So for a long time, I’ve wanted to start building bicycle frames. It’s not just an issue of wanting to make cool bike frames (though that’s a part of it), but I’ve had this weird urge for years to make art bikes. But beyond that basic urge, I never really had any strong, overwhelming ideas.
Yesterday, I finally had my idea, and it’s pushing my buttons (in a good way). So I think that I’m going to find some basic metal-working classes to take over the next year, and sign up for a class with a framebuilder for early 2009 (after I have some vacation time banked up). I’ll be using the next year for some general research and some practice working with tiny batches of materials in an effort to get an idea of what I can and can’t do with the materials.
The end goal is to produce a series of three bikes — one for myself, and two that I’ll sell. They’ll all have the same theme (to be revealed at a much later date), and I’ll probably make a variety of types: road, cyclocross, and mountain frames. In addition, I’ll probably create custom frames at the hobbyist level, mostly for myself and friends — they supply the tubeset and (optionally) lugs, and I’ll build them a frame.
So now I need to do research on framebuilding classes, which all cost about the same amount. There’s Doug Fattic, there’s Yamaguchi, there’s UBI (United Bicycle Institute), and others… If you’ve got recommendations, I’m all ears.