Andrew Denham

About Andrew Denham

Founder and Director of The Bicycle Academy
Author Archive | Andrew Denham

Hack Bike Derby

The Hack Bike Derby Annual Invitational is an excuse for framebuilders to make some bikes for the hell of it then race them against each other.

The event is something that I’ve wanted to make happen for about three years, but with an already full plate it has been too hard to fit in, up until now. I didn’t have any more time, but I simply couldn’t put it off any longer.

This year’s event was Klunker themed, and it was awesome. The weather was terrible, almost biblical, but everyone was fully committed to living the hack bike dream and as a result we had one of the most memorable bike weekends ever.

There’s already plans for next year’s event, so if you’re interested please get in touch…

Video by Alex Rankin / Photos by Adam Gasson / Artwork by Adi Gilbert

The event is created by The Bicycle Academy, sponsored by Bell Helmets, Bontrager and Break Fluid Coffee.

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Frickin laser beams

This special method of brazing is only possible after 10,000 hrs (or 500 frames) of torch time. Yup it’s reserved for those who’ve racked up the magic number of hours to become a true master. The last hour / frame is particularly teasing as you question why it’s not about how good you actually are at brazing, but once over the mark it’s quite a relief and you forget all about that meritocratic silliness. Even better you don’t need to worry about learning ever again because you’re officially a master now. Imagine that. Rad.

Of course, we actually taught Scott (shown here) to smash out some sh!t hot brazes in around 8 hrs, but that’s because we don’t believe in glass ceilings, the tooth fairy, or putting butter on a burn…

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Design Museum – Cycle Revolution

“Cycle Revolution at London’s world leading Design Museum celebrates the diversity of contemporary cycling in Britain from every day commuting to Olympic level competition and looks at where design and innovation may take the riders of the future”

British bespoke bicycle frame building is showcased in the exhibition in a recreation of a bicycle making workshop featuring artisans from across the UK, curated and produced by The Bicycle Academy. Featuring Academy Tools products the workshop is split up into the 6 stages of frame building to clearly illustrate the process of bicycle making to the visiting public.

It was a real honour to be asked to contribute to this exhibition and we’re really proud of the result.

The exhibition runs from November 2015 to June 2016 https://designmuseum.org/exhibitions/cycle-revolution

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TBA Africa Bikes – farewell party

And what a party it was…

People came from all over to help us to put the stickers on the bikes and celebrate the bikes leaving for Namibia in just 1 day…

Here’s one of our students putting her name on the frame that she made. A proud moment for her and for us!

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TBA Africa Bikes – We’ve just got to put the stickers on…

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TBA Africa Bikes – great news!

I wrote a little update back in April to highlight the fact that we have been working hard to find an organisation who could help us to get all 150 of our fantastic student-made TBA Africa Bikes equipped with components. We had the component supplier lined up but didn’t have the funding secured at that time.

We had a wonderful response from all of our students and crowdfunders and many others too. Our previous efforts hadn’t been in vain though, as it was actually one of our many previous direct enquiries that paid off in the end. I’m thrilled to say that by the end of April we managed to secure the funding to equip the frames. This final piece of the puzzle means that we now have everything in place to complete the project; frame finishing, the source of the components, component funding, painting, packing, shipping, assembly and distribution.

In July we assembled one of the student-made bikes with a full set of the very same components that will be used to equip the other bikes and we’ve been riding it for the past few months. It handles superbly and can take a huge load on the back rack, the coaster brake is really effective and it’s great fun! It really does do everything we’d hoped that it would and the components all fit as they should.

All 150 frames will be sent to Africa in November later this year to be assembled with the components by mechanics in Namibia, where the bikes will be distributed to different aid projects over the weeks following.

It’s brilliant when people work together to do something so positive and it’s been a pleasure to work with so many likeminded people over the past few years on this wonderful project. We’ll keep you posted over the next few weeks as we complete the next and final stages….

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It’s our Birthday!

Yup, we’re three years old today.

I came up with the idea for this on 30th November 2010, I spent all my spare time dreaming, planning, learning and working to try and make it happen. I crowdfunded, then I quit my job, got the workshop set up and opened the doors in summer 2012. We’ve spent over 750 days teaching people since and I’m proud as punch. It’s been a hell of a journey so far but we really are only just getting started…

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