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any book about road bicycle frames?

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any book about road bicycle frames?

Old 10-08-23, 11:44 AM
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any book about road bicycle frames?

looking for a book about 90s road bicycle frames, geometry, how to build, etc.
*** I am focused only on steel frame ***
I don't want to build anything, but I want to clear a lot of doubts
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Old 10-08-23, 12:50 PM
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There are quite a few books covering designing and making bicycle frames (and the "how to make are generally about steel construction too). But by the 1990s the industry was well along the moving away from steel so little has been published/printed as a book since. But there's a huge volume to be found on the various interweb forums for your researching.

In no specific order or importance-
The Proteus Manual
Designing and Building Your Own Frameset A Talbot
The Paterek manual T Paterek
Creative Bicycle Design and Framebuilding E Foster
The CONI manual

These are the ones that I think of right away but there are many others too. I would not place much focus on the 1990s as anything special WRT the usual geometries used. By then the range of dimensions and angles were pretty narrowed down, although still affected by production cost controls (like using the same fork rake or BB drop across a range of frame sizes) at the ends of the frame size range. This is one reason why discussions about what geometry equates with what ride/handling "feel" can be so loose, incomplete/inadequate and best done with the same rider and frame size/fit on all the different bikes in play. What many don't either understand or place real value on is that for the same bike two different riders can often come away with two different opinions of the bike's ride. The rider's CG, pedaling style and technique contribute a lot of what makes a bike feel this or that way. Andy
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Old 10-08-23, 12:59 PM
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Another terrific book, published in the late '70's and available for under $10 used from several sources according to a quick search: The Custom Bicycle. There's some generic intro-to-bike-fitting information, but what's important is that the authors interviewed frame designers and builders in the U.S., Great Britain, France, and Italy, coming away with valuable insights that would be impossible to obtain today, most of those interviewed having long since retired or died.

Utterly fascinating. My copy fell apart years ago from obsessive rereading.
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Old 10-08-23, 01:02 PM
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I had thought that at one time there had been talk about establishing a "sticky" for framebuilding publications. Andy
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Old 10-08-23, 02:27 PM
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We are really reluctant to sticky anything. Stickies never get read and push active threads down the page.

It's not like there are lots of books about framebuilding, and even fewer that are really worth reading. Many would say there are none worth reading. I think Paterek ended up building a number of bikes, but if you put the collective experience of authors of framebuilding books together, it's pretty pitiful. It's common to write a book while building one of your first few frames.
The C.O.N.I. book is useful, but it's not really about framebuilding. It's about bivalent hubs.

It's grating that Cremona's book is still popular. He even has a book about forks. Scary.
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Old 10-09-23, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by DiTBho
looking for a book about 90s road bicycle frames, geometry, how to build, etc.
*** I am focused only on steel frame ***
I don't want to build anything, but I want to clear a lot of doubts
curious are you looking into a custom frame or learning for the fun of it ?
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Old 10-12-23, 04:27 AM
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Originally Posted by squirtdad
curious are you looking into a custom frame or learning for the fun of it ?
I don't want to build a custom frame, I would like to better understand what I observe in existing frames, and how things are made.
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Old 10-12-23, 09:06 AM
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There are a number of really informative books on bicycle frame geometries, some of the more radical stuff and
the building process.

I would recommend these somewhat rare guides:
Sharpe's Treatise on Bicycles and Tricycles (originally published in the l890's) The basic principles hold today.
The CONI(Olympic training manual) (1972) When the philosophy and physiology merge.
Designing and building Your own frameset - Talbot Good overall guide and advice


Speaking of radical - check out the book by Chris Boardman.

Not real rare:
Lugged Frame Construction - Chimonas

And, as written earlier:
The Proteus Manual - more on the builder side Proteus bicycle company sold builders supplies
Custom Bicycle

rusty

Last edited by 100bikes; 10-12-23 at 10:43 AM.
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Old 10-12-23, 10:36 AM
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Tbh, if you want to learn about building frames, Paul Brodie's videos on youtube are awesome. The difference between what he does and building any other steel frame is really not worth worrying about. I feel like all the available books are just going to give you weird ideas about it. Framebuilding is a bit of a moving target. Frame geometry has changed over the years as builders have explored different designs. All the available books were written back in the dark ages of frame geometry. Or their authors just weren't curious about it.

I used to have talbot's book until someone stole it. I didn't like it, but it was all we had back in the '70s other than the Proteus manual. At least "Paul Proteus" had built frames. It's free, but a bit light on content. The best I can say about Talbot's book is that it encouraged me to start building frames, because if someone who didn't know what they were talking about could build a frame, then I could as well.

Chimonas is about as close to being actively dangerous as you can get and still sell books on amazon. Fortunately he deleted his youtube video about building frames, "should be good enough." The reason his book sells is because he says you can build a frame with MAPP, which is not good advice at all.

Too bad Doug Fattic or some other experienced educator hasn't written a book. I'm not sure now is a great time for one, especially if it doesn't offer a batch of shortcuts for people that want to half-*** a frame together.
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Old 10-12-23, 01:05 PM
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I am not a framebuilder but, like yourself, I am interested in the theories and the processes. That's why I come regularly to this forum. There are a number of very experienced framebuilders here who are very generous with their knowledge. If you have specific, succinct questions ask them here. You can also learn a lot by looking through past threads on this forum.
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Old 10-12-23, 05:43 PM
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Obrentharris is good on his approach to learning frame design. Before I designed and built my first frame I spent several years working in a bike shop and gained a ton of knowledge from the seat of my pants and from the Miyata sales rep who was into frame design and construction. I also read a whole bunch of magazine articles on frame design, tubing, etc. Asking questions on this forum should be part of your education.
For example ask questions about chain stay length, top tube length, BB drop, wheelbase, fork offset, trail, tubing diameters and shapes, etc. etc. etc. The more you read about bike design the more questions you will be able to ask.
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Old 10-12-23, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen
Too bad Doug Fattic or some other experienced educator hasn't written a book. I'm not sure now is a great time for one, especially if it doesn't offer a batch of shortcuts for people that want to half-*** a frame together.
Well actually I have written it - it is the 150+ page manual for my frame building classes. I've spent hundreds (probably more) hours editing and refining it over many years. It is a constant work in progress. It wouldn't take much more effort to turn it into a printed book or books for the general public. I especially concentrated on brazing and filing techniques. There is information there I haven't found in other places. I present a huge amount of material in one of my 3 week classes. I know that most students can't retain a lot of it after they leave and my manual (along with their notes and pics and videos) will help them remember what was presented so they will be able to make more

However the problem of a book is it's target market. To reach the broadest number of people, the book's approach would probably need to be directed towards those that want to invest as little as possible in tooling and equipment. My manual for example, has instructions on how to use my Ukrainian laser cut and etched fixture to create the bicycle design (instead of doing a full scale drawing because it replaces a full scale drawing). While its price of $1600 is very reasonable, it is going to be beyond the cost of using paragon tubing blocks over a full scale drawing.

One alternative is to print several booklets instead of one big book. For example one on brazing and another on filing and perhaps a starter that explains the basic steps and various approaches for each of those steps. That was a suggestion from David Bohm. We'll see, it might be a race getting something printed before I die.
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Old 10-13-23, 12:07 PM
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The All Road Bike Revolution includes a lot of good information thatís biased to low trail bikes favored by the author. I still think itís worth a read.
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