Archive | June, 2011


Thanks to all the completed questionnaires I’ve been able to get a really good idea of which of the proposed course formats is the most popular, and also how often people hope to use the workshop facilities too. Interestingly the vast majority of people found out about us through Bespoked Bristol and well over 90% are planning to support the crowd funding attempt at the end of the summer (the other 10% just aren’t quite sure)!

I could have asked a lot of other questions too; what type of frames people wanted to build, what materials they were hoping to use etc but know that if the questionnaire had been any longer many wouldn’t have filled it out at all, so I focused on some key points instead.

What has been especially interesting though is the slight confusion over the format of the courses with regards to the bikes for Africa. A number of people were unsure whether they could build their own bikes, or if they could only build bikes that would be donated to re~cycle. To be honest I’m not surprised; having read back through the info that was originally on the website there was room for improvement, a refinement of the message I guess, a bit of clarity. So, I’ve re-written the first section of the ‘about’ page and also the tagline at the top of the website.

A place to learn how to make bikes. You keep the skills, your first bike goes to someone who really needs it.

The Bicycle Academy is a new enterprise providing people with the skills and facilities to design and make their own bikes.

Frame building will be taught by the legendary Brian Curtis as evening classes or short weekday courses. As part of the learning process each student will make a frame designed specifically for use in Africa. Once graduated students will be able to use The Bicycle Academy workshop to hone their skills and build their own frames.

Please follow us for details of how to get involved, and support our crowd funding attempt later this year…

I hope that these changes help to convey the message more clearly and avoid any confusion. I haven’t changed anything about what The Bicycle Academy will be doing, just tried to simplify the message and make it more exact.

It’s also been clear that crowd funding is not something that everyone is familiar with, so despite the incredibly positive take up (almost everyone is behind the idea) I think that a little more explanation may be helpful… so I’ll write a post on that soon… (EDIT: Have done now, it’s here).

Thanks again for all the feedback, questions and comments and please keep the completed questionnaires coming, it only takes a minute to fill out and is super helpful .

I’m compiling a FAQ section for the website based upon the feedback from these questionnaires and at the show, so hope to answer every point soon : )


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Mailing list

We’ve just sent our first email update, if you missed out please sign up using the form on the top right of this website, thanks.

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Bespoked Bristol Video

The official Bespoked Bristol video is now live, have a look it’s ace!


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We want to make The Bicycle Academy work for you, so we’re trying to get a handle on which course formats are most attractive, and also how often graduates would like to use the workshop facilities. We know that things will likely evolve over time, but it’s important for us to try and get a snap-shot of what people want now so that we can tailor things accordingly.

Please take a moment to fill out this really short questionnaire, it’d be a big help, thanks : )

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What a show!

We would like to say a massive heartfelt thank you to Phil Taylor and all his team for putting on a fantastic event, we met so many enthusiastic people and are very proud to have been a small part of it, so here’s to next year’s Handmade Bicycle Show!

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Giving away your first bike

It’s fair to say that the first bike you build will be the worst bike you build (although functionally fine), so why not give it away to someone who really needs one.

For many people the cost of frame building classes coupled with the lack of opportunities to continue frame building means that they do so only once. The Bicycle Academy will be open twice a week for graduates to build their own frames, or continue practising, we will teach low cost jig building classes too all with a view to making frame building more accessible. So rather than putting all your focus into one frame you can build it knowing that it will be the first of many and give it away knowing that it will change someone’s life.

(image source:
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Bespoked Bristol

It starts today, come along and say hello, we’ll be the ones standing in a very small booth next to the awesome (il) Soigneur

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