How To Build A Bike Frame

Learning how to build a bike frame can be a way to save some money and gain a greater understanding of how a bicycle works. Knowing all the parts of a bicycle can help you do your own repairs and fix things on the fly if you ever have a break on the road. This is a very useful skill to have, especially when facing the inevitable zombie apocalypse. Regardless, you will need some skill with welding and will need to be very careful when building a bike frame from scratch. You will also need a grinder, paint primer/color/clear coat and the correct lengths and sizes of tubing.

Things you'll need:

  • A grinder
  • A sandblaster
  • Paint (primer, color and clear coat)
  • 6061 tubing
  1. Measurements. Before putting your own frame together, you want to measure the size of tubing you will actually need. Downloading plans for the type of frame you want to build will be a positive step in making things easier on yourself. Another good idea is to find a frame from another bike that fits you, whether it be a friend's bike or a bike in a store, and measure all of its parts in order to get an accurate build. You don't want to build a bike frame haphazardly, go through all the welding and find out its too big or small for you.
  2. From the top down. Starting with your top tube, lay out all the tubes in the correct positions either on a large welding surface or a floor. You want to make sure everything is in the correct spot. Use this as an opportunity to ground down or resize any tubes that might not be completely correct. Now, begin to weld the frame together, starting at the head tube and moving onto the seat tube. Move clockwise from there until the entire frame is complete. Check, double check and triple check your angles and levelness of each part of the frame. Any mistakes could lead to some rather awkward riding down the line.
  3. A fresh coat of paint. With your frame put together and correctly sized, the last step is to grind the welds smooth and sand blast the frame smooth. As soon as it is smooth enough for you to paint over it, start. Prime it first, paint it with whatever color you prefer and apply a coat of clear coat. You have just made your own bike frame; put the rest of it together and enjoy your ride.
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