Framebuilding School 101

Many things in life have a story behind them, and this is no exception.

I started building Brodie frames in 1986, and Brent Martin was one of my first customers. Sloping top tubes were new back then, and the local hardcore element of mountain biking questioned the design, asking "how do you carry it over your shoulder?" They also thought it looked like a girls' bike, which wasn't cool either. But Brent wanted one anyway. Brodies were so new that even Brent wasn't so sure about the name, because he took half of the decals off, so one side said "bro" and the other side said "die".

At this time Brent was building log cabins in Whistler, and training for triathalons in his spare time. He's also a natural athlete. With his new Brodie Romax, he decided to enter the Chekamus Challenge... one of the years' biggest mountain bike races; off-road from Squamish to Whistler. A bit to his surprise, he won! That season he became unstoppable. This photo was taken shortly before the Canadian Championships. His right wrist was injured, and he was skeptical about his chances. The race was held at Mount Seymour, in North Vancouver, over a very demanding course. Brent became the '86 Canadian Champion anyway, and no one ever questioned the sloping top tube design again...

In December '09 I thought about all of my frame jigs and fixtures that had been sitting upstairs in my office, unused, for at least five years. I wanted a new Gas Gas trials bike, and figured that if I sold the jigs and fixtures, I could get that new Gas Gas. One afternoon, after lunch, I put an ad on Craigslist. Less than 12 hours later, I had emails from Sweden and Switzerland! Not to mention all the local emails and phone calls. And Brent was interested too. He had a vision of a bicycle framebuilding course somewhere here in the Lower Mainland. He bought the jigs and fixtures, and I got a slightly used '09 Gas Gas...

Now we had to figure out what to do. Brent set up meetings with Capilano University, who have a bicycle marketing and repair program, but there was no shop space for framebuilding. Next we approached BCIT, but ultimately they weren't interested. In April '10 I looked up UFV (University of the Fraser Valley) on the Internet, and their homepage said they were interested in new courses. We had meetings, and reached a deal.

So, the "inaugural" framebuilding course is setup to start Sept 27 / 10. Here are the details:

Learn the art of steel frame building in this "hands on" two week course. Price is $2500, no HST. Location is UFV, in the Aerospace Centre, Abbottsford, BC.

Class size is limited to (4) students. Minimum age is 15. Call 1 888 823 8734 to register. For information > Karen Massier 604 847 5471

Includes: brief MTB history, frame design / geometry, tube selection, full scale drawing, shop safety, tube mitreing, jigs and fixtures, welding / brazing, and finish work.

Students need to have a clear idea of what style of bike they want to build, and their choice of front fork.

Course options >

Frame material is 4130 cro-mo, TIG welded or fillet brazed. Sorry, no lugs.

Wheel sizes: 26" / 29" / 700c

Brake mounts: disc or V-brake

Style: MTB / single speed / cyclocross / road / cruiser

Paint: not supplied

NOTE: some frame building parts have a higher cost than others. This course is based on an "average" tube set, dropouts and braze-ons. If you opt for premium components, there may be an up-charge.

*** Bicycle gruppos will be available (for course participants..) at wholesale pricing. Please let us know in advance if you are interested.

Due to the ever-changing nature of the bicycle industry, UFV reserved the right to alter its' curriculum at any time, for the betterment of its' classes.

Thank you for your interest in this course. And thank you Brent, for your vision.


Flashback Fabrications 604-888-8785email
PO Box 401Lynden WA98264

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