Global Cycling Network x The Bicycle Academy

Around a year ago we were approached by the Simon Richardson at Global Cycling Network to help them build their dream steel bicycle. It sounded like it would be lots of fun, but we were so busy that it simply wasn’t possible for us to fit them in until recently.

Simon’s brief to us was to design and create a bike that was fun to ride, fast, stiff, responsive and agile. A bike that makes you want to go faster. A bike with race bike proportions, but with space to fit 30mm tyres.

It seems as if it was worth the wait, as Simon seems to be smitten with his new bike, and we got to have some fun making a series of videos giving a little glimpse into the process of making hand made bicycles.

Here is the full spec on the bike:

Frame: Columbus Spirit, Life, HSS and Zona Tubing with Syntace 142x12mm dropouts
Forks: Columbus Futura Disk Carbon Forks
Fit and Design: Tom Sturdy @ The Bicycle Academy
Paint: Design interpretation by Anthony Oram and paintwork by Tom Sturdy
Wheels: Zipp 303 Disc
Tyres: Continental GP 4000s II 25mm
Handlebars: Zipp
Stem: Zipp
Seatpost: Zipp
Saddle: Fizik Arione
Shifters: Sram Force 1x
Brakes: Sram Force Hydraulic
Rear Mech: Sram Force
Chainset: Sram Force 1x
Pedals: Look Keo
Chainring size: 50t
Cassette: 11/32
Weight: 8.75kg

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Old Skool x New School – Tom Ritchey Video

Video by Alex Rankin

The first in the upcoming series of ‘ Old Skool x New School ’ events created by The Bicycle Academy. A collaboration between the legends of the framebuilding world and some of the new wave of framebuilders.

Tom Ritchey, an icon of the sport and a framebuilding legend, visited The Bicycle Academy in September 2016 to spend some time hanging out, teaching students and to build a bike with us over a few beers…


Supported by Ritchey, Shimano, RockShox, Fabric

Event shots by Adam Gasson


Custom designed and fabricated 27+ steel hardtail mountain bike. Custom machined Ritchey replica integrated tapered headtube, Columbus ZONA 29er Downtube, and Top Tube, Reynolds 631 Seat Tube, Dedacciai DM ZEROUNO Chainstays, custom bent 4130 seat stays and BTR Fabrications bolt through dropouts and disk mount.

Designed by: Tony Corke and Andrew Denham
Built by: Tom Sturdy
Brazed by: Tom Ritchey, Andrew Denham and Tom Sturdy
TIG welding by: Paul Burford (dropouts and disk mount)
Assembled by: Tom Sturdy, Gavin Buxton, Aaron Ward and Adrian Bedford


Forks: RockShox SID RL 27+
Wheels: Ritchey WCS Trail 40 650+
Tyres: Ritchey ZMAX Evolution 650x73b (tubeless) Groupset: Shimano Deore XT M8000 1×11 (boost) Pedals: Shimano Deore XT M8000
Brakes: Shimano Deore XT M8000
Bars: Ritchey WCS Bullmoose Carbon Bar/Stem Headset: Ritchey WCS Integrated 1.125-1.5
Seatpost: RockShox Reverb Stealth
Saddle: Fabric Scoop Ultimate

Studio Shots by James Hoppe

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This is going to be a lot of fun…

Brazing Masterclass

The Bicycle Academy presents a Fillet Brazing Masterclass with Tom Ritchey

TBA Masterclass format, with Tom, Andrew and the team providing tuition throughout the day. Spaces are very limited so please get in touch ASAP to make a booking. This really is a once in a lifetime opportunity to spend the day being taught by a true legend of the sport and indeed the framebuilding world.

Thursday 8th September
10:00 – 17:00
£300 per person (limited places)

Please email to make a booking for the Masterclass, (including evening event). 

Evening Event

The Bicycle Academy presents an evening with Tom Ritchey and friends

  • Talk and Q&A from Tom Ritchey followed by a brazing demo
  • Hack Bike Derby film screening
  • Hack Bike Derby bikes on display and a Hack Bike Derby photo exhibition from Adam Gasson and Steve Behr
  • Beer and Pizza

PLUS Tom Ritchey teams up with The Bicycle Academy to hand build a steel 27plus mountain bike, using the very same techniques used to make the first ever mountain bike, designed and built in 1979 by Tom himself.

The bike will be built at The Bicycle Academy by the TBA team of frame builders and then fillet brazed by Tom in his signature style before being assembled with a selection of Ritchey, Shimano and RockShox componentry ready to be ridden by Tom and the team the following morning at the local trails.

Thursday 8th September
19:30 – Late
£12 per person (limited places)

Please BOOK HERE for the evening event only. 

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We’re Hiring!

We’re going to be hiring a few key roles over the next few months, and we’re starting with a Financial Administrator. If you’re interested or know someone who might be then please do get in touch…

Job Description:
Financial Administrator

Position reports to:
Managing Director

The Bicycle Academy main office, The Welsh Mill, Frome, Somerset

Job purpose:
A dynamic award winning business is looking for a Financial Administrator to help achieve their growing ambitions.

Key responsibilities and accountability:

  • Managing day to day administration of a small company
  • Creating and documenting internal financial procedures
  • Processing purchasing payments
  • Creating sales invoices and allocation of income
  • Correct posting of costs
  • Bank reconciliations
  • Finalising month end accounts
  • Filing VAT returns and fulfilling basic tax requirements
  • Creating and submitting time-sheets to payroll provider
  • Administration of employee contracts
  • Keeping diaries and arranging appointments
  • Scheduling and attending meetings, creating agendas and taking minutes
  • Ordering and maintaining stationery and office equipment
  • Sorting and distributing incoming post and organising and sending outgoing post
  • Dealing with general telephone and email enquiries

Other Duties:
To undertake such other duties, training and/or hours of work as may be reasonably required, and which are consistent with the general level of responsibility of this job. To conduct yourself in a manner that always keeps up the appearances of The Bicycle Academy.

Key skills and Interests:
The ideal candidate will be professional, positive and outgoing, a natural forward planner with a strong initiative and capability of working autonomously. Attention to detail is crucial and work undertaken needs to be completed thoroughly and methodically to a high standard. Embrace training opportunities pertaining to workplace practice and health and safety. You will be personable; be an excellent face-to-face and telephone communicator, calm under pressure and enjoy working within a team as well as independently. An interest in cycling, craftsmanship or education an advantage but not essential.


  • Experience of financial administration and an office environment essential
  • Experience of word-processing and spreadsheet programs essential
  • Experience of FreeAgent an advantage
  • Experience of Google apps an advantage
  • Experience of WordPress an advantage

Contract, salary and benefits:
21 – 35 hours a week within 9am – 5:30pm, Monday to Friday.

£18,000 (pro rata)

About the company:
Short listed as “One of the 100 most resourceful, original, exciting and disruptive business in the UK” by, The Bicycle Academy is Europe’s biggest bicycle frame building school. Specialists in teaching, the company attracts students from all over the world to learn at the Frome based school.

In addition to training courses, The Bicycle Academy provides flexible workshop hire, and also designs, manufactures and sells its own range of frame building tools. Situated in newly refurbished premises within 10 minutes walking distance of the town centre The Bicycle Academy provides a well equipped, dynamic and vibrant working environment.

Please e-mail with a covering letter and CV, alternatively you can send postal applications to:

The Bicycle Academy
Unit 19a
The Welsh Mill
Park Hill Drive
BA11 2LE

Closing date:

Friday 8th July 2016

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An example of student work…

We don’t show enough of this; the completed bikes that our students build… well; James spent some time with us at the start of the year, on a 7 day bespoke course . This bike was a labour of love for James and I think you’ll agree the final bike is something very special indeed. James is the head designer for Fabric so obviously the build features some of Fabrics top finishing kit including saddle, bottles and bar tape.

Frame: Custom design, geometry / fit done through Torke Cycling. Columbus HSS main tubes. Internal cable routing and Flat mount disc.
Paint: Done by Fatcreations, House Of Kolor Shimrin Purple with House of Kolor pearlescent white front and logos. Forks read Don’t Worry Be Hoppe. Seat tube quote: “Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely, in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting “Holy Shit, what a ride!” – Hunter S. Thompson
Forks – ENVE Composites Road 2.0 disc
Drive: SRAM Force 1×11
Wheels: Hunt Bike Wheels 38mm Carbon disc
Seat Post: Zipp Carbon SL
Stem: Zipp
Bars: Zipp Carbon SL
Tape: Fabric
Saddle: Fabric ALM Ultimate
Tyes: Challenge Tires Roubaix
Bottles: Fabric Cageless

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Nick from Charge and Fabric took part in the Hack Bike Derby so made his bike here at The Bicycle Academy, including some pretty shonky workmanship in the true spirit of things…”Hacked” seems like an appropriate title.

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TBA Africa Bikes in Namibia!

We’re proud to say that our TBA Africa Bikes have safely arrived in Namibia, and are already being given out to teachers, students and healthcare workers.

Many of our TBA Africa Bikes have been donated to Kindergarten Teachers working in Outapi, Namibia. A collaboration between SunCycles Namibia, BEN Namibia, DAPP Namibia, and supported by the FNB Foundation (FNB Namibia) and The Bicycle Academy.

You can see pre-primary teachers learning to take care of their bikes, as well as riding them.

There are currently 30 bikes being assembled for a youth after school programme in Otjiwarongo, and the rest are in Walvis Bay being assembled for use by health outreach workers.

Pre-primary school teachers in Outapi being taught how to maintain their TBA Africa Bikes, this one was made by Dereck Cutler, one of our first students…

One of our TBA Africa Bikes being tested out along the skeleton coast in Namibia…

We’re going out to Namibia later this summer to help with the assembly and distribution of the bikes, so will keep you posted …

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