Build Your Own Bicycle Frame

Build Your Own Bicycle Frame

Build Your Own Bicycle Frame – There comes a time in every cyclist’s life when they have enough experience to form strong opinions about the parts they use. At this point, they are ready to consider a custom bike where every part has been hand-picked to satisfy their needs and desires. It can be a scary proposition, but all the extra time and effort will be rewarded with a very satisfying bike.

In this post, Australian tech editor Matt Wikstrom looks at what you need to know when choosing parts to build a road bike. It will also be a useful tool for any rider looking to replace any part of a road bike, be it a stem, wheels, or a whole assembly.

Build Your Own Bicycle Frame

The most convenient way to buy a new bike is to choose one of the many factory built bikes offered by dozens of brands. These all-round packages offer great value and prospective customers can take the bike for a test ride before making a decision. However, the buyer has no say in the choice of components or frame color, although most bike shops are often willing to change the chain or fit a different size stem to make sure the buyer is happy with the fit and feel. .

Frame Building Courses

At the other end, a custom construction allows the buyer to tailor the bike to their every need. readers familiar with our Bikes of the Bunch series will know how varied the end result can be, and while many of these bikes feature custom frames and exotic components, neither is a strict requirement for a custom build.

The biggest strength and attraction of building a custom bike is that the buyer is responsible for everything, starting with the goals and priorities for the build. For some, it may embrace the latest technology and/or aerodynamics; others may choose to focus on specific weights, colors, or iterations of a team bike; it’s even possible to work with a tight budget and/or recycle parts that have been sitting in the shed for a while.

While a custom bike provides a great deal of control over the final product, the buyer won’t have the chance to ride the bike before spending their money, and they won’t have a clear idea of ​​how the bike will look until it’s assembled. So, the whole process takes a leap of faith, but there’s a lot of excitement in creating a bike like this. If nothing else, the owner tinkered with every part of the bike in a way that’s impossible for a factory-built bike, and there will be several stories about how they came together.

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We all know about the convenience of online shopping, so the only challenge with ordering parts for a custom build is making sure the parts end up right at your doorstep.

Enduro Frame Building Course

In the past, customers looking for a custom road bike relied heavily on a good bike shop to get all the parts they needed, otherwise they spent a lot of time traveling to, or calling, different shops. to track specific brands. Now, online shopping has simplified that process, and while shoppers may spend hours visiting multiple stores, they don’t have to leave their home, and everything can be delivered directly to them if they want – but of course , it is assumed that they already know exactly what they need, and do not need to consult someone with more knowledge and experience.

The logical starting point for any construction is a framework. As a bicycle foundation, it provides a template to guide construction. There are no standards for many bike parts, just a limited number of options with very little overlap, and as such, it’s much easier to choose parts to match the frame’s specifications rather than the other way around. This applies to all types of bikes, although for the purposes of this article, I’ll focus on the details most relevant to road bikes (a category that also includes all-terrain and dirt bikes).

There is another good reason to start with the frame: it gives the buyer maximum freedom when choosing a suitable frame size and preferred geometry. This is perhaps the strongest reason to consider a custom build, as the buyer can handpick a framework that promises to meet their needs and desires.

For those riders who have a good understanding of their position, fit and preferences, it shouldn’t be difficult to identify suitable candidates by browsing online geometry charts for company frames. Detailed specifications are also often available, so prospective buyers can consider all options before purchasing.

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The frameset is the foundation of any custom-built bicycle, and the selection of parts to complete the build is a matter of matching the specifications for each frame and fork part.

For those whose needs are outside the norm, a custom frame may be a better choice. Not only will a frame builder be able to create a frame that perfectly fits the buyer, they can also accommodate any preferences the customer may have for back aesthetics (such as a curved versus horizontal top tube) and specific components. . In fact, the customer often has the freedom to dictate the features for the frame, including attachments for racks, fenders, and/or other bin cages.

Finding a suitable, even compatible, frame builder can be difficult. This is where local bike shows can come in handy, such as the North American Custom Bike Show, the Australian Custom Bike Show, the UK’s Bespoked, and Germany’s Berlinerfahrradschau, to name a few. Attendees can see the work of a variety of frame builders in one place, and often chat directly with the builders to help them make their decision.

For many buyers, there will be no need to decide on a frame rate. This is especially true for contemporary carbon frames where the fork is often integrated into the frame design and there may be no alternative to using a different brand or model. Custom frames offer more freedom, as do frames that use a traditional head tube and a common axle-to-crown ratio.

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Almost all rear forks are made of carbon fiber, and although there are differences in style, there is really only one main feature that buyers should pay attention to – the amount of clearance – which will affect the bike’s handling and amount. do the toe is in contact with the front wheel.

In this regard, it is worth noting that even small changes in fork lift can have a significant effect on the bike’s handling. Framebuilders always design the frame geometry around a specific frame to provide a suitable set of directions, so buyers should have an understanding of both before they tackle the job themselves.

Road bikes have become more diverse in recent years, with specialized designs tailored for aerodynamics, comfort, mixed surfaces, and off-road riding. Also, the introduction of electronic shifting, disc brakes, and 1x transmissions with a variety of discrete attachments has resulted in very little overclocking or shifting. For example, a frame designed for rim brakes is not convertible to disc brakes (or vice versa); also, the ports needed to route internal wires for an electronic assembly are usually added to the frame with fittings for mechanical derailleurs.

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Separate cable guides are required for mechanical groups at various points on the frame, starting with the head (or down) tube.

How To Build A Bicycle Frame

Some frames are supplied with adjustable fittings so that wires and cables can be routed through the frame, which provides more freedom when selecting components for transport.

Each type of brake pad, like this center rim caliper, requires a custom fit, so only one type of brake can be fitted to each frame.

Early conversions of road disc bikes, like this Specialized Tarmac, featured post mounts for disc brake calipers.

Almost all road disc bikes now use Shimano’s flush mount design for disc brake pads.

Does Your Bike’s Frame Material Matter?

The amount of room between the frame stays (as well as the fork legs) severely limits the size of tires that can be used.

There are other considerations, such as wheel size and the amount of tire clearance that will be required. The number and size of chains and pulleys is also important. All will have an impact on the design and features of the frame, so there’s really no way to choose a frame, or order it without some thought about the components needed to complete the build.

Key features include the frame and head tube, fork steering, bottom bracket, and seat tube. For frames made by the factory, this is informative

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