Learn how to build a bicycle frame, keep the skills and give your first bike to someone who really needs it. We give people the lessons, skills and kit to design and make their own bikes. But there’s a big difference. Each ‘Classic Framebuilding Course’ student at The Bicycle Academy makes a bike designed especially to use in Africa. Students keep the skills they learn while their first bike goes to someone who really needs it. Once they’ve made their frame for Africa, graduates can come back to our workshop to hone their skills and build their own frames. Everyone wins.
We’ve based our TBA Africa bike on the Buffalo Bike designed specifically for people in Africa. Our TBA Africa Bike is tough, and thanks to the fantastic standard components it can last for five years without much maintenance. The tyres are puncture-resistant – good for travelling over rugged ground. It’s simple, so it’s easy to look after and it doesn’t need lots of fiddly parts if anything does go wrong. It’s strong, so it can carry heavy loads. And it’s flexible, so it can be used for all kinds of different things like going to school or work, collecting food and water, helping health workers get from A to B, and even as an ambulance.
We know frame-building classes aren’t cheap and if you don’t have a workshop nearby with all the kit it’ll be hard for you to make another bike. Which means you might want to keep hold of your very first frame. But The Bicycle Academy is different. We’re open every week for you and other graduates to come back and build your own frames, at your own pace, as and when you want to. So rather than putting all your focus into one frame, you can build your first frame knowing that it will be one of many, and give it away knowing that it will change someone’s life.