Sie sind auf Seite 1von 42

Let's Make ...

Featured Login | Sign Up

Classes Contests Community Teachers

advertisement

BUILD A BICYCLE FRAME


Outside > Bikes by Tanner W Follow

222,964 715 40

Posted Jan. 11, 2014 |

Create PDF in your applications with the Pdfcrowd HTML to PDF API PDFCROWD
advertisement

advertisement

There are a growing number of materials and methods used to


build bicycle frames. This instructable is specifically about
building steel bicycles frames. MIG, TIG, Lugged and Fillet
Brazing are all common methods for joining steel bicycle
tubing. The steps leading up to the actual joining of the tubing
are very similar for these methods so that is what I will be
covering in this instructable. It would be very difficult and
beyond my abilities as a builder to try and describe how to

Create PDF in your applications with the Pdfcrowd HTML to PDF API PDFCROWD
effectively weld or braze. I recommend you learn to weld or
braze from someone face to face and then practice (a lot). I
personally learned to build bicycles through the United Bicycle
Institute frame building class. Most of the information I give in
this instructable I learned through the class and the literature
they provided. They offer a really great way to learn frame
building, I highly recommend you take one of their classes.

Here are some common acronyms I will likely use in this


instructable:

HT - Head Tube
ST - Seat Tube
TT - Top Tube
DT - Down Tube
BB - Bottom Bracket
CS - Chain Stay
SS - Seat Stay

MTB - Mountain Bike

Create PDF in your applications with the Pdfcrowd HTML to PDF API PDFCROWD
 Add Tip V Ask Question | Comment Download

Step 1: Design

The first step in building a frame is to design the frame you


intend to build. There are lots of different opinions, techniques
and algorithms to sizing a bike frame to a specific rider. I will
Create PDF in your applications with the Pdfcrowd HTML to PDF API PDFCROWD
not go in to detail about bike fit.
There are many ways to draw your frame. You can use any old
CAD software, bike specific CAD or a drafting table. Doing it on
a drafting table is convenient because you get a full scale 2-D
model of the frame before you build it. You can use this model
to lay actual tubing down on to see how things are shaping up.
However you decide to do it, you want an accurate drawing of
your bike frame. You will be using this drawing to take
dimensions and angles from so make sure it is accurate!

I will be breaking most of the parameters used in frame design


in to two categories fit and feel.
The fit parameters are determined based on the body of the
individual the frame will be for. The feel parameters influence
how the bike will feel or perform. If you want to learn more than
I discuss about how these effect the feel of a bike take the UBI
class or do some research.

Fit parameters (basically, what size bike are you building):


ST length (measured center of BB to where the center line of
the TT intersects the centerline of the ST)

Create PDF in your applications with the Pdfcrowd HTML to PDF API PDFCROWD
TT Length (measured from the ST TT centerlines intersection
to the TT HT centerlines intersection)

Feel parameters (affects the comfort vs. efficiency of the bike):


BB drop (how far the center of the BB is below the axle line);
influences frame stiffness, less drop = stiffer but less
comfortable.
ST angle (measured clockwise from horizontal); affects weight
distribution, shallow angle = more comfort but less efficiency.
HT angle (measured clockwise from horizontal); influences
steering quickness and shock absorption, steeper angle =
faster handling at the cost of shock absorption
CS length; also affects shock absorption as well as tire/fender
clearance, longer stays means more shock absorption and
more clearance for bigger tires at the cost of efficiency.
Rear axle over lock dimension (how wide the rear axle is going
to be)

The best way for someone new to frame building to determine


these fit and feel parameters (unless you have a fit bike at your
disposal) is to take measurements of the bike you ride that fits

Create PDF in your applications with the Pdfcrowd HTML to PDF API PDFCROWD
you the best. Because you have ridden it you know what feels
good about it and what you may want to change, starting with
your current bikes geometry is a good way to go.
Another option is to look up different bike geometries online.
Most bicycle frame manufacturers give frame dimensions on
their website.

Other parameters important to your drawing/design


Wheel size; What size wheels are you going to use? (the
important quantity is the bead seat diameter (BSD) or the
diameter of the bead of the tire)
Common BSDs:
26” (MTB) 559mm
700c (road) 622mm
27” (old road) 630mm
29” (29er) 622mm
Tire Profile (this is the diameter of the tire profile i.e. the
distance the tire extends beyond the BSD)
This quantity is usually given the by the tire manufacturer. For
example 700 x 23 tires have a tire profile of 23mm.
Front tire clearance (how much room the front tire will have,

Create PDF in your applications with the Pdfcrowd HTML to PDF API PDFCROWD
bead seat to the bottom of fork crown)
Lower headset stack (how much room do you need for the
lower headset bearings default dimension is 13mm)
Fork height (I am not going in to how to build a fork so you will
get this number from the mfg of the fork you are going to be
using. It is the distance from the center of the front axle to the
base of the crown race seat (also called “axle-to-crown”).

Now time to pick your tubing dimensions:


Bicycle tubing can be bought from a variety of distributers. I
personally have bought and built with True Temper tubing from
Henry James. A great way to go for your first frame is to buy a
kit that includes all the tubing for a frame. UBI sells Kasai
tubing kits here (click the steel tubing tab). The numbers refer
to the alloy type. Oversize and Standard refer to common
tubing diameters.

Standard Road/Track Frame Oversized Road


Frame

Create PDF in your applications with the Pdfcrowd HTML to PDF API PDFCROWD
TT 25.4 mm 28.6 mm
DT 28.6 mm 31.8 mm
ST 28.6 mm (27.2mm seat post) 28.6 mm (27.2mm seat post)

Head tube diameter is determined by the size of steerer you


want. 1" threaded steerers are the older standard, 1 1/8"
threadless steerers are the more common modern standard.
The steerer you choose influences the internal diameter of the
head tube but the outer diameter is determined by the wall
thickness of the head tube. They make thin walled head tubes
for bikes being built with the added support of lugs thicker ones
for luggless bikes.

It is worth noting at this point there are many options for BB


shells. If you know all about bottom brackets, great, buy the
shell you need. If you don't know much about bottom brackets
get the most common 68mm bb shell.

Most bike tubing is butted. The wall thickness varies across the
tube. The end of each tube has a thicker wall (stronger joints)
while the center is thin (lightweight). For your first build I

Create PDF in your applications with the Pdfcrowd HTML to PDF API PDFCROWD
recommend you stick with thicker tubing like 1/.7/1 for example
which has 1 mm thick butts and a .7mm thick center. (.9/.6/.9 is
also a good option)
Tubing comes in different lengths and each piece can have
different length butts. All this information is given by distributors
and is important when selecting cutting your tubing. You want to
make sure you don’t cut the butt off of one end of the tubing...

After you have selected what diameter tubing you will be using
and have come up with all the necessary dimensions it is time
to draw your frame. Compile the necessary parameters in to an
easy to use list. This example is from the UBI frame building
handbook given to me in the class.
Road bike:
Rim BSD: 622mm
Tire profile: 25mm
Tire diameter (BSD + 2 X Tire profile) 672mm
HT: 73°
ST: 73°
BB Drop: 75mm
Fork Length: 370mm

Create PDF in your applications with the Pdfcrowd HTML to PDF API PDFCROWD
Chain stay length: 410mm
ST length: ?
TT Length: ?
Fork dimensions

Take your time and get it right. Draw a side profile and a top
down view of the chain stays.
Precision is important.
 Add Tip V Ask Question | Comment Download

Step 2: Tube Mitering

Create PDF in your applications with the Pdfcrowd HTML to PDF API PDFCROWD
Create PDF in your applications with the Pdfcrowd HTML to PDF API PDFCROWD
F
Show All 19 Items

Once you have a accurate drawing of the bike you intend to


build, it is time to start cutting your tubing. Well, first you need
to order it. Get tubing based on the dimensions you get from
your drawing. Make sure there will be plenty of butt length for
each joint.

Frame builders call notching tubes to fit tightly together


mitering. Tube mitering can be done a variety of ways. The
cheap and tedious method is with tin snips and hand files. The
expensive but somewhat simpler method is with a milling
machine. Regardless of how you do it, the goal is for your
tubing to fit together snugly at all the joints. It need to fit snugly
with the tubing at all the right angles based on your design.
Having a bicycle frame building jig is really helpful for this step.
Create PDF in your applications with the Pdfcrowd HTML to PDF API PDFCROWD
(See my instructable on how to build one here.) Jigs are helpful
because they hold all the tubing at the right angles, you can
miter a tube and throw it in the jig to test the fit. If it needs work
you can pull it out, file it a bit and repeat.

When mitering a tube you need a series of miter dimensions


from your drawing. The first miter I do is the ST BB shell miter.
To do this with a mill you secure the ST in the mill vise (using v-
blocks), install a hole saw that is the diameter of your BB shell
(probably 1.5") in to the mill chuck, make a 90° cut off the end
of the ST (make sure it is the right end, most STs are externally
butted on the end that seat post is meant to slide in to). (Before
you make the cut make sure you are perfectly center on the
tube) This will produce a notch that should fit your BB shell
perfectly. Throw the BB shell and the ST in to your jig. Throw
the head tube in there too. The next miter I do is the TT ST
miter. Following the same idea as the BB miter, I clamp the TT
in the mill vise. Install the appropriate hole saw (the hole saw
diameter should match the diameter of the tube you will be
joining to). In my case the ST diameter is 28.6mm (1 1/8") so I
installed a 1 1/8" hole saw. If you are building a bike with a

Create PDF in your applications with the Pdfcrowd HTML to PDF API PDFCROWD
horizontal TT and a 73° ST then the hole saw needs to pass
through the end of the TT at 73° (you can measure this angle
directly from your precise drawing). After you make this miter
things get a little trickier. We now have to miter the other end of
the TT to fit the head tube. It is really important that this miter
be in exactly the same plane as the first TT miter. Take your
time setting up the mill to ensure that this second miter is in
plane with the first. We now not only need a miter angle but
also a distance. Use your drawing to measure how far away the
inside edge of the next miter needs to be from the inside edge
of the first miter. Get the miter angle from your drawing as well.
Make your miter. Use the same process for the DT. The part
that gets complicated is the ST, DT, BB joint. The DT needs to
be mitered three times. Once for the HT joint but Twice on the
other end. Once at 90° for the BB notch but a little bit needs to
be removed for the ST to fit. See my pictures.

The chain stays and seat stays will get mitered later. For now
just focus on the front triangle.
Once you get the ST, TT, DT mitered and fit up nicely in the jig

Create PDF in your applications with the Pdfcrowd HTML to PDF API PDFCROWD
lets switch our attention to the chain stays.

 Add Tip V Ask Question | Comment Download

Step 3: Chain Stays

Create PDF in your applications with the Pdfcrowd HTML to PDF API PDFCROWD
Create PDF in your applications with the Pdfcrowd HTML to PDF API PDFCROWD
F
Show All 17 Items

The first thing to do to the Chains stays is install the dropouts.


Socket style dropouts simply slip over the ends of the stays
while tab style dropouts require a little more work. I will go
through installing tab style dropouts.
You need to make the tab on the dropout fit snugly inside the
CS. To do this, measure the inside diameter of the CS and
modify the dropout to fit. I made 6mm tabs of the CS internal
diameter on my dropouts and 6mm deep slots the width of my
dropouts in my CSs. The slots need to be angled slightly. This
angle can come from you drawing. The two inner dropout faces
will be parallel and a certain distance apart (likely 130mm as
this is the standard for rear hub spacing). The CSs angle
inward from the dropouts to the BB shell. Once you have the
stays slotted and the dropouts tabbed it is time to braze them
Create PDF in your applications with the Pdfcrowd HTML to PDF API PDFCROWD
in. To make sure everything is aligned and accurate, it is best to
use a fixture to hold the stays and dropouts while you braze.
You really just need to make sure the angles are correct. I
made a quick fixture that holds the stays the right distance
apart where they will meet the BB. You want the chains stays to
be at least 5mm inset from each side of the BB shell to allow
room for your weld or fillet. The dropouts are held securely by a
dummy axle from the UBI store. With the dropouts held parallel
at the correct distance apart and the chain stays held the right
distance part where they will meet the BB shell, you braze the
dropouts in to the stays.
Once your stays look good, set them aside and get back to the
front triangle.

 Add Tip V Ask Question | Comment Download

Step 4: Weld/Braze the Front Triangle


Create PDF in your applications with the Pdfcrowd HTML to PDF API PDFCROWD
Create PDF in your applications with the Pdfcrowd HTML to PDF API PDFCROWD
F
Show All 13 Items

Now it is time to start making things look like a bike.


The first major joint to braze is the BB ST joint. Make the ST is

Create PDF in your applications with the Pdfcrowd HTML to PDF API PDFCROWD
lined up in the center of the BB shell and perpendicular to it
(use a jig). Tack the fore and aft tips of the joint together in the
jig. You will make all your tacks in the fore aft plane to prevent
any alignment issues.
After the BB is tacked to the ST you can pull it out of the jig and
fully attache them. Braze or weld the entire joint. If you are fillet
brazing, keep the fillet small so there is room for the DT.
Once that joint is done you can put it back in the jig and do a
dry fit with the rest of the tubing. Use a marker to trace each
joint. This is so you can drill vent holes. Vent holes are
important for cleaning flux out of the tubing and so that
moisture can drain from the bicycle frame. Just drill a small hole
inside your trace lines.
Once everything looks good you can tack all the joints together.
Remember to keep your tacks in the plane of the frame. Tack
each joint sequentially, obtuse angles first and acute angles
second.
Once all joints are tacked you can remove the front triangle
from the jig and get ready to fully braze (or weld) the joints. I do
this in a bike repair stand as it is easy to rotate and move the
frame as you work.

Create PDF in your applications with the Pdfcrowd HTML to PDF API PDFCROWD
 Add Tip V Ask Question | Comment Download

Step 5: Miter and Attach the Chain Stays

Create PDF in your applications with the Pdfcrowd HTML to PDF API PDFCROWD
Using a mitering jig or careful alignment to miter the chain
stays. Doing them both at one time as if they will mount to the
bike is the easiest. You could miter each individually using
angle and length information form your drawings. Make are
they miters are perpendicular to the faces of the dropouts.
Before you mount the chain stays tab the other part of the
dropouts for the seat stays. Follow the same procedure as
before.
Put the front triangle back in the jig and mount the chains stays
in the jig. Tack them like you did the other joints and pull the
frame out of the jig for the complete weld/baze.
Now it is really starting to look like a bike frame.

 Add Tip V Ask Question | Comment Download

Create PDF in your applications with the Pdfcrowd HTML to PDF API PDFCROWD
Step 6: Attach the Seat Stays

Create PDF in your applications with the Pdfcrowd HTML to PDF API PDFCROWD
F
Show All 11 Items

Slot the seat stays to fit the dropouts. Use the jig or your
drawings to make sure these angles are correct.
There is room for some artistic work at the heads of the seat
stays. I file and cap the ends with small pieces of tubing.
Set the seat stays on the dropouts and mark/eyeball where you
want the stays to attach to the ST. File a little groove in the ST
for them to sit in then braze them on. Now throw the frame in
the jig, get the dropouts seated well and braze them in.

 Add Tip V Ask Question | Comment Download

Step 7: Braze Ons and Bridges


Create PDF in your applications with the Pdfcrowd HTML to PDF API PDFCROWD
Create PDF in your applications with the Pdfcrowd HTML to PDF API PDFCROWD
F
Show All 8 Items

You will need to add braze ons to your frame based on its
desired use. There will most likely be braze ons for cable
routing, a binding bolt for the seat post, cantilever brake braze
ons? Water bottle bosses? there are lots of options.
The binder boss for the seat post is straight forward, get it
centered and braze it on. After it is brazed you need to notch a
slit down the middle of it and the seat tube. This allows the
binder to pull the tube tight around the seat post.
The cable stops will be placed based on how you will be routing
the cables for brakes and shifters/derailleurs.
The brake bosses need to be placed a certain distance up the
seat stays and a certain distance apart from one another. For
26" wheels they should be 251-256mm from the axle (280-
285mm for 700c). They need to be 75-85mm apart.
Create PDF in your applications with the Pdfcrowd HTML to PDF API PDFCROWD
You also need to add a bridge between the two seat stays. This
adds rigidity and a fender mounting location.

 Add Tip V Ask Question | Comment Download

Step 8: Clean and Paint

Create PDF in your applications with the Pdfcrowd HTML to PDF API PDFCROWD
Finishing cleaning up all your joints. Get all the flux off the
frame by submerging it in hot soapy water (I used a bath tub).
Get it painted!

Create PDF in your applications with the Pdfcrowd HTML to PDF API PDFCROWD
 Add Tip V Ask Question | Comment Download

advertisement

advertisement

Create PDF in your applications with the Pdfcrowd HTML to PDF API PDFCROWD
Share

Did you make this project?


Share it with us!

I Made It!

Recommendations

Create PDF in your applications with the Pdfcrowd HTML to PDF API PDFCROWD
How to Start a Fire Using Flint and Steel
by kadeoleson11 in outside

Create PDF in your applications with the Pdfcrowd HTML to PDF API PDFCROWD
Bicycle Baggage Net From Old Inner Tube
by Waldemar Sha in bikes

Create PDF in your applications with the Pdfcrowd HTML to PDF API PDFCROWD
How to Mount Tire Chains to a Tractor
by aglauner in backyard

Create PDF in your applications with the Pdfcrowd HTML to PDF API PDFCROWD
Rockets Class
7,819 Enrolled

Create PDF in your applications with the Pdfcrowd HTML to PDF API PDFCROWD
Create PDF in your applications with the Pdfcrowd HTML to PDF API PDFCROWD
 Add Tip

V Ask Question

| Post Comment

We have a be nice policy.


Please be positive and constructive.

Create PDF in your applications with the Pdfcrowd HTML to PDF API PDFCROWD
Add Images Post

39 Comments

SpasticOscillator 1 year ago


Reply

Nice one, nice one, nice one !!

Canalp 1 year ago


Reply

Great instructable, thank you! I'd like to make mine. Since I do not
want neither cannot afford to make any mistake. Can I learn ST, TT
and SS tube lengths & diameters you have used.

MikeB164 2 years ago


Reply

I want to build a full suspension motorized bike out of a free


mongoose xr200 frame for as cheap as possible and slowly upgrade
to better parts later. The starting point is with the frame. I can MIG
weld steel and aluminum, notch tubing etc.. I was hoping with 2
other donor frames, to extend the rear swing arm a bit and relocate

Create PDF in your applications with the Pdfcrowd HTML to PDF API PDFCROWD
the shock from inside the frame to the rear of the bike similar to a
motoped rear suspension set up to make room inside the frame for
the 2 stroke engine and also so the bikes my size better.. I'm hoping
I can do it without a jig and won't be wasting my time..

amrina_akmal 2 years ago


Reply

Dev walia 2 years ago


Reply

What is the cost of making it ?

cedric.royblanchard 2 years ago


Reply

WOW!!! I'm making a fatbike for a secondary 5 project and I think


it's going to be very useful!
Thanks!

X8 GordonKirkwood 3 years ago


Reply

Thanks for going through the process start to finish! Inspires me


towards my own tube framing projects.

Create PDF in your applications with the Pdfcrowd HTML to PDF API PDFCROWD
X8 andrea biffi 4 years ago

| Reply

beautiful design and making process, thanks for posting!

X8 clockworkdoorbell 4 years ago


Reply

Lovely work, very inspiring :-). I 'd love to have a go at making


something like the Top and a from the early days of mountain biking.

Snidely70448 4 years ago


| Reply

Goodwill. Habitat for Humanity. Yahoo's Freecycle groups. Craigslist


Free section. Local thrift shops. Trash. Bicycles are an item often
given as presents to children and youths that either never get used
or have a short interest span due to changing friends. One woman
gave her dad a bicycle to entice him to get some exercise, and it
never was ridden. Bicycles given away often still have the rubber
mold "spikes" on the tires. Bicycles often sell at thrift shops for less
money than a set of bike brakes or a set of tires and inner tubes at a
bike shop. No knock on someone wanting to build a bicycle, but if
you want to ride you will spend a lot more time in the shop than on
the road building rather than looking for inexpensive 2d hand bikes.

Create PDF in your applications with the Pdfcrowd HTML to PDF API PDFCROWD
More Comments Post Comment

Newsletter About Us Find Us Resources


Let your inbox help you discover our best Who We Are Facebook For Teachers
projects, classes, and contests. Instructables Advertise Youtube Residency Program
will help you learn how to make anything! Contact Gift Premium Account
Twitter
Jobs Forums
enter email I'm in! Pinterest
Help Answers
Google+
Sitemap

© 2017 Autodesk, Inc. Terms of Service | Privacy Statement | Legal Notices & Trademarks | Mobile Site

Create PDF in your applications with the Pdfcrowd HTML to PDF API PDFCROWD