Mike Freda Completes Final Day of Paul Brodies’ Frame Building 101
It's hard to believe 2 weeks has gone by! Today I just did some small final details. Cut out my rear disk brake mount. I had to make a special one due to my rear wheel can be in two different spots; one for single speed (to take up the chain slack) and one for gears (very front of he drop out.) It turned out really well!
I Silver Soldered in the rest of my rear de-railer cable bosses and did some finish sanding/polishing.
My bike turned out better than I thought it would could be. So what did I make.... I call it a All Mountain/Freeride Comolly Hardtail. It has a long sloping Top Tube, med-slack Head Angle (69deg), beefy Down Tube and some nice finishing touches (influenced by Paul of course!) I used 3 different methods for welding to make the frame. I guess I could have TIG welded everything... but Paul said, "you know how to TIG, lets try/learn something different." My frame weighed in at 4.6lbs. Not bad considering the oversize tube set I used and my dropouts i made. Not super light.... but no that heavy either. I want it to last and be solid.
Derek finished his 29'er with some time to spare and Tom worked right down to the wire but did manage to get his frame done. They both did a great job with their bike frames.
I've learned a lot and realize how much work goes into a "hand-built" custom frame. I'll never question the cost of a quality frame set! There is so much detail that goes into a frame that it would make your head spin!
I took a lot of notes, watched, listened and asked a lot of questions. I feel that I could make another frame for myself with the knowledge I gained taking this course! I'm already planning my next bike.... quick and snappy handling road bike... with the ability to run gears or be a single speed! I might even Fillet Braze the tubes.
If you are thinking of taking the course, do it! Best 2 weeks you will spend. You will look at bike frames a completely different way; I know I do!
Some words of wisdom... Have a clear idea what you want to make. Do a bit of research in your fork, wheels, tires and what you want to do with the bike. Bring your parts to class! If you want to do a good/clean TIG welded frame, it may help to take a small pre-course or even just practice welding thin metal. It's not necessary but it helps thus giving you more build time. Paul's a great welding teacher and can show you the ropes but when it comes to TIG welding seat time is your friend. Derek had very little metal working/building experience and he made a wicked Fillet Brazed 29'er! So you can do it to!