Some people enjoy bike riding so much that they have developed a passion for collecting and purchasing rare and new bicycles. For the avid collector, the investment of buying a new bike each year can cost quite a bit. If you are looking for a custom design, you can create your own bike frame at a lower expense than a new model. Use the correct equipment to design and build your own bike frame that is light but strong.
Items you will need
- 12-by-12-inch box
- Paint (primer and clear coat)
- Sand blaster
- Hand held grinder
- 6160 steel tubing
- Welding equipment
Study the construction of other bike frames. Pay attention to how their designs compare and differ. Conduct research and find out how certain styles of frames affect a bicycle's ability to maneuver and build speed.
Find a bike frame in which you want to base your own design. Take measurements off this bike. It can be a bike from a friend or broken one you find. Lay the bike frame down onto a 12-by-12-inch flattened box. Use a marker to trace around all the steel tubes that make up the frame.
Purchase and cut the length of steel tubing you need to put the bike frame together. Lay all of the steel tubing across your cardboard guide to ensure you have the proper measurements. Replace steel tubing that doesn't fit properly.
Weld the head tune and the seat tube together. Weld each part of the bike frame together in a clockwise pattern. Take your time and be sure that each welded tube is solid.
Check the alignment of the bike frame by standing it up in front of you. If any of the parts seem uneven, cut the tubes and weld them together again.
Grind each welding point until the surface is smooth. Sandblast the frame. Paint one coat of primer. Allow it to dry overnight. Paint three coats of a paint color of your choice, allowing each coat to dry before the next application. Apply a clear coat and let the bike frame dry for at least 48 hours.
Tips & Warnings
- Some experienced welders build a "jig" to hold all the tubes of the bike frame together while they ensure that each angle is welded together firmly.
- Use welding equipment in a well-ventilated area and take the proper safety precautions. Hire a professional welder to assist you if needed.
- Little Fish Bicycles: Bicycle Frame Building For the Rest of Us
- Sheldon Brown: How I Made a Bike in My Garage
- "Lugged Bicycle Frame Construction"; Marc-Andre R. Chimonas; 2009
- Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images