. The clamp-ons and 120mm rear spacing mean I can set it up as a fixed-gear, 5 or 10 speed with relative ease. Truth be told, I just wanted an excuse to gather all of the cool old Campy bits. While it does have fender clearance, it’s more of a vintage racing bike (traditional racing geometry of 73 degrees parallel) than a vintage rando bike.

Matthew Bowne
Brooklyn, New York

 Posted by at 4:50 pm
Apr 152010

Alex Meade from your November frame class. Now a complete bike. Thanks again for all of your help with the mixte frame.

 Posted by at 4:40 pm
Apr 132010

Well, I took my sweet a$$ time, but I finally finished my Ti road bike I went away to school to build (just in time for the snow to fly here in Calgary….). I have attached a few pictures of the final product along with some shots taken during the bikes’ fabrication. I basically copied my existing road bike’s geometry so I knew I would end up with a bike I’d enjoy riding. Although I probably won’t get a good ride in until the spring, the test rides taken while setting up the components proved to be pretty nice. The effort to build & finish this bike was not a solo effort by any stretch of the imagination. I’ve listed below the people who were nice enough (not to mention patient enough…..) to hold my hand & help me along with what ended up as one of the more rewarding experiences I’ve had to date.

Jim Kish – Ti Frame Course Instructor & Independent Frame Builder
Gary & the rest of the crew at United Bicycle Institute
Rob Meesig @ Seven Cyles – kind enough to share some tips on bicycle finishing from the pros
Mandy Stobo – the amazing artistic influence behind the graphics & artwork on my bike
Liz & Spectrum Powder Works – for bringing the artwork to life on my bike – phenomenal job!
John O’Loughlin – bicycle guru & mechanical genius. Without John’s help, I would still be in my basement crying with an unassembled bike.
Natasha – for not killing me over the last few weeks while my sanity was close to leaving as I finished this bike.

 Posted by at 4:47 pm
Apr 132010


Ciao UBI ragazzi !

How’s life at the dawn of the big global financial economic depression followed by a major oil crisis? My frame made it to Italy a few days ago – yeah, that’s how fast the Italian customs are… and at last I could throw some parts onto it and ride it. I’ve been using it for my everyday commute to and from everywhere and I’m lovin’ ít, I didn’t manage to break it yet, but I’m sure trying :-)

 Posted by at 3:36 pm
Apr 132010

Here is my frame that I built in class (June 2007) and it turned out great. It handles the long descents here in the Rockies with confidence. Stable as a rock at 50 plus mph. I am setting up shop here and hope to be up and running by the first of the year. Look for “Victoria Cycles” some time after that, when I have enough product to have my web site running. Thanks again for all your help there at UBI, you have helped me to make my dream a reality.

 Posted by at 2:45 pm
Apr 132010

This is bike number one of 14 now. I chose fairly standard track geometry: 74 degree head and seat tube, 60mm of BB drop, shortest chainstays possible, and a 56cm square frame. Despite some not-so-pretty welds, I’ve been pounding this bike through the streets of Minneapolis for five years with no problems. With a Dura Ace track group it weighs 15.5 lbs. The bars are wrapped with twine and coated with polyurethane. The crank is actually a standard road model with the inner chainring tabs filed off, the headset is filed out, too, to make it threadless. Please check out the bikes I later built on my own at www.clockworkbikes.com I can’t say enough good things about UBI, it was absolutely instrumental in my start to frame building–I even went twice! Thanks, Joel

 Posted by at 1:54 pm