I'm booked in for a 7 day frame building course in March @ http://www.thebicycleacademy.org/ and cant wait to get started. Just looking to build a few frames on the side to begin with, see how I go. I'll be speaking to them soon about what I want to build for my first frame, but was wandering if anyone has any tips from their own personal experience?
I have a background in mechanical engineering, so not a complete newbie in a workshop and have done a bit of mig welding (although both were some years ago now). Besides when I was a kid, Ive been cycling for about 6 years now, doing 100+ miles per week on the commute, plus a few long rides per year for charity stuff and the Dunwich Dynamo. Never raced competitively.
I own 2 bikes, 1 fillet brazed steel Condor Potenza single speed for the commute and a carbon lugged Verenti Rhigos for longer runs. Love both bikes and road cycling in general.
Ive been reading lots about different frame builders, tubing and construction methods and as my course gets closer, I really need to nail down what I want to build. Im interested in fillet brazing to start with and I think I either want to build a light tourer, with braze on's for mud guards etc, or a classic lightweight ready for a modern groupset. I've only come to this after considering the bikes I already own, but I'd also like to build something that will be a useful experience when it comes to building frames for others in the future. Any tips on this?
Also, materials. The course cost is plus materials so I'm free to build what I want, but need to buy it. Is reynolds 531 a good place to start? relatively easy to work with? I don't want to break the bank on tubing for my first frame, can anyone recommend something suited to the beginner frame builder?
Thanks in advance,