A couple of members have pointed out that my report is missing some key det ails regarding the actual physical building process that might have made my report more enjoyable/useful. To be honest, I was having some difficulty as to which direction to go wit h the report. I just wasn't sure if getting into the technical details of the build process would be a snooze for the average CR reader, so I concent rated on details that I thought more members would have an interest in ( ba sic design, brief class description, materials, etc.)... If there is any interest, perhaps I'll write a "part II" and address some m ore details of the actual construction process. And if anybody wants a report on Ashland, Oregon (and the many many Vanagon driving hippies who inhabit it) and my two week stay at the "Cycle Hostel" (a beer and pizza fueled trip down memory lane...back to my first year in a college dorm), well that will have to be told over...pizza and beer at Ci rque.
Matthew Bowne Brooklyn, New York
> From: email@example.com
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Date: Tue, 20 May 2008 21:57:22 -0400
> Subject: [CR]My First Frameset : A UBI report
> Brothers and Sisters of The Wheel:
> As I might have mentioned in a previous post or two, I recently attended
> two week chromoly brazing class at the United Bicycle Institute in Ashlan
> I was asked by a couple of CR Listmembers to "report back to headquarters
> with a full report. Below is a description of my experience at UBI...whe
> I built myself a lugged steel bicycle.
> First off, I feel that I ought to strongly recommend that anyone with an
> terest in learning about the framebuilding process look into UBI. The re
> on that I was drawn to UBI over other framebuilding programs was that it
> emed to me that it would help someone looking to "get in at the ground fl
> r", so to speak; meaning that they would skim over/touch on a wide array
> basics across the spectrum of the framebuilding experience. My experien
> there was just that. And more.
> The two instructors for my session, Ron Sutphin and Gary Mathis, were top
> otch...and there were fewer students in the class than I expected (8 per
> ssion), so the instructor-student ratio worked out very well. Students ca
> from a variety of backgrounds; some hoping to start a framebuilding busi
> ss, some hoping to build as hobbyists and some on vacation who spend a co
> le of weeks a year learning to do something that brings them closer to th
> craft which creates something they love and appreciate.
> My original plan was to build a late 70's (my birth year, 1978 to be exac
> style American tourer, with a design based on the work of the American M
> ters of the era. I thought that given my recent 30th birthday, It'd be f
> to build a bike in the style popular at that moment and use framebuildin
> parts and components from the era too. I had a VERY clear picture in my
> ad of the bike I wanted to build. Loaded with braze-ons for racks, fende
> , cables, etc. My thought was that I'd benefit more from a complicated b
> e (because I'd have to practice all of my braze-ons and ask a ton of ques
> ons) than I would from a basic track bike.
> I was supposed to attend UBI at the end of the summer, but got an email a
> ouple of weeks before I left saying "Can you be in Ashland in two weeks?
> spot in class just opened up and you are on the waiting list."
> I spent the following two weeks frantically trying to get my ducks in a r
> . Airfare, lodging, time off work, cash in hand, etc.
> But more importantly, trying to QUICKLY get my hands on the parts I neede
> for my bike.
> CR folks were VERY helpful and generous with my expedited preparation. S
> e of you might recall a thread I started called "1978", in which I asked
> e List for building tips...and then parts to help me make the vision I ha
> a reality.
> UBI does include all tubing/lugs/etc. for the frame you will build in cla
> in your tuition cost, but I wanted to make this first one special and ro
> ded up my own bits (with your help): a NOS Reynolds 531 tubeset, NOS Cine
> i CS lugset, NOS Campagnolo long 1010 eyeleted dropouts, NOS Cinelli fork
> rown, NOS Cinelli braze-on cable guides and cable stops, and some Campagn
> o "over the top" braze on cable guides for the bottom bracket shell.
> I was just thrilled that I was going to get to build something that reall
> embodied a lot of what The List means to me; a sharing of stories, knowle
> e, comraderie, advice, parts, etc.
> The cable guides, for instance I got from a member who himself was a buil
> r for a larger bicycle manufacturer. They had actually been brazed onto
> frame in roughly 1980, only to have been removed just before paint when t
> manufacturer decided to switch all of the new frames over to the much co
> er/newer style of routing derailleur cables under the BB. So even the ca
> e guides had a story to tell...How cool is that?
> As The Listmeister himself put it, I was assembling a pile of bits with q
> te a bit of "mojo".
> Beginning on the very first day, the sessions were a mix of in-class inst
> ction and "hands on", when we actually worked on our own framesets. The
> structors built a frame with class, so we could follow the sequence and l
> rn through demonstration first, practice second.
> After our first day of class, when we worked on practice lug preparation
> d our first brazes, I had my first "oh sh*t" moment. It was not during o
> after my first practice headlug assemblies, which we eventually sawed in
> lf to evaluate the quality of our lugs...It was when I compared the lugs
> brought with me to the array of investment cast lugs available at the sch
> Even the modern investment cast lugs needed a bit of pre-braze file work
> ensure a proper fit...But by comparison, my Cinelli lugset looked like i
> came from the bottom of the ocean or an archaeological dig or something.
> became concerned that the old pressed lugs I had would need LOADS more p
> p time than class would afford...and I would end up hindered by trying to
> se them, falling behind the schedule needed to keep up and finish a frame
> nd fork in 2 weeks. I brought the lugs into the instructors on the 2nd
> y and they agreed..."Very Cool...Save 'em for bike number two, or you'll
> filing them while the rest of class is brazing away, leaving you no time
> or the braze-ons you want, etc."
> I was a big disappointed baby for a few hours, as I had dreamt of this pe
> ect touring bike...But the reality is that the first bike is never perfec
> and I needed to readjust my thinking in order to maximize my class exper
> nce. Bike number two will be better than bike number one, and I can make
> t at a pace I am comfortable with.
> The "Matthew Bowne Thirtieth Anniversary Commemorative Frameset" project
> uld have to be on hold. Quite a bummer, but only a temporary set-back.
> the bright side, bike number two is already underway!
> [This explains why my luggage was full of framebuilding parts on the way
> CK from Oregon, leading to a T.S.A. inspection and the ultimate loss of m
> beloved Campagnolo belt buckle mentioned yesterday.]
> So what now? Back to the old drawing board, so to speak. Which worked ou
> quite perfectly, because our next day in class was, in fact, spent at an
> tual drawing board. After covering bike design, fit and tube selection w
> began work designing our frames.
> Now, part of why I wanted to build a touring bike was that I want a touri
> bike in the stable...I already have a track and road machine. It was wh
> e I was digging through bins of lugs and dropouts that it dawned on me: I
> ave a growing obsession with British "all-rounder" bikes of the mid-centu
> . The bikes that blue-collar racers would have because they could only a
> ord one bike. The bikes that spent time with a freewheel, brakes and fen
> rs for training...only to be ridden to a velodrome where everything was t
> en off, a spare fixed wheelset fitted, the bike raced, reconfigured as a
> oad bike and then ridden home. Perhaps that same frame was ridden in a T
> e Trial. Or perhaps a derailleur hanger was put on and it was taken out
> or a country tour or long distance ride. One bike. Purpose built...but
> LTI purpose built. As one whose own bicycle collection is hindered by th
> spacial constraints of a Brooklyn 4th floor walk-up apartment and the wag
> of a artist's assistant, I gotta love that.
> No longer thinking of this as the precious and perfect dream machine, I d
> ided to build a frame that I could ride in as many different ways as poss
> le. I could avoid getting trapped in minutia, concentrate on the basics
> d save the bells and whistles for a time when I could build a machine at
> leisure and with plenty of practice under my belt.
> I decided that I ought to take advantage of the parts UBI had available,
> t her home, get a coat of paint on her, build her up with parts on hand a
> get it on the road.
> So I'm calling my first frameset an "all-rounder".
> It's built with a mix of Columbus and Deddacai tubing, Henry James lugs a
> an Everest fork crown and bottom bracket shell. On the rear, I used Par
> on track ends with a derailleur hanger. The fork got eyeleted Gipiemme d
> pouts. I added fender eyelets to the rear and drilled for both front and
> ear brakes.
> It's pretty much built for a mannequin: 56cm square, with an average BB d
> p and chainstay length. The angles are also the tried and true angles of
> he average racing roadie: 73 degrees parallel.
> While the plan is to build it up as a fendered fixed-gear at first, I wan
> d the flexibility to ride it as a 10 speed, so the rear is spaced at the
> andard 120mm. I might eventually put a wheel with a 5-speed freewheel on
> ack and build up a 70's style TT bike. Because I'll use a clamp-on shift
> , I brazed a small triangle (from a lug point) on the underside of the do
> tube, to keep the shifter from sliding down. My '74 Raleigh Internationa
> had that feature and I always liked it.
> I have a pile of old Campy and chrome Cinelli bits to use, but will likel
> have a couple of WTB posts in the near future to bring it closer to the r
> d. Completed pics will surely be posted to The List as soon as possible.
> For now, LOTS of finish filing and final alignment checks...And hopefully
> o more "oh sh*t" moments.
> Thanks again to all of you for your inspiration, help and support. You c
> count on frame number two in the near future. And then number three, num
> r four and so forth...
> Matthew Bowne
> Looking for time, space and money in
> Brooklyn, New York