Archive | April, 2013

A little taste of what we do…

This nice little video shows a bit of what goes on here at The Bicycle Academy, it also gives you an insight into Brian’s taste in brazing music!

The Bicycle Academy from Facade Media on Vimeo.

Thanks to Facade Media for producing this video and being generally awesome!

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We’re on TV!

Over the past few weeks we’ve been working to help Charge Bikes and Made in Brunel with a collaborative project of theirs, which we blogged about here.

Well the awesome Alex Rankin made a short video about the project and us for the latest episode of Charge TV!

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Graduate projects…

Over the past few weeks we’ve had a few students back to make their own bikes here at the workshop. It’s great to see people making their own stuff and turning their doodles into a reality thanks to the skills they’ve acquired on our courses. And the best thing is, they can make as many different bikes as they like!

Take a look at Sam’s town cargo bike, and Rob’s XC MTB below:

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Oxy-Propane – a viable alternative?

Most profesional UK frame builders use Oxy-Acetylene to braze, and it’s fair to say that it’s a great set-up. BUT with more and more people looking to save money and/or build frames at home there’s a real call for a cheaper and safer alternative.

Oxy-Propane is used by builders also, but many struggle to achieve the same control, quality of flame, and amount of heat so for those fillet brazing that makes life really tricky so it’s typically only used by those building lugged bicycles.

Well, over the past few weeks we’ve been running some tests to see if we can get the same high quality fillet brazing results using an Oxy-Propane set-up as we do with Oxy-Acetylene. So far we’ve had great results and can’t wait to show you what we’ve achieved but before we do we’ve got some more testing to do using some more fluxes, and of course a gasfluxer too.

If we can get the results we’re hoping for then we’ll make the move to Oxy-Propane here at The Bicycle Academy as it’ll save us a small fortune in gas and insurance costs, so rest assured that we’re doing our best to make this work.

Stay tuned for our findings in another blog post…

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Good to 100

Our friend, and past Fillet Brazing Masterclass student, Tom at Donhou Bicycles has been working on something really special, stay tuned to see exactly what…

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Loopwheels – reinventing the wheel!

It’s not everyday that you see such an elegant invention. One of our crowdfunding backers and students, Sam Pearce, has reinvented the wheel and he needs your help to turn his invention into a real life product.

We rode one of the prototypes late last year and were blown away by just how well it performed. I’m proud to say that we managed to pledge in time to get the very first set of loopwheels, so can’t wait to build a special bike just for them.

Take a moment to look at their Kickstarter campaign, then choose a pledge tier and support them, you won’t regret it!

People laugh if they hear of an engineer trying to reinvent the wheel. But Sam Pearce, of Nottinghamshire design company Jelly Products, has spent 4 years doing exactly that.

Loopwheels are brand-new ‘pat pending’ bicycle wheels that have integral suspension within the wheel. A spring system between the hub and the rim of the wheel provides suspension, cushioning the rider from bumps and potholes in the road. This gives amazing comfort compared with a conventional spoked wheel.

Loopwheels gives the rider a really smooth ride, and people find they can take bumps, kerbs and cobbles more easily on loopwheels. Sam has developed his loopwheel initially as a 20” wheel, which is a common size for folding bicycles. With the rising interest in cycling in the UK, folding bikes are becoming more and more popular with commuters. Most folding bikes do not have suspension because traditional suspension adds weight and bulk to the bicycle. That is particularly unwelcome in a bicycle that needs to fold down to a compact size. Loopwheels provide suspension in a bike which hasn’t got room for a traditional suspension system. They can also be used in addition to conventional suspension.

Sam explains: “I first had the idea of a wheel with suspension inside it when I was sitting at an airport waiting for a flight. I saw a mother pushing her child in a buggy. The front wheel hit a slight kerb and the child jolted forward because of the impact. It happened several times in the hour I was there and that’s what sparked my idea for better suspension, within the wheel itself. I love cycling, so I thought it would be awesome to ride a bike with in-wheel suspension. But it took many, many prototypes, designs and re-designs to get a wheel that really worked well. Then we had to put it through a lot of testing, to check strength, durability and performance, so it’s been over 4 years in development to get to the product you see today.”

Loopwheels are being launched at Bespoked Bristol where over 80 exhibitors will be showcasing handmade bikes from across the world. As interest in UK cycling has spiraled, so there has been a resurgence in UK bicycle-making.

The UK is admired for creative design and loopwheels are a typically quirky UK invention.


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We Won!

We can’t really believe it but we won the ” Spirit of cycling” award at Bespoked Bristol today! It means a lot to receive this award especially considering the judging panel of Nick Hand, Robin Mather, Rob Penn, Nick Reardon, Matt Skinner, Steve Worland and Dave Yates.

Here’s what Nick Reardon, had to say…

There were some interesting battles among the judges over the various categories but your’s was first choice and unanimous. Never was a prize more deserved.

We’re super happy

Thank you

Photograph by Gold Seal Photography

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