Frame Building Links
edited by Damon Rinard

Several people have asked me if I know of other amateur frame builders on the net, or sites that would be of interest to frame builders. This page is the result!

New! Frame Building E-Mailing List. Go to http://www.phred.org/mailman/listinfo/framebuilders to subscribe. To see the collection of prior postings to the list, visit the Framebuilders Archives.

Amateur Frame Builders

I probably should start my list with myself, of course! You can see thumbnail photos of my first composite frame while it was under construction, or read the long version (with sources). I'm currently making my second composite frame.

Chris Root has been doing a little framebuilding. Getting information and sources for supplies can be difficult since it is a somewhat obscure thing. So if you're interested in getting started yourself, he's put some links at his web site so you don't have to do all kinds of searching. http://members.home.net/cjroot/framebuilding.html .

Stephanie Monfrey's Framebuilding Website at http://www.geocities.com/smonfrey/index.html is an excellent summary of jigs and fixtures, tooling, tubing and lugs, and helpful resources on line.

http://userpage.fu-berlin.de/~terli/c2-1.html is a german carbon fiber recumbent, the second of three that Özden has built. Lots of nice photos taken during construction!

From the Netherlands comes Langhors, a composite recumbent touring tandem. Quite unusual! http://www.music.demon.nl/langhors.htm.

Dimitris Katsanis has now completed his Bachelor of Engineering degree studies at the University of Plymouth, and continues with his work in the design and construction of highly sought-after composite bicycle frames for sprint racing. http://www.tech.plym.ac.uk/sme/bike.htm

Jim Gourgoutis's page at http://www.geocities.com/Yosemite/1063/framebuild.html is a writeup of his conversion of a rigid mountain bike to full suspension, along with an archive (unsorted) of old rec.bicycles.* and rec.crafts.metalworking discussions on brazing and frame building.

ftp://draco.acs.uci.edu/pub/rec.bicycles/frame.build is an old writeup on Ti Cycles framebuilding course written by Terry Zmrhal. It gives a good hands-on description of the processes other than brazing, and gives a good feel for the sort of work involved.

Josh Putnam built his own lugged steel touring bike and has put up an excellent site to help others do the same at http://members.xoom.com/josh_putnam/build.html.

Not strictly for amateurs, Tim Paterek's page is a resource for all custom frame builders: http://www.pacifier.com/~tpaterek/.

Testing and Theory

http://www.mcsi.net/frameman/test.htm is Cycles LaMour's table reproducing the results of VeloNew's tensile testing of several frame tubes.

rec.bicycles.tech FAQ 8.60 Shimmy or Speed Wobble

EFBe has fatigue tested twelve high-end racing frames made of carbon, aluminum, titanium and steel. Translated into English at EFBe/frame_fatigue_test.htm,or you can read the original German language version at http://www.efbe.de/.

Josh Putnam's primer on steering geometry is at http://members.xoom.com/josh_putnam/trail.html.

The CPSC publishes requirements and test methods for bicycle frames, forks, and other components. These standards are commonly assumed to be insufficient for high performance bikes, but they are still a good starting point if you want to see how your home made carbon frame stacks up. ;-) http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx/16cfr1512.html.

Tubing, lugs, drop outs

Columbus http://www.columbustubi.com/

Reynolds http://www.reynoldsusa.com/

Henry James lugs http://www.henryjames.com/

Courtney Custom Cycles has photos and weights of various dropouts. See http://www.cccycles.com/drop-out.htm.

Mark Hoskin reps for several world wide companies, and has available Tecnociclo parts (dropouts, shells and other fittings and Columbus tubing and fork materials -ELOS, Nemo, Genius...). No website, but people can always email him at FiRUSA@aol.com.

Sizing

Edward C. Zimmermann's sizing site is interesting because he uses many famous methods and compares the results. Competition Bicycle Size/Proportions Analysis is at http://www.bsn.com/cycling/ergobike.html.

Proper Bike Fit for Triathlon-Specific Bikes, according to Dan Empfield of slowtwitch.com, formerly of Quintana Roo: http://slowtwitch.com/mainheadings/techctr/bikefit.html.

How to Fit a Bicycle, by Peter Jon White is at http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/fitting.htm. Peter White is a custom frame builder. He covers crank length, saddle height, saddle angle, fore-aft saddle position, handlebar position, etc. without measuring body parts!

The Myth of "KOPS": An Alternative Method of Bike Fit, by Keith Bontrager. http://sheldonbrown.com/kops.html.

Sheldon Brown has several fitting articles on his Frame page: http://sheldonbrown.com/harart-frames.html

Paquettes Cyclery has what looks like the C.O.N.I. method. Three measurements are required: pubis bone to floor, shoulder to the wrist fold, sternum to the pubis bone. See http://www.paqcycle.webaxxs.net/techcenter/tech_center/frame_sizing.htm.

Sheldon Brown's article on saddle adjustment: http://sheldonbrown.com/saddles.html#adjustment.

Suppliers

Aircraft Spruce sells metals (like round and streamlined chromoly tubes) and composites (like carbon and epoxy). Catalog is very informative, too! http://www.aircraft-spruce.com/

Aerospace Composite Products sounds like some huge conglomerate, but is really a small, friendly dealer of composites for the radio controlled airplane folks. Got my vacuum pump here. http://www.deltronix.com/public/acp/acp-cat.htm.

Anvil Bike Works makes custom frames, and also sells jigs, a tubing bender and other tools for frame builders. http://www.anvilbikes.com/.

Bike Machinery, like Marchetti, makes tooling for large scale production.

Bringheli: Tools & Jigs, B.B. Taps, Fork Brazing Jig, Fork and Frame Alignment Table, Dedacciai Tubing sets, Walter Investment Castings, Drop Outs, Braze-ons, Frame repairs, and Paint jobs. http://www.bringheli.com/index.html.

Gaerlan Custom Cycles, geared for the travelling, commuting, touring & recumbent cyclists plus amateur frame builders at http://members.aol.com/buildhpv/bike.html.

Mark Hoskin reps for several world wide companies, and has available Tecnociclo parts (dropouts, shells and other fittings and Columbus tubing and fork materials -ELOS, Nemo, Genius...). No website, but people can always email him at FiRUSA@aol.com.

Nova Cycle Supply (Questions - 916-624-6549, Orders - 800-274-6682) sells tubing dropouts, bb shells, fork parts, etc. in steel aluminum and titanium. There is a minimum order or they charge you an extra fee.

Henry James lugs, crowns, tubing, jigs.

Marchetti is currently the largest producer of bicycle and motorcycle production machinery worldwide. Good pictures of jigs and other tools. http://www.Marchettispa.it/.

Prairie Designs / HPV Supply, for owner-built and production recumbents: http://www.HPVSupply.com/.

Software

The Bicycle Forest has a collection of free java based frame design tools that should be useful for anyone wanting to build a single or tandem bike.

Tubemiter.exe (or http://www.ihpva.org/people/tstrike/tubemiter.exe) by Giles Puckett. Quickly plots a filing guide. Tubemiter.exe runs on Windows 95 and 98 (and probably 3.1 as well). Tubemiter.exe is small enough to run on a floppy disk. Here's how simple it is to use:

Launch tubemiter.exe, then choose Settings from the File menu. This brings up the Tube miter settings dialogue box shown below.

Type the dimensions of your tubes into the four fields:

  • Mitered tube diameter
  • Wall thickness
  • Mating tube diameter
  • Angle

...then click on OK. Note: be sure to use a period (.) as a decimal, not a comma (,).

The result is a plot of the miter line as shown to the right. It is "unwrapped" to be printed on flat paper

The pointed line represents the theoretical miter line (as if the wall thickness were zero). The curved line represents the actual miter line for the given wall thickness. File to the curved line.

To print, choose Print from the File menu . This brings up the familiar Windows Print dialogue box. Click on OK, cut on the curve, tape it onto the tube and you're ready to start filing! It really is that easy.

Here is the text file Giles wrote to go along with Tubemiter.exe:

Tubemiter.exe

A tube mitering program for Windows to print on any printer. The other one is a Hypercard application for Macintosh, and once I dug up a Mac and a PostScript printer, it was very useful. However, it doesn't take wall thickness into account, which is important when doing small angles or equal sized tubes. My program also deals in metric units.

File/Settings... puts up a dialog box. You input:

* Diameter (in mm) of tube being mitered
* The wall thickness of this tube
* The second tube diameter (the one it abuts up to)
* The included angle in degrees.

It paints the picture on the window, and File/Print... prints it on any connected printer.

There are two curves - the dotted one is the template you would cut if the wall thickness were zero (similar to the HyperCard program's output) and the solid curve is the template corresponding to the requested wall thickness.

If the mitered tube diameter is greater than the second diameter, then the second tube passes through two holes in the mitered tube. This situation is handled by continuing the template on the other side. Small gaps may appear in the curves; this is a known "feature" of the way the program works.

Giles Puckett
giles@research.canon.com.au


Thanks to Josh Putnam for his help in putting this page together.

Home back to Damon Rinard's Bicycle Tech Page

Damon Rinard drinard@yahoo.com

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