Pinkbike Poll: Could You Build Your Own Mountain Bike Frame?

Feb 21, 2020
by Mike Kazimer  
Photo: Steve Salter

Could you make your own mountain bike frame? I mean actually build a frame, from scratch. Mountain biking has always had a thriving scene of garage builders, riders who decided to pick up a torch and take matters into their own hands, but tackling a project like that is often easier said than done.

Along with needing to figure out how to weld or lay up carbon, there's also the fact that we're living in an age of near-instant gratification, where buying is much, much easier than building. All it takes is a few clicks of a mouse or a tap on the screen and you can have your dream bike delivered right to your door without ever setting foot in a bike shop. But while being able to purchase a recliner, big screen TV and a bucket of cheesy poofs without going outside has its appeal, consuming will never be as satisfying as creating.

Mone bikes
Not all handmade bikes are created equal, as this one from Cjell Monē demonstrates. Photo: Dave Rome.

It takes a special breed to build a bike from scratch. It's a labor intensive process, no matter if it's a steel hardtail or carbon fiber full suspension bike, and that's not including the time it takes to develop the skills necessary to actually create the thing.

Despite all of the hurdles in place, I'm continuously amazed by the creations that emerge from small shops around the world, everything from gorgeous titanium hardtails to futuristic-looking carbon fiber creations, equipped with a gearbox, of course. There are more resources out there than ever, and if you spend enough time in the bike building forums and watching instructional videos there's a good chance you'll find yourself inspired to build a bike of your own.

That brings us to this week's poll question: Could you build your own mountain bike frame?


Could you build you own mountain bike frame?




224 Comments

  • 618 10
 How about a "no, I really don't have the time because I have a full time job and barely enough time to ride my bike".
  • 58 148
flag mrti (Feb 21, 2020 at 12:28) (Below Threshold)
 This is actually just an excuse!
  • 60 3
 And one from me: most people don't have a clue how much knowledge and TOOLS you really need to put simple hardtail frame together. It's way cheaper and safer to buy one.
  • 10 5
 @EnduroriderPL: Agreed. Knowledge, capability, and time aside, the cost of building a bike would be way more expensive than buying a new (and probably much better) one. From a performance standpoint, why would you pay way more and commit all that time to get a bike that probably doesn't ride as well as something in a store? I won't even buy a frame and custom parts any more. Complete bikes are way cheaper than any other option.

That said, I can accept that there are other reasons for wanting to build a frame such as for the art, feeling manly, or just pure passion for the sport.
  • 37 2
 Yeah, spot on observation.

If I had 6 months off work and a pound of ganja it sure would be fun to take a stab at it, right? Unfortunately my wife wouldn't allow me to do the former, and would sniff out and dispose of the latter, so unfortunately bike building is not in the cards for this guy.
  • 30 3
 And have two children. Unless we all start eating Tesco value beans there is simply not enough time to eat, sleep, work, ride (just me) and ride whilst trying to indoctrinate the children into a past time which will leave them and me broke for the rest of our lives. Oh yeah let's try and build my own frame too. Good one.
  • 28 1
 I'm building an extreme downcountry skate park bike out of hemp so I can get far out man.
  • 3 0
 how about: I did it but if you only build one its going to be so expensive it doesn't make any sense so I wouldn't do it again?
  • 2 0
 This... this is life
  • 15 2
 @mrti: Then how about: "No I dont really give a shit and just want to ride"
  • 3 1
 @me2menow: exactly, let’s leave it the pros so we can keep on riding.
  • 3 1
 @mrti: difference between excuses and reasons in my book.
  • 4 0
 Or how about, "I don't have the time, nor am I an engineer that has expertise in suspension design, nor do I have the tools to weld, nor do I have an expensive license to a FEM program to properly design a frame..." ...and the list goes on. I'd rather just buy a frame from a company that has the expertise and resources to properly design, build, and test a frame from start to finish.
  • 26 2
 So your answer is "no.because i spend too much time on pinkbike and the reality is you could build a frame with the time you spend on here."
  • 3 3
 @zacjob: Or Womanly...
  • 10 10
 @jaytdubs: your wife would sniff out and dispose of your stash? get a new wife brah
  • 6 0
 How about no, because these hands are too delicate for welding?!
  • 6 3
 @jaytdubs: your wife throws away your weed?
Sorry didn’t hear anything else you said.
  • 18 1
 @rideonjon: is, "No. I prefer to spend my time angrily masturbating." a better answer?
  • 2 0
 @EnduroriderPL: I can agree with you. But as with making anything there is usually a local, Tafe or Community college, mens shed where you could spend the few hundred (enrolment fees) plus materials to produce something, we have them here where you can do metal work, create and exhaust, filter box etc. A bike would be a tricky thing to create but if you had the time it would be cool, even just to have it as some 'wall art'.
  • 1 0
 @Session603: What ever floats your boat man.
  • 7 0
 @Session603: angrily?

Just when I think I have a handle on all the different types and styles a new one gets thrown in the mix. Guess I’m ‘working’ from home on Monday!
  • 1 2
 Pinkbike, buy me a blacksmith shop I will build frame
  • 2 1
 @jaytdubs: my dispose of you mean secretly smoke it all right.
  • 5 2
 @veero: same reason I’ll never load my own ammo. When you have kids you have no time for shit like that.
  • 1 0
 @zacjob: one day I'll have my custom frame(s) but for now mass production it is Wink
  • 3 1
 @DanCaseyImages: I will agree with you that making your own frame by yourself is doable (beacause I've seen with my own eyes) but the cost of doing one off is horrendous. First things first: you have to have place to do it and most people living in cities doesn't have acces to workshops. Then you need to buy welder and then you need to actually weld. Watching welding tips and tricks is easy. Welding is NOT. And on the top of it it would be great if you know what are you doing, right Smile

There's a lot of very talented people who makes great things in their sheds but for rest 99% trying to make frame yourself is simple stupid idea Smile

Of course all of that I just wrote won't stop us trying anyway Big Grin
  • 4 2
 @Arcadyus: I’m getting to the point of hand loading. But when I can find 500 rounds of match grade for $.60 a round is it worth the $.15-.30 a round savings? Plus to get back the investment for all of the loading equipment would take ages.
  • 2 2
 @scotttherider: If you're looking for the most accurate load possible for your particular rifle then hand loading is required. If you're happy with your results with the box ammo it's not worth the money and time in my opinion.
  • 1 1
 @Session603: I'm only shooting out to 600 yards with my .308 and hitting a steel gong.(range limit) I'm not shooting competition or past 600 yards currently so factory loads suite me fine. If I start getting more free time soon or find the time on the weekends to travel the 3 hours to start reaching out to 1000 yards then I'll start considering hand loading. My wife's starting to draw a line in the sand with guns though....I can spend more money on guns or on bikes.....
  • 1 1
 @scotttherider: Nice shot with a .308! You using tripod?
  • 1 1
 @jorgeposada: no a bipod off a concrete bench. Have a vortex viper hst 6-24(mrad reticle) on a remington 700 sps with a heavy varmint barrel. My DPMS oracle hits plate all day long at 400 yards.
  • 1 0
 @scotttherider: Well that got off topic. I'm not sure how polishing your own brass relates to building your own frame..
  • 3 1
 @veero: been there done that. Worked for SAPA inc from 2004-2006. Welded cervelos, Ellsworth, Santa Cruz, Turner, and Knolly frames. Between what I learned there and what I know now I know I could build my own frame.
  • 1 1
 @scotttherider: Good stuff, keep practicing.
  • 2 2
 I mean I’m a structural engineer that designs (and has laid up) carbon fibre for a living, I think I could pull off a hardtail frame. Wether it’s worth my time is a whole nother matter
  • 244 12
 Where is the Grim donut you mother fuckers
  • 23 3
 Donut Donut Donut
  • 39 0
 Probably it was too good and MTB industry already bought out Pinkbike's concept and patented it. It was too big of threat.
  • 37 0
 HT snapped off, Huck to splat
  • 45 1
 Climbs like an xc bike but really comes to life on the descents. Surprisingly agile given the long wheelbase. Comes in gold leaf.
  • 10 6
 In the Pinkbike stable while Mike Levy is wining and dining your mother
  • 36 0
 @ddbiked: That or @mikelevy was killed by the donut and they are just publishing his Tupac like archive of unfinished stories before they post his eulogy. And if Levy responds to this message, I want a picture of him holding today's newspaper to prove it is not a @mikekazimer using his account.
  • 2 0
 @vapidoscar: This sounds like a Weekend at Bernies Situation.....
  • 5 3
 Everything about the Grim Donut brings me joy...the articles, the videos, the comments, everything. It's how you say "magnifique" *imitates chef's kiss*
  • 12 0
 Levy put a linkage fork on it and it rode too well, and then did a hot lap on it as a joke, but Levy was actually faster than all the pros, so now they’ve had to burn it, and hard-erase Levy’s Strava account, and pretend the teaser video NEVER HAPPENED...
  • 2 0
 They can’t build shit
  • 4 0
 No offense here, but I’d much rather see the Raaw Madonna vs Banshee Titan comparison.

I know they have both in house for testing, and both are hard enough to demo that I’m eager to hear any comparisons I can find.
  • 1 0
 In Vancouver at the bike show next weekend. You can see it in person.
  • 2 0
 It's stuck in the future with its geometry.
  • 1 1
 @idecic: comes in gold leaf. that's an expensive wank.


and sorry, accidently downvoted you
  • 90 0
 How about "Yes, but only because I think far too highly of myself and skills."
  • 12 0
 Dunning-Kruger effect.......
  • 6 0
 @rideonjon: This is really an instance of cole's law
  • 3 0
 @freddiehg: I know exactly where this is going but I’ll throw you a bone... *sigh* what the heck is Cole’s law? (-:
  • 7 0
 @JJ-The-Scott: its to the right of the pulled pork
  • 1 0
 @freddiehg: that joke is so under appreciated hahaha
  • 43 0
 How about "yes, but it would be ugly, the kinematics would blow, and it might fail faster than a Pole in a huck to flat test"?
  • 2 0
 and the rear wheel would rub the seat-stays because someone didn't quite line up the dropouts
  • 24 4
 Watch the movie, "I, Pencil". Its a short based on a talk by Milton Friedman, Nobel Prize winning Economist. He basically made that point that no one person can make a simple pencil on their own.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYO3tOqDISE

This other guy tried to make a simple sandwich completely on his own, and it took him 6 months and $1500:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=URvWSsAgtJE

The point is we live in an interconnected society, where free trade and capitalism has made us infinitely wealthier than even kings from a thousand years ago.
  • 22 19
 What woke your Ideological demons again? Big Grin Of all possible examples to make that great point you mention Milton... in tyrannic regime there is also not a single person who can make a pencil alone and everybody cooperates to make one. That is the problem with Milton. He was an utopist. If you would press him, he’d postulate for private police and firefighters, private roads. According to him corruption cannot exist in a fully privatized system. As if somebody cared whether they pay loads of money to a boss or “officer” of a huge private company or state. And if you would push him, he’d say this corrupt company was formed with help of state. Right now we have new wave of Randians kicking it with block chain and crypto currencies. I watched a few documentaries about these nut heads and they are going one step further than Milton. They are after full on anarchy.
  • 14 2
 True, but the question is not "could you mine the ore and smelt and alloy it and draw the tubes and create a f'ing TIG welder and vulcanize your own tires etc. etc."
  • 5 3
 Sure, we live in a global society. But Friedman's claims are spurious at best. There are no true free markets-never have been and never will be. Capitalism allows for the production of a pencil, but Communists produced them by the millions. I'm not advocating for one system or another here (or, more accurately one ideology or another), just pointing out that your assertion about how and why globalism exists/works is too narrow and flawed to be credible.
  • 1 13
flag WAKIdesigns (Feb 21, 2020 at 12:30) (Below Threshold)
 @Drew-O: I can make a TIG welder. If you know what I mean (creepy chuckles)
  • 8 3
 @peleton7: In the former USSR, there was a nail factory. Their success was measured by how many nails they produced by weight, not whether anyone wanted their nails. They therefore made every nail the size of a railroad tie. On paper, they were much more successful than other factories, given their budget. After milking that for a few years, someone finally pulled them in line and changed their metric to be the quantity of nails. So the factory started making needle sized nails.

The point of the story (100% true, BTW) is that just because Communism can crank out a high volume of something doesn't mean its worth anything. To read more, google how China increased their steel output to match England, as documented in Wild Swans (autobiography book)
  • 8 11
 @WAKIdesigns: I will advocate for private police, private fire (already very common), and private roads (toll roads, already very common).

Friedman never claimed corruption is only inherent to government systems, and that private industry is immune. He claimed quite the opposite. His insight is that all men are corrupt/corruptible, and that competition & voluntary exchange is the best way two keep the corruption of Man in check. Government, a violence-enforced Monopoly, is the greatest tool a corrupt man can have to rule over his fellow men.
  • 15 0
 Only on Pinkbike could a poll about whether readers can weld descend into a debate about the views of a Nobel prize winning economist! Well done gents.

Seriously though, you could both update a bit. The dichotomy isn’t communism vs the totally free market in 2020; both are obviously
flawed. How about some Thomas Picketty?
  • 2 9
flag hamncheez (Feb 21, 2020 at 15:25) (Below Threshold)
 @TheSmilingDentist: I will say we should totally have 100% free markets.
  • 5 2
 @hamncheez: Problem is, there is no sich thing as an entirely free market, that‘s an oxymoron, without regulation, there is no market at all.

Just close down all antitrust authorities for a year, and no „market“ whatsoever will be left, just monopoles.
  • 1 2
 @FuzzyL: no such thing as a violence free society, so we shouldn't work for one?
  • 1 3
 @FuzzyL: government is a monopoly, so we can trust it to regulate others?
  • 3 3
 @hamncheez: you have to be able to see the anarchist side of Milton. A thing he seems to have missed is, in all his numbers, he forgot about human nature and the somehow robotic nature of any large organization. It doesn’t really matter whether it is, government or a corporation, it will be subject so same forces. The good of individual will be completely reduced, it has to, and certain strong fish will always seek. “Capitalism” is just a name, like “Free Market”, they have plenty of space for traditional government. You some call it semate, some call it board room. Same shit really. Miltons concept of voting with dollars (he may not have calle dit this way but that’s effectively what he has proposed) is really, really naive. He blames governmental regulation for everything as if corporations didn’t have own regulations. Ehhh... stay away from ideologies man. It’s what drives the commies, religions and everyone else. He got played like a Marionette by banks borrowing money to Central and South America. Because he believed he is bringing them freedom, they didn’t give a shit, they kept supporting butchers like Pinochet. They just wanted to put these countries in a lucrative debt. He gave nice face to regular bank business. And according to his ideas, people would withdraw money if they knew what was really happening. People would choose more “ethical” banks.
  • 2 1
 @hamncheez: Oh, absolutely let‘s work for a violence free society. But maybe let‘s not close all police stations just yet.

And who should be the regulator, if not some entity whose representatives are elected by the people?

Again, without rules, there‘s no game. The market is always only what it‘s defined to be by given rules, and someone has to make and enforce those rules. And, naturally, it can‘t be one of the players.
  • 5 4
 @FuzzyL:
Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace, youHuhuuuuuu

For reals, whenever I am hearing this song I am shitting myself... One hell of a nightmare
  • 2 7
flag RoadStain (Feb 22, 2020 at 18:01) (Below Threshold)
 @WAKIdesigns: sounds like your describing one my least favorite US citizens....Bernie Sanders.
  • 7 3
 @RoadStain: really? How much worse than one of tens of thousands that can put a gun to your head to steal something from you? Or a kid that will kick your kid in the face ans his parent insisting it’s your kids fault? Dude who caught you off in the traffic? All the pedofiles, rapists? Triggasaurus dude calling you a planet murderer cuz you don’t eat vegan? Banker that flies a helicopter to work? Plastic surgeon that will tell your daughter her boobs could be fixed? Btch on a horse telling you to Get off trails and stop ruining nature? Imam in San Fran saying gays should be eradicated? Preacher foaming his mouth when saying abortion is a sin and women allow rape? How long do you want me to go? Or do you just assume it is exactly people like Bernie who are responsible for all this?
  • 3 5
 @RoadStain: all I mean is, statistically speaking, depending on your personality, you wouldn’t bare a conversation with at least 10% of US citizens, at least 10% of whom are voting just like you do and there is a rather high chance many of Bernies supporters could be your soul mates. Then you need to consider what any sort of clown can actually do, how much different actually (I mean standard of living, influence on your daily activities) is your country depending on which clown sits at the top. It will all come down to how they talk. I like how Obama talked I don’t know what the hell has he done, in international policy terms, his drones killed more innocent people than 9/11. I am just not sure... Trump? GeezAss what a clown, but he talked to N Korea, stopped fkng with Iran, wants to go to Moon and Mars. Obama? Trump? Donald please... Yeah he’s kind of racist but he doesn’t drop bombs on brown children...
  • 1 1
 @WAKIdesigns: at the end of the day....as a military family member...we should carpet bomb more frequently.
  • 1 2
 @RoadStain: how many of you in the family laugh to this joke at Thanksgiving dinner?
  • 1 3
 @WAKIdesigns: None, one was in an Army Ranger sniper who lost an eye in combat (Storm/Sheild/Trashcanistan). One is a FA-15 driver (Storm/Sheild/Freedom/Trashcanistan and others), one is a CH47 driver (in middle east currently) and one can neither confirm nor deny the presence of nuclear weapons aboard a given Navy vessel. They would (and do) agree.

There is but one way to win a conflict, with overwhelming and undeniable force. Period.
  • 2 2
 @RoadStain: it doesn’t surprise me that they would not laugh at your carpet bombing comment since it makes no sense, neither from tactical, nor humanitarian, thus political angle. They would be ashamed of you. That’s my kind of joke Smile
  • 1 2
 @WAKIdesigns: Um, it (like Hiroshima) is QUITE effective. They would not laugh as it is not a joke. As for humanitarian? Um, I am the only one of my immediate family who has NOT killed "the enemy", including my in-laws. I was too busy racing bikes at 17 to enlist by 18. I am also the only one without an advanced degree.

NONE have gone to war for "humanitarian" causes. They have gone to kill the enemy and all agents therein. You must remember, history is written by the victor. Thus, being as the allies won WWII Auschwitz was terrible while Hiroshima/Nagasaki are success stories. This would not be the same views if the Kraut's or Japs had won the war, history would be inverted, and we would all learn it in elementary school (and, would still be correct).

A good friend had her son leave for Basic Training (Army) just a week ago...he also did not enlist to be a humanitarian. He enlisted for love of nation and desire to serve and protect. I would hope he does not hesitate to act when and if needed, if that means one or one hundred thousand lives of the enemy/opposition.
  • 2 2
 @RoadStain: so now they would really be ashamed of you if you can’t tell a difference between bombing a major city like Hiroshima for terror and weapon testing purposes and a few settlements in the desert... not to mention that in case of completely wasteful use of nuclear weapons you would render the whole area inhabitable, oil reserves would become not lucrative to extract (people Forced to work in radiation suits, demolished infrastructure) and please remember it is the only reason Western countries are there: Oil. Off course that of international backlash nuking desert would have. Pssst... don’t tell Iranians! Let’s suppose they actualy have atomic bombs - If some crazy Iranian general wanted to go with a big one and cause maximal potential damage, Nuking Israel could be spectacular but sending 10 Nukes across the territories of Iraq and Saudi Arabia would be extremely effective. Especially if they somehow Got access to Russian dirty bombs.

Back to carpet bombing The guerillaS (which your villains effectively are) - have you ever heard of carpet bombing of the jungle in Vietnam ? Now it was jungle, we are talking about desert. What the Ef do you think precision bombing is for? Humanitarian measures? No. It is effective on all levels. Least own damage, least political damage.

I haven’t been to the army but I played a few computer games...

Please listen to a few podcasts with Jocko Willink, you may learn a thing or teo if your family failed to educate you.

How old are you? Please tell me no older than 18 and if so please tell me you are just a pot head.
  • 1 2
 @WAKIdesigns: Been alive longer than I will remain alive. Never in my life smoked any drug (including tobacco). The thing is, we in the US have seemed to have lost our national pride. When it comes to war....simply, kill them all. Period. That is what I get from Neil (sniper who lost an eye) and also John who has personally bombed Baghdad and other cities...and felt that he was held back from doing more by the Govt preventing him from finishing his job. As for one other, his only job was to sit in a boat as a Marine and protect missiles from the Navy (odd how that works in our military).

Now, as for Scott who is in helicopter gunships, he has re-enlisted six or seven times now. He is just at 46yrs old and still can not figure out why they are sending in his .50cal "pea shooter" when we have "Bunker Busters" at the ready.

When I am spraing ants with bug killers I do not at all worry about the beetles....the same holds true for humans in war zones (declared or not). These stupid 20 year wars have got to stop. There is only one way, total annihalation.
  • 2 2
 @RoadStain: Man, you are living in a bubble. If you are in any way similar to your family members, this is what potentially makes you a good soldier but it will never get you into place where you can pull the big triggers. You do not understand tactical use of weapons you are good at using them on order. That is fair. Nobody wants a sniper who will ponder meaning of life and ethics on a mission like it was shown in this grotesque, ridiculous sniper movie. A genuine psychopath will try to save a boy from a Guy drilling in his head, give ma a f*cking break...

I just explained you why you cannot solve anything with force causing exponential collateral damage. You are proposing using WW2 tactics in 2020. You are proposing doing something your own army And government knows is ineffective and does the exact opposite, not because of any high fly measures, but because it is the most effective strategy.

You are incapable of establishing the context and connecting more than a few dots. This also surely means you have no bloody clue why to bomb them or save them, or anything, you are just excited to pull the trigger because this is what you are raised to do.

Sorry, after a bit of a measure, you are not terrifying me, I’d love to have guys like you on the Eastern coast of Sweden or on the border with Finland. As much as I am also capable of empathizing with family of soldier Juri or Sasha getting off a little track in Sweden in hopefully unrealized future, I’d love you guys to shoot them right in the head. If you miss and it goes into spleen or knee, please shoot again, not out of mercy, out of pure practical measure. But please, don’t ever get Into any government or even higher military ranks. There’s always a millions of reasons why world looks the way it looks. What ifs... you may as well wish Mars was the size of Earth and it was habitable from tomorrow. For now I wish you all the best. Everyone has place in this world but it always sucks when kids say, I like when it’s cloudy because then drones don’t fly and I am not scared of dying. It takes a skill to say “yeah, so long it’s it my kids” - if the time would come, I’d say the same without looking back. Not everyone is capable of such mindset. You are incapable of putting yourself in other people’s shoes, the ideologica block is strong in you. You don’t know how you would react if you would go on a patrol And found half of a kid after the drone strike. You possibly could rationalize it into “not my kid” but you don’t know. Just like I don’t know if I could go out there and shoot someone, it scares me because as a perfectionist and geek, I could learn to like it... you don’t get good at anything without honestly enjoying it. Your buddies must enjoy shooting to people. You only need to learn to dehumanize them.
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: I just came here to say this thread started out really interesting and became kind of depressing. By the time I got to this post I forgot I was on Pinkbike...reading about bikes.
  • 2 0
 @mtbandskiforlife: really? It’s on me? Did you miss the guy who proposed carpet bombing and prefrably Nuclear holocaust of big portions of Middle East with a rather convinced tone of it being the right thing to do? Aren’t you fascinated by that? That someone can actually say it in public forum and nobody really cares? But if he said something sexist or homophobic, or even worse... Transphobic! - oh no... that would be outrageous. Doesn’t it fascinate you?

Please get as depressed as you only desire, make the best of it Smile Smile Smile
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: No, you just had the last post to respond to Wink Your arguments were the most rational and ones I agreed with actually. I do find the whole conversation and your point about making absurd comments fascinating.

In response to your points I think in recent years, with the U.S. having a president known for saying equally outrageous things, it has also unfortunately become more acceptable and commonplace for people to suggest things like this. People may also not be engaging with RoadStain aside from you because they know these things are wrong and absurd. Trying to reason with crazy usually just results in more craziness.
  • 1 0
 @mtbandskiforlife: I’ll put it like this. I am fascinated by deep parts of human psyche because I find it extremely dangerous to not be aware of how we work and unfortunately in 2020 most people still don’t know what happens under the surface and how profoundly it affects our actions. One does not need to look far for it, for instance “outbreak” of Corona virus in Italy edging with panic. People go around in masks which cannot prevent them from getting infected, they only limit spread of the virus by a person who is sick. Shop shelves are half empty and people are very afraid. The reaction on fear is very strong. One can However read on WHO Website and in many other reliable sources that virus is not very dangerous, it most cases it causes symptoms Comparable with common cold, in rare cases pneumonia and very rarely death. I will not go deeper into nuances of probability of who is at risk and so on. The matter of a fact is that inner demons Running rampant are much more dangerous than the potential physical threat. Same can go for long term power outage, shutdown of internet, or problem with water supply. Uncontrolled fear and aggression, heated up by irresponsible media are incredibly dangerous. So in a way I do hope that a few people reading my posts take a moment of reflection. You may think that normal people don’t respond to whackos because most people are more reasonable than I am. I too try to have this much faith in humanity.
  • 22 0
 How about a "yes because I'm far too arrogant to admit that given the opportunity I wouldn't be able to fab a bitching bike"
  • 1 2
 Or how about 'yes, I actually do have the skills to build a bike, and I do plan to build at least one'?
  • 19 3
 Where is the "Yes I have already designed and built several full suspension bikes." option?

4 hardtails built and 3 full suspension frames done. Currently working on full suspension frame #4.
  • 5 3
 But....but....but....where do you find the time?
Obviously you are i independently wealthy and have all the free the in the world.




JUST IN CASE.......sarcasm.
  • 4 1
 are they any good though?
  • 3 0
 @jaycubzz: I think they are pretty good but I might be biased. The next one will I'll get some independent feedback on it.
  • 4 0
 @rideonjon: Let's just say that when I get going on a frame project I spend a whole lot less time on forums and in the PB comment sections. hahhaha
  • 2 0
 @shirk-007: I hear yah,i've been working on my jig for about 6 months now.Sneaking the time when i have it.Should be done by summer.Yes i'm a snail.
  • 2 0
 Got any photos of your jig setup?
  • 5 0
 2 Full suspension, 3 hardtails (2 steel and 1 aluminum), a bmx, a road bike and a kid's bike here all myself, plus designing and cutting tubes for probably 50 other frames that someone else welded. Just bought all the equipment (mill, jig, torchesetc) from my buddy so I can really play around and try some fun designs.
  • 1 0
 Your option is 2, as that group includes your situation. The person that can, is able, as are you.
  • 2 0
 @chize: I'll take some when it's assembled,it's just a bunch of parts at the moment.
  • 1 0
 good job mate
  • 10 0
 No and I don't even have the confidence to order a custom frame from Marino bikes. No and I can't even finish ordering the parts to assemble my new bike. No and I don't have right tools to replace the free hub driver on my broken rear wheel. No and I haven't fixed by creaking bottom bracket on my only functioning bike. No and I haven't bled my son's brakes that go to the bars. No and I didn't set up the trainer this year and got winded typing this comment.
  • 10 0
 I just built a steel hardtail for an independent study at school. FS is on the list, once I can afford the equipment necessary to do it on my own.
  • 7 0
 Where's the option for "yes, I vastly overstate my fabrication capabilities to the point of delusion.". Out of the first 1200 responses, just over 25 percent rate themselves able to design n build a fs or ht frame.... I guess anyone with a welder and a hacksaw can play?
  • 4 0
 I built my first full suspension frame with just a hacksaw, hand files, and a simple brazing set up. About $500 in tools.
  • 7 0
 Don't have any welding skills, and my toolbox is limited to a saw, power drill and pliers... maybe I'll try a build using plywood, screws and some elastic straps. Will post the result in 'buysell'...
  • 9 0
 So 13% of pinkbike users could design, fabricate and weld their own hardtail? Gotta say....I call bullshit.
  • 3 0
 ...although I'm sure most perceptions of what might qualify as a "bike" probably vary greatly, I think for the mostpart, people don't really understand what kind of skill and precision (not to mention background knowledge) it really requires to produce an generally "acceptable" product
  • 9 0
 The welds in that first pic look a bit cost effective
  • 2 1
 Can't help i-... Pedant here. Those are tack welds. Dammit, sorry.
  • 3 0
 @iduckett: Ha Ha yes i knew that i could reel someone in with a stupid remark , I am a fabricator myself so know all about welding myself to the workbench
  • 2 0
 @rideronthestorm1: This is what we call trolling Wink !
  • 2 0
 Well played sir, well played...
  • 2 0
 @rideronthestorm1: Cheers to fabricators! 3 year FSAE builder/racer here.
  • 2 0
 @iduckett: Awesome you must be very busy ,can only imagine a project like FSAE is almost a full time occupation Smile
  • 1 0
 @rideronthestorm1: Indeed! Although I should have mentioned I'm a former FSAEr ('07,'08,'09). Doesn't take away the work I put into it however. Late nights, all nighters, fun times! I should put some pictures on here.
  • 6 0
 I could get started, but I would never finish.
  • 3 0
 Needs an option between "No, but I'd really like to learn" and "No, because I'm an idiot". How about "No, because, though I'm a perfectly capable human being, I just don't have an interest"?
  • 2 0
 Just because you can, doesn't mean you should. As an advanced rider I'd rather pay good money for something that has gone through proper testing and is of proper quality. That alone is worth it in my opinion. Dont need to kill myself because of a poor weld or incorrect tube set being used.
  • 2 0
 I have a nice little TIG welder in my basement, I'm not a welder by trade but I can sometimes do a good job of making metal stick together with nice aesthetics. I work at a full-fledged fabrication shop... so, short of bicycle/suspesnsion design experience, yeah, I could make pretty much anything happen. BUT ain't nobody got time for that!
  • 2 0
 Working on my second bike! And have modded one before! Sure its expensive but dam its cool shredding on a bike you built not many people can say that.. I took frame building 101 at Fraser valley university with Paul Brodie. I Gained alot of knowledge from that course and a new frame I designed and built! If you are a true bike nerd I recommend it. If you have geometry ideas, or you want it to fit you a certain way. Build or get someone to build you something. Get your hands dirty and make some shit!
  • 3 0
 Building this without a real workshop and with basic tools. The price is lower than a commercial frame, but it takes a looonng time to build.
www.instagram.com/p/B737HeMncAV/?igshid=1bc516j03mptn
  • 3 0
 As one with 32yrs in a trade. I question a lot of those who responded and said YES!!!. Designing one on a computer is one thing. Cutting , fitting , fixturing, threading , and machining and welding is another.
  • 2 0
 Yes, craftsmanship and ability to work with hands/tools would be crucial and can’t be acquired reading a book or taking a course. Learning any trade requires ability and time, no way around it. Unless building a pos is the goal.
  • 2 0
 I think it would not be ridiculously difficult to build a lugged steel frame hard tail. For a first effort you could buy drop outs etc. I would probably not design it myself for a first frame, rather I think I would get specs from something that I liked so I wouldn't have to worry if my design was off. I would like to do it.
I "helped" my Dad build a boat over a couple years when I was a little kid, it was an experience that has shaped my life. 45 years later, my Dad is gone but I still have quite a lot of the tools we used and a wooden roller tool cabinet he built. I have built quite a few things and always try to repair or rebuild my own stuff as much as possible. I have owned a 51 GMC and a 51 International pickup and run an old jeep as my main vehicle.
For me building and working on stuff yourself is really valuable, and I would like to try building my own bike.

I may have to wait for the appearance of the Grim Donut to get specs for a frame I really want though!
  • 2 0
 I posted an ad on the local cycling FB group for old steel frames to salvage for learning welding, I ended up with 10 excited guys who wanted to weld as well!

Now I ordered some kit for acethylene+oxygen brazing, and a TIG kit as well...
  • 2 0
 Please don't take this as an ad, more like a statement of my experience in pursuing this very topic for real. I run Regular Cycles LLC, website is www.regular.bike -- I don't care if you visit or not, frankly, because I've been mired in safety testing purgatory for some number of YEARS now. My stuff is so close to ready, but it's just not ready. 99% is not 100%, and I have human ethics, which means I don't risk shipping bad product. I'm in debt up to my eyeballs, the only reason I've been making it work is when I left my previous career I had saved up a bit, and my wife has a steady job and we are without children and live frugally. With that in mind, please consider my words as NOT being an insult.

Most of you have no idea how hard this job is. "Oh you get to work your own hours", yeah, as in, I have a full grasp of all the tasks involved, and if my body allowed it, I would work 16 hours a day. Unfortunately that's a good way to get sick. Unless you have an extensive engineering or fabrication background, you WILL screw up your first ten frames. You will be keenly aware of every mistake. There are many days where I think, "man I should just go back to my regular job, that was so dang easy compared to this". The reason I keep going is I genuinely have a long term goal that has never been explored before, I have a certain style I'm aiming for that I have not yet fully realized. There aren't enough gearbox bikes and I'm making a new design that isn't new at all, it's based on seriously old technology. With a dash of carbon fiber thrown at it. "I'll just have to make the frames myself", is what I said to myself so innocently at the time. Oh, wait, turns out making carbon stuff is really hard to do consistently and safely.

If you have the motivation to build a frame anyway, what I can promise you that is positive is that you WILL learn something. You might learn a lot of somethings. That sense of rapidly expanding your mind is pretty stimulating.

I started by building hobby bamboo bikes, and as I was getting better I decided to cut one of my frames apart and look at the carbon lugs cross section. It was HORRIBLE. Fast forward many years, and now my cross sections look super snazzy when cut or viewing by X-ray, but that progress didn't just happen. Swear words were uttered, sweat was shed, blood was leaked, tears and fury and the realizing that just because you have mastered one career doesn't mean you know the first THING about another specialty.

All in all it was an eye opening experience, I learned to be way less judgmental of other people's jobs, I don't know what their life is like. If I was basically civil to low paid employees before, I'm downright kind to them now.

If you think your time would be better spent riding your bike rather than designing them... you're *probably* right. I press on for now because I have a purpose, and that purpose might evaporate at some point and I'd use my skills to make high priced race car parts or something.
  • 1 0
 I love bikes. I'm reasonably handy. I'd like like to learn to weld. I'd like to learn to work with composites. But somehow building my own bike isn't on the list of projects that I dream of. I tend to do/dream of projects where either 1. I can't get what I want as it isn't made, or 2. I can't afford to buy what I want and want to create a cheaper version.

There are so many awesome bikes out there that I'd like to ride that I don't see as much of a reason for 1 and even with bikes being reasonably expensive, it is still much cheaper to buy than build. So I doubt I'll ever build a bike.
  • 1 0
 The skill set between custom carbon and custom welding is massive.. I can probably do both given some actual time.. but that wasn't an option.. either or is kind of missleading since it's seperate skills and you can master( fake it) on both types of materials.
  • 3 0
 To me it’s like brewing your own beer. I could but why would I when someone else has done it and likely does a much better job of it than I do.
  • 1 0
 I weld and machine spinal surgery instruments and implants. I could handle a hardtail but wouldnt waste my time on a full suss bike unless i understood the kinematics enough to make something that was actually worth riding. I would love to machine some Ti parts for my own aggressive hardtail one day????... never enough hours in the day.
  • 2 0
 I would, but I want to make sure that the slave labor in China has jobs....producing my "Designed in California" frame and some "Made in Italy" road bits....I do not want them to suffer unemployment.
  • 1 0
 Honestly don't know. I have made tools for specific jobs. So I know how to work with metal. I have worked as a plumber. So know my way around gas tools. And likewise with with techical drawings. My main weakness would honestly be welding thin wall steel tubing. And I know how to work with fibreglass from doing some boatwork. But I do realize that there are differences in laying up carbon fiber and fibreglass. So a somewhat firm nope on the plastic frames for me.
  • 1 0
 I started replacing frame parts on my Kona Dawg with homemade carbon 2008ish. I did the seat stays and shock link and put about 500 miles on the carbon parts before selling the bike years later. No issues and I didn't die like everyone said.
  • 1 0
 I moved on to building a bamboo carbon frame. It ended up being a ton of work, life got in the way, and I never finished it.
  • 1 0
 Father in Law is a boiker maker and can weld anything from steel to Ti. I would love to have a crack at building a 27.5 pump track/DJ weapon. Plenty of jig desugns and lay ups are available online, but I can relate 100% to one of the earlier comments, I barely have enough time to ride the bikes I have with work and current injury situation, and before you guys comment and say "being injured is the perfect time to do it", the fact that the father in law lives 2500km away from where I currently am also throws a spanner in the works. But still, would be keen to give it a crack when I move a bit closer
  • 1 0
 Welding can be tricky to learn, but fillet brazing is easy enough to learn in an afternoon if you've got someone experienced to teach you. Like you won't be the next Curtis or anything in a matter of hours but I'm gonna claim it won't take much longer for someone with some basic metalworking experience to produce structurally acceptable seams. I took up a framebuilding class some time ago and have the privilege of sharing a workspace with some skilled folks. I've built two hardtails so I'm very much a novice still. The first one was a joke really, made from a bunch of recycled tubes for a hack bike derby. The second one turned out pretty ok but I made a lot of mistakes during building it and had to partially rebuild the rear triangle twice. I'll post them over at the homemade bikes thread some day for your enjoyment. It's a very labor intensive and time consuming hobby, but in the end it's so satisfying to ride something you built yourself, warts and all. I'd recommend giving it a try if the opportunity presents itself - maybe start with a rack, adding bottle cage bosses or a disc brake tab to your townie. Then again, there's no shame riding a stock frame, since at the end of the day what matters most is actually going out and enjoying your bike no matter who built it!
  • 2 0
 @seraph - exactly. Although I doubt I have the skills to build a bike. But I can certainly color between the lines if I have to.
  • 3 0
 How about, "No, because I just don't want to show off" or "Yes, hold my donut".
  • 3 1
 Being a tool and die machinist that can work with any material, (including carbon fiber) yeah, I could make anything......if I had time
  • 1 0
 Thats my big hangup. I can weld and machine. Only thing I would have to learn is CAD cause I would want to CNC some dope parts. But now I teach and I dont have time. Maybe when I retire....
  • 1 0
 i here ya. never enough time to make my own stuff
  • 2 0
 @ktm87: You have to make the time if it is something you really want to do. I started working on a jig about six months ago,bought some tanks regulators and torches in September.,purchased tubes in November and designed it over Christmas break.Just need to finish my jig and receive brazing rod and flux.
Frame should be done by next year.Ha.
  • 2 0
 @rideonjon: oh for sure. I spend alot of after hours at the shop working on personal stuff. It's worth it
  • 1 0
 I've done all the standard shop labor, but never got to welding and painting. It would be cool to have those skillsets, but I'm okay with wheelbuilds and suspension service as the limit of my bike wrenching.
  • 5 2
 Most of us could, if we put in the time and effort (to learn).
Reality says that to most, it's just not a priority.
  • 1 0
 I like how there's a bamboo bike on the thumbnail, but no option of anything to do with that. It may not be the most likely option of mountain bike frame material, but it's by far the easiest method of making your own frame.
  • 1 0
 I chose No, but I am planning on building one. My roommate and I are both mechanical engineers with basic skills in welding and metal working but haven't put enough thought into it. Hopefully soon!
  • 1 0
 for the past 10 ( or so ) years I've been adding certifications to my c.v. I have no interest in following through - maybe this would be something I'd enjoy doing for a living .. . .. . why not give it a go.. ?
  • 1 0
 Its fun to make stuff nomatter if you have kids or so the tmie is there just dont waste it befor a screen every day Smile And if you have kids i promise you the look on them when they get a homemade bike, well its worth it Smile
  • 2 0
 Hells yes! I watched enough A-team episode to virtually become a zen master with a blow torch. Now hold my beer and watch this!
  • 2 0
 "Yes, because my lack of ability to color between the lines has nothing to do with my imagined welding ability"
  • 2 0
 Done 3 frames: 2 Fatbike steel hardtails and a graveil bike .Very proud to ride them event they are not perfect
  • 1 0
 Yes. I'm seriously considering building a steel gravel/adventure frame. I find it very enjoyable to build and use stuff that i've designed.
  • 2 0
 I do want one of those bamboo kits. Comes with bb, dropouts and steer tube. Not for mountain biking just for pub rides.
  • 1 2
 Sure but as with anything you need to take small steps. First one would be make a bike like Izhar Gafni does.Ideally I'd keep it clear from the acetylene torch and look for more suitable bonding methods. Once I've finished that, I might attend a bamboo build your own bike workshop. I'd love to make a bamboo pumptrack bike. No drivetrain, no suspension, just something that creaks nicely as you move it through the berms and rollers. And then yeah maybe I'd try something with a drivetrain, suspension someday... But why hurry? Small steps are much more fun.
  • 1 0
 I recently finished building a lugged steel road bike frame. It was actually pretty simple and not as expensive as you’d think.
  • 4 1
 Why is there no "Done that already" option?
  • 1 0
 That's what I said.
  • 2 0
 I burn myself taking chips out of the oven.... thinking an arc welder isn't my vocation
  • 1 0
 My welds would look like pigeon shit. My mates would be cooing at me. I would never trust that it wouldn't break. Safer to buy one.
  • 1 0
 I guess you could always do something like this course where you get to build one as part of the course. www.ufv.ca/bicycle-technology/bike-frame-building-101
  • 1 0
 It'd be nice if there was an "I have built a mountain bike frame" option. It would be interesting to see how many folks on Pinkbike have done this.
  • 1 0
 That bike rules
  • 1 0
 No need to learn TIG, MIG carbon lay up or whatever you might think you need to “stick” tubes together. Just JB Weld them shits!
  • 1 0
 I would build a bike exactly like the Grim Doughnut, show it off then NOT GIVE A FOLLOW UP REVIEW OF IT...EVER...so it would just piss people off. Hmm...
  • 1 0
 I have the skills to design a bike, but after trying to hold a torch, I definitely can't weld a bike.
  • 1 0
 Should say could you Could You Build Your Own Mountain Bike Frame and then have the balls to ride said frame?
  • 1 0
 yes and hard to test them. :https://www.pinkbike.com/u/crepsausucre/album/ www.pinkbike.com/u/crepsausucre/album/ange-calm
  • 2 0
 What’s next: can you build your own trail? Can you fly a plane?
  • 1 0
 Can and should are 2 entirely different things. Why would anyone design and build a bike when you can just buy a Foes Mixer?
  • 3 0
 I totally lied!
  • 2 0
 Does designing and welding stationary bikes count?
  • 2 0
 Is this article aimed at Sick bike customers?
  • 1 0
 I could design one and build it, but it would be a bad design, not work and fall apart.
  • 2 0
 I can make my own beer, so yes.
  • 4 1
 Levy built me
  • 1 0
 Win any prizes yet?
  • 3 0
 i lied in my answer
  • 2 0
 I tried soldering once. Same thing, right?
  • 1 0
 Very few people are capable of designing a bicycle frame well. The numbers here are vastly inflated.
  • 2 0
 Where's the "My wife said I could after I get a visectomy" option
  • 1 1
 I could build a carbon frame and weld one. Susser or HT. Plus I could make most, if not all dropouts. Seems like it'd be real time consuming though.
  • 1 0
 What are you welding on carbon frame?
  • 2 1
 Speaking about builds, where the f#$k is the Grim Donut!???!!! Less Spengle, more Levy.
  • 1 1
 If someone starts a kickstarter where it is a online course that details all the basic equipment/how to setup/where to buy jigs/etc I'll be signing up straight away
  • 1 0
 I have built two dropper seat posts, one worked the other didn't. But I think building a frame would be even harder.
  • 1 0
 when will see the follow up video to the bike you guys built that had a 57 degree head angle?
  • 1 0
 in 20 years cad + test + print = bike or now if you are made of money
  • 1 0
 Anything and everything. Nothing is "hard" at this point, just time consuming.
  • 1 0
 It's always easier said than done - no matter what you do. All you have to do is "say it". Hello!
  • 1 0
 I could. Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale. Gilligans island plays in the background.
  • 1 0
 Holy crap! All the excuses to help you all sleep better at night is pathetic!
  • 1 0
 I would, but might end up looking like another Structure Works or Polygon!
  • 1 0
 Probably wouldn't weld anything, but I could handle brazing.
  • 1 0
 What about other material options? Wood? rootballbikes.com
  • 1 1
 Where is the "I have the design skills but I'm gonna need a mate to do the welding" option? That's my bucket.
  • 1 0
 Not really, so it will probably end up looking like an Orange.
  • 1 0
 Mine shall be made of balsa
  • 1 0
 Absolutely no interest in doing that, at all.
  • 1 0
 I could build one but the commenters will probably talk smack on my welds.
  • 1 0
 I rather prefer riding it, than building it
  • 1 0
 @reclaimdesigns on insta. In the middle of building another frame .
  • 1 0
 Well, yes. I've actually have...
  • 1 0
 Of course I can! I just would not want to ride it...
  • 1 0
 I’m calling bullshit on most of you.
  • 1 0
 I weld good. Ooooooh nice bead!
  • 1 0
 I could design one for sure. But i dont think im a good welder.
  • 1 0
 Would totally not look like a Session tho Big Grin
  • 1 0
 Built a couple already
  • 1 0
 Sage has built 2.
  • 1 0
 Invest in a 3d printer
  • 1 0
 And post the results to fail army. Unless you mean a lumex or renwshaw machine that costs astronomical amounts to buy and fill.
  • 1 0
 deleted*
  • 1 0
 Mannaggia a Brt
  • 1 0
 MA GULASHAASSSSORETA
  • 1 0
 How many legos do I get?

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