We’re very proud of what we do and work hard to make sure that every student gets the most from their time with us.
“Many thanks for the photos, and most importantly for such a great day yesterday. It’s no exaggeration to say it was the best day of tutoring I’ve ever had. You’ve got a brilliant thing going on there and I do hope I’ll find a reason to come down again.”
Sam Jones - Fillet Brazing Masterclass student, April 2013
“Thank you all for the amazing course, it was really cool hanging out with you guys and learning so much. I can’t wait to get back there and take the next classes.”
Felipe Hefler - Frame Building Student, April 2013
A very big THANK YOU for the most extraordinary four and a half days, it was a truly remarkable and unforgettable experience. It goes without saying that I have a long way to go to become comfortably proficient, but the course has put into place more than I could ever have wished for. With further practice and experience I’m confident I’ll be able to use the skills I gained last week in any number of fields, bicycle building of course being the goal.
Whilst your course is obviously aimed at those with an interest in building bicycles, I would go so far as to recommend it, without reservation, to anyone who wants to get out of their comfort zone, to learn something new whilst doing something creative, intricate and precise as well as challenge themselves, even if they have no intention of ever building a bicycle. I’ve just seen your website post “100,000 hours distilled into 8” and I think the key to your success is cutting through the smoke (although there is that when actually brazing…) and mirrors that many seem to want to throw around the process, trying to keep it mysterious and beyond the reach of most. I think your mention of ‘passion’ may have something to do with your success….
There are plenty of people with a deep knowledge of their chosen fields but very few who can impart that knowledge. I don’t know whether you’ve done any training as an instructor, but seldom have I encountered anyone who can get the vital information across so clearly and succinctly, demonstrate what’s required and then be so encouraging and precise in showing us how it is done. Beyond that, your constant encouragement and enthusiasm certainly carried me across a few rocky patches on more than one occasion!
Thanks too to Chris, who brings a Zen-like calm and quiet energy to his teaching and assistance – invaluable to students. His vast experience as an engineer, bicycle mechanic and fixer / maker of things is a huge asset to The Bicycle Academy. Thanks too to Sam for his unfailing courtesy, enthusiasm and interest in how we were progressing. Last but certainly not least, big thanks to Brian. It was a real privilege having him around. Being able to talk about the process, discuss difficulties and possible problems and take encouragement from his constant urgings to enjoy it, to relax and strive to improve all the time really capped the whole experience
Richard Olivier - Frame Building Student, March 2013
“It’s been a fantastic four days. Intense and tiring and fun and brilliant. I’d recommend it to anyone, whether they think they need to know how to build a bike or not. It’s rare in adult life to learn a genuinely new skill. Best four days I’ve had in ages, go and learn how to make bikes in Frome. That’s an order, not a suggestion.”
David Atkinson (of Road.cc) – Frame Building student, December 2012
“I just wanted to thank you again for the course last week. As I said before, I’ve done a lot of training, and seldom see such a well run course. I enjoyed it so much that I’ve set up a meeting with my boss to reduce my hours so I can put new found skills to good use. Keep up the good work.”
Ed Astil - Frame Building student, November 2012
“I really enjoyed every second of the course, and it seems to me that the thing that you’ve achieved above all else (and I know its at the core of what you want to achieve) is something much more valuable than just skilling-up your students! You’ve managed to generate a level of self-belief and de-mystification which makes me KNOW that I am capable of building something for my self. I don’t just have the skills (although I’m in awe of how much of them I seem to have accumulated) but I also have the belief, enthusiasm and confidence to go ahead and use them.
I’m nothing to do with the bike trade these days, but I know teaching. I know excellent teaching when I see it, and the true test is the ability to make people travel through something difficult without letting them see how difficult. I arrived at the end of today having built a frame. At no point during those four days did I doubt that I was capable. At no point did I come close to giving up on something. At no point did I stop and realise quite how far I’d come until I sat down with a beer and looked at the photos of the brazes on the frame I made!
I would be very surprised if you don’t manage to have this effect on all your students: you’ve achieved something very impressive!“
Tom Walker – Frame Building student, October 2012
“I turned up to learn a bit, achieve a personal ambition and hopefully do something to improve someone else’s life a little, the fact was I left with my life being improved a lot.
I clearly remember Andrew telling me to “enjoy it” during my last few minutes of brazing, just as the whole process came to a climax, the fact was I enjoyed every second, and stepping back from the frame with the torch still in my hand I felt pretty emotional.There’s a great balance in the team you have there, I hope you get to share yours and their time with as many people as possible.”
Andrew Grace – Frame Building student, September 2012
“You always want to stay on top of your game and keep your skills in check so I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to spend the day with the Grand Master of the oxy/acetylene torch Brian Curtis. Brian is a brazing hero, having worked at Rickmans Honda and Curtis bikes with his very distinctive unfiled fillet brazing. To be able to pick his brain frame builder to frame builder was a great day and I felt very lucky to share a bench with him! If you would like to get your hands dirty and fancy having a go at frame building check out The Bicycle Academy”
Tom Donhou (of Donhou Bicycles) – Fillet Brazing Masterclass student, July 2012