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Recently, for some strange reason, I have finally decided that the only way I am going to learn about bicycles and how they perform is to build one myself. No more whinging about frames, how they fit me or not, why they can't all come with smooth fillet welds, why they are all not stiff and comfortable at the same time.

I just jumped into the deep end. Now I need to learn how to swim. I have an idea of the geometry, now I need useful comments about it. Also need some pointers as to the diameter of tubing to be used and thicknesses of tubes as well to order.

So for all those in the know and are kind enough to help, please reply to this thread or e-mail me directly at [email protected]

Regards,
Sean
 

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Don't do this to save money or improve quality

I think it's really cool to build your own bike frame. A close friend of mine did this about 20 years ago and still rides it. I had all the fun of watching the process and none of the frustration and cost. Bottom line is that you'll get a better bike for less money if you buy a frame, and the best deals are on complete bikes, but nothing can match the pride of ownership you'll have if you build your own.
 

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hmmm

You didn't say how far you jumped in, but I think this decision should take a lot of consideration. I've build one frame and fork, a fillet brazed track frame, and a second bike, which is a lugged 853/OX Platinum ss mtb is on the drawing board to hopefully be started in the next couple of weeks.

Point #1. It's expensive. Tools. Flux. Brazing Rod. Dropouts. Cable guides. And that's all before you realize that a good tubset ie 853 or foco/ultra foco/ox platinum costs about $30-$40 a tube.

Point #2. It's time intensive. The first one took about 10 weeks start to finish, averaging about 8 hours of shop time a week.

Point #3. You probably won't get it right the first time. This is especially true with fillet brazing. Finishing fillets is hard, even if you've had metal work experience.

Now, if you do a hottubes class or something, that's a good way to start, as at least you'll be getting good advise, and a hand. Trying to make a first frame on your own would be difficult at best, and dangerous at worst. Just don't go into it thinking that you'll be better than a pro builder. Every person who picks up a set of tubes or lugs thinks they can be Richard Sachs, in about five minutes, I sure did. If you have expectations like that you will be dissapointed.

For tube selection, you'll probably want to try and source a supplier first, which is challenging if you're not a pro builder, as some companies won't sell to you. When you get their catalogue, that'll narrow down your choices a lot, probably more than you think. Most tubes just aren't available in 48 different butting profiles. There are however, about 36 different ways to do stays, so you kind of have to decide what you're looking for, and what size/kind of riding you are/do.
 

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buffedupboy said:
I need useful comments about it. Also need some pointers as to the diameter of tubing to be used and thicknesses of tubes as well to order.
Best advice I have for you is to check out www.bikelist.org and sign up for the "framebuilders" forum list. There a alot of guys there that will have the answers and experience to show you the ropes.

John
 
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