The FCKW Frameworks Reclaimer Was Designed and Built Completely by Hand

May 15, 2020 at 9:14
by James Smurthwaite  

What have you done in quarantine? Watch a lot of trash TV? Eat too many snacks? Maybe given some DIY a go? Benni Amend has gone one better than most and built himself an entire bike.

A 140mm travel trail bike paired with a 150mm fork for Benni's homemade steel machine.

This is the 140mm travel, 29er FCKW Frameworks Reclaimer. It's the first bike Benni has ever built, and he's done it all by hand with no computers involved. Benni is a carpenter by trade and openly admits he has no background in bike design. He says, "I acquired all my knowledge by watching YouTube videos for hours and the rest was instinct and luck".

Benni said he just likes to "swim against the current" and would probably have been happy buying a bike off the shelf but the appeal of being connected to the bike by building it meant more to him was irresistible.
Geometry

Rider Height 172cm (5'8")
Reach 455mm
Head Angle 65.5°
Seat tube angle 76°
Chainstays 455mm
Wheelbase 1240mm
BB Drop 30mm

Without access to CAD, Benni sketched the entire bike out by hand then made 1:1 wooden models to ensure the bike would work for things such as the chainline and to check the dimensions for the shock installation. After that, he simply got on with building. While he admits not using any computers is probably a slower way to build bike, Benni believes it allowed him to get it right first time as he could see the problems arise as he went along. He says, "mistakes can be discovered better because you can think through 100% of every part that you hold in your hands. The computer thinks nothing."

Benni sketched out the bike and the built up scale models of the complicated parts to make sure everything worked.

Benni's carpentry skills continued to be useful throughout the build

Inspiration for the linkage came from his two current bikes, an Orange Stage 6 and a Commencal Supreme. He describes this as a cross between the two and it's basically a simpler take on the current trend of high single pivots.

Benni describes his linkage as "a little something fancy without big frills."


FCKW started life as a small race team Benni ran but now he uses the name to organise small races, parties and excursions. He says it stands for "bikes, beer and party!"

Benni has only been able to test the bike on some smooth trails so far and has been pleasantly surprised at the bike's ability. He says: "I don't know anything about the kinematics and it was a bit of a gamble but I also notice that the geometry of the bike is very well tailored to me." He said there are a few things he could change but he's satisfied enough with it to not feel the need to try again.


A pair of orange Formula Cura brakes stand out on a bike that's all raw steel and stealth components



The process has ingnited a bike building spark for Benni and he says he will be looking to build another bike when he has recovered from the stresses of this one. Next on his list is an e-bike version of the bike for his father, despite his father claiming, "he doesn't need such new foolish nonsense."




136 Comments

  • 125 0
 fun fact, FCKW means Fluorchlorkohlenwasserstoff and was used as a coolant in fridges until it was banned for being too damaging for the ozone layer also, sick bike. mad respect to anyone who builds his own rig and rides it
  • 18 3
 Chlorofluorocarbon
  • 6 0
 Haha first thing I thought of as well. Also was used as a propellant in spray cans a lot back in the day.
  • 15 0
 Was my first field of research, specifically NO & NO2 in Polar Stratospheric Clouds(worth googling, very interesting colors) - caused by many common(now banned) cfc based coolants.
  • 94 0
 And there was me thinking it meant F*** work...
  • 6 0
 @isaacschmidt: Cheers! My second field of research was aligned with this. Studied NOx photodissociation and related reaction dynamics to refine our models of stratospheric chemistry.
  • 2 0
 @Bubzreh: yup.cfc
  • 3 0
 @melanthius: Kind of wish I'd stayed in the atmospheric arena, was/is still more interesting than what I do now... The lab I was at closed down, and some folks moved to the pole, I went into more air modeling for heavier carcinogenic compounds related to cities with elevated cases of asthma & respiratory illnesses for a couple years. Moved to AZ and got to work on carbonaceous chondritic material looking at simple amino acids for ASU & industry. Now in the environmental world.
  • 13 0
 I thought it meant *f*ckWorks... f*ckworks Frameworks, kind of rolls off the tongue... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • 7 0
 Well than Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious
  • 1 0
 @mountainsofsussex: that’s where my head went.
  • 3 0
 @melanthius: I have absolutely no idea what you just said
  • 6 6
 @isaacschmidt: Worry not, they still use them every day in China and other places where most of our stuff is made.

Reality, sucks eh?
  • 7 3
 looks like a session
  • 4 1
 @RoadStain: Unfortunately I am acutely aware of what countries & industries use ABC chemicals & XYZ "replacement/safer" chemistries... I work for an environmental laboratory, we do everything from PFAS(Per & Poly Fluoroalkyl Substances - think fire fighting foam, teflon, dupont etc.) to compliance for townships and municipalities. Most things are safe until sufficient time has passed that full scale exposure & medical tests can be done. Asbestos, DDT, TCE, the list goes on...
  • 5 0
 @isaacschmidt: he was referring to cfc tracking by an independent body recently and it was found that china was lying about their cfc emissions. Surprise suprise
  • 4 0
 @makripper: I know. China is also one of the world's largest producers of Methylmercury(unfortunately so is the US) Some Methylmercury found in Northern Minnesota & Canada can be traced back to China through atmospheric deposition from burning of coal, fossil fuels, and waste in general.
  • 1 0
 @isaacschmidt: That’s awesome that you’re still in the field. I left for the semiconductor industry and even there I found a niche for a while as a spectroscopist. One of my lab-mates went on to design airborne Raman-LIDAR systems for atmospheric detection and I’m still a little jealous of him for staying in the simplicity of the gas phase.
  • 4 0
 @DaFreerider44: Here, I’ll translate from Nerd: I spent my twenties shooting things with lasers and watching them glow. Sometimes I ran them into each other like billiard balls first. For science!
  • 1 0
 @dburbs: f*ck you’re right, it really *does* look like a session!
  • 2 0
 today i learned something from the pinkbike comments. thanks @Upduro
  • 3 8
flag RoadStain (May 19, 2020 at 4:16) (Below Threshold)
 @isaacschmidt: (unfortunately so is the US)

Why unfortunate? Hell, we at least in theory will do it cleaner than China will, to that, I sure wish mass demographics of the US would stop creating more humans, they are just waste on the earth as well, right?

Seriously, making paint even in the US is FAR better for the planet than making paint in China. City I used to live in many MFG plants closed due to the EPA and Envi-Terror tree huggers. So, Americans lost jobs, and the product is now produced in China with out any pesky EPA, OSHA or another other rules to protect a damn thing.

Sure makes the Enviro-Wacko's feel good, the delusion they helped a damn thing..
  • 6 0
 @RoadStain: No doubt the environmental restrictions in place in China are far less stringent than those set by EPA and each state's regulatory agency, multiple industries are an example of this. I can't comment on paint manufacturing facilities or their practices, nor can I comment on the Hg content in the coal & coke product pre-combustion(to say which is better at doing it than the other). Point being Mercury deposition is bad, and as far as I know, by tonnage released into the atmosphere US, China, and likely India are the top 3. There will always be two sides, I'm just presenting facts.
  • 1 14
flag RoadStain (May 19, 2020 at 4:51) (Below Threshold)
 @isaacschmidt: Do not at all disagree with the facts, just with the THEORY that any chemical found, produced, released or whatever by man makes an appreciable difference in an ever-changing planet. Pretty arrogant as a species to think that we do.

Hell, even if we look at Hiroshima or Prince William Sound...the Enviro-Terrorists are proven wrong. God knows we do not want to repeat Prince William (Hiroshima style is dependant upon many factors). I go out of my way to NOT pollute the planet and more so, the small creatures around me....but, I will not deny the fact that ever single part of my bike(s) required chemicals that are "bad". Same for my car(s), home, clothing and on and on...I am here a short while. Not at all going to feel guilty for enjoying what I can....
  • 3 0
 @RoadStain: Ah, I get your comment now. I understand, there are still some compounds in use - metal plating industry, AFFF, that are known carcinogens that have yet to be replaced by environmentally & human safe alternatives. In this context, I was referencing the tonnage produced by each country as an unfortunate volume.

While perhaps not every anthropogenic compound released increases/impacts global temperatures, it is hard to argue with an increase in particulate content in the atmosphere and an increase in temperature.

You do you, I'm not at all saying anyone should change their habits - that's not my duty/soapbox. I certainly can't say that every product I own or every action I practice is the cleanest/most conscious it could be.
  • 10 1
 @RoadStain: Dude, stop wearing your tin foil hat.
It's scientifically proven that the man-made climate change is a real thing.
Just because your intelligent president thinks that it's not, doesn't mean it's all a natural developement.
  • 1 14
flag RoadStain (May 19, 2020 at 5:24) (Below Threshold)
 @bashhard: Sure, I pour oil on a river, it makes a difference. Who again was it that melted the glaciers? What man killed the dinosaurs? You know, of course, there are more species of creatures that are extinct than in existence today, correct?

Never said we do not make a difference, just that the enviro-wacko's are playing Chicken Little - and, MOST of society has very little time for them.

On a positive note, to move my boat to my new region will only take about 4000 gallons of diesel fuel!
  • 2 0
 @RoadStain: what the f*ck kind of boat are you moving?!
  • 14 1
 @scotttherider:
From reading most of his comments I’d say a douche canoe.
  • 1 0
 @sunringlerider: "that's a heavy boat to move, son."
  • 1 0
 Also, it's the anti-MCFK
  • 1 0
 @sunringlerider: some of mine ain’t much better than his depending on views but that’s a big douche canoe!
  • 119 0
 "I acquired all my knowledge by watching YouTube videos for hours"
Just like most of the "Pinkbike Engineers".
But Benni actually went and built something awesome! Much respect.
  • 4 3
 top comment
  • 4 1
 That explains the teeny tiny shock
  • 2 0
 @kleinblake: making a bike design and trying to figure out leverage ratios etc is harder than you’d think. I designed a downhill frame when I was still in high school and it took me several weeks to get my side top and overall drawings to jive. Also had to move pivot points etc to get the shock length to what I wanted it to be and have it actually work. If you start adding linkages into the mix it only complicates it further.
  • 2 0
 @scotttherider: bikechecker makes that process significantly easier
  • 1 0
 @kleinblake: they have such a thing?! I’m going to guess they didn’t in 2003 though.
  • 1 0
 @scotttherider: it’s been around for a little while, but it’s definitely gotten better over the years
  • 54 3
 Better looking than an Orange.
  • 2 3
 came here to say the same thing
  • 63 0
 And doesn’t sound like a skeleton wanking in a biscuit tin
  • 16 0
 @sewer-rat: That sound happens to turn me on.
  • 2 0
 @sewer-rat: Is that what happened to that famous ten-inch pianist?
  • 3 0
 @sewer-rat: Pure gold!
  • 2 2
 Orange by name, wank by nature. Foken oath
  • 2 0
 @sewer-rat: That made me actually LOL
  • 5 0
 @sewer-rat: jesus, I just spat half a slice of pizza across the room, next time I see an Orange bike I will have flash backs to that comment, thankfully they are rare around here.
  • 46 0
 take the photo!!! take the photo!!!!
  • 18 0
 I love all these homemade bikes! So cool! Makes me want to sketch something out and give it a try. I like how many different ways people have gone about it. Good job!
  • 12 0
 I'm not gonna moan about keeping a job in this current climate and having to work from home during Lockdown, but daaaaayum would I have loved to have had the time to put my mind to something like this. My effort would have been more along the lines of empty Pringle tubes held together with parcel tape and an empty beer can for a 'shock' but hey it would have been fun. Absolute fair play and props to that man!
  • 1 0
 Truth. Mad props.....
  • 13 0
 Looks Amazing!!! I love raw steel tubed bikes.
  • 13 0
 Is that a Forbidden Druid? No, it's a FCKW DRNK.
  • 11 0
 Number of bikes available for sale during 1st year of production? The same number of Canyon Spectrals in their first year in the US. 0
  • 10 1
 Am I the only one that stopped seeing the bike and started wondering who it got balanced on a stump??!!
  • 2 5
 Shit wheel bearings if you can stand your bike up like that
  • 3 0
 Hold the bike, quickly put your arms away and shoot the pic.
  • 5 1
 nice work!
Why is the top tube connected to the seat tube by fillet brazing and not welded like the rest?
Is it because of the seat post (no weld to be removed on the inside) or because of the welding distortion, or why?
thanks
  • 2 0
 I think you're probably right about the cleanup on the inside but I don't think he's worried about distortion as much. The top triangulated tube looks like it actually is welded but since it's right at the top of the seat tube, it'd be easy to clean up where the main top tube would be more difficult. Also, the bb and head tubes are also welded so it would seem he has a handle on managing heat to avoid distortion.
  • 7 0
 I don't care how it rides, that's f*cking awesome and I want one.
  • 9 3
 I like the new fuck bike
  • 5 0
 Can i put a bottle cage on there?!
  • 1 0
 Bohr a Loch nei,schweiß a Muata drauf, dann nimmst an Flaschenhalter und zwoa Schrauben und schraubst des zam.
  • 2 0
 Detailed English version: Drill a hole or not, depending on the length of the screw (hole makes the frame theoretically more unstable) then you weld a nut on it or a metal ring with a hole in the middle into which you cut a thread, then you take your bottle holder and screw it on. Of course, you first have to measure where and with what distance you drill or weld something.
  • 6 0
 Sick bud.
  • 5 0
 Making your own bike, so hot right now..
  • 4 0
 Blue steel is real.
  • 2 0
 Why have that welded kink in the chainstay that makes it horizontal? Purely aesthetics or would it be a forces reason? Would a straight line from the jockey wheel to the rear axle not be best?
  • 4 0
 It could be to reduce the chain slapping on the chainstay
  • 3 0
 Clearance for the chain.
  • 5 0
 You're assuming that the stay is flat from the pivot to the axle. It's not because it has to leave the narrow seat tube, go wide of the tyre and then run down to the axle. So it would need a welded chamfer joint in it anyway. Given that you also need chain clearance (as others have noted) then dropping it as well makes some sense even if it tangles with notions of aesthetics.
  • 4 0
 The rear triangle is aluminum not steel.
  • 2 0
 Sick! Not that it seems he needed CAD in the end, but for those without access to CAD, Fusion 360 is a CAD software which gives free licenses for hobbyist users.
  • 4 0
 What kind of dropper is that *butterfly meme*
  • 1 0
 I'm also really keen to know, the only decent travel dropper like that is the KS EXA-Form Speed Up Seatpost but I don't think thats what it is
  • 2 0
 Please review the dropper. They are only $50 but you have to take your hands off the bars to operate. Probably best for the enduro rides and not rolling terrain.
  • 1 0
 @james-skipper: pretty sure that’s the dropper that they fit to mid-range production Treks. I’ve got the identical one on a Roscoe 9 and a Remedy. Cable operated and bombproof reliable. Search maybe Bontrager Line Dropper.
  • 1 0
 @vapidoscar: my mistake, I just saw the little handle. Weird... it’s the identical design to the cable op one I have but without the remote.
  • 1 0
 from what i can spot by the photos the lever it reads "air damper". However the zoom is not sufficient enough to tell the brand ;(
  • 2 1
 Nice looking bike, one modification, could do with a some reinforcement between swinging arm pivot point & shock mount, as will greatly stiffen up & can corner hard without a lot of flex leading to failure?
  • 1 0
 Drawing by hand now thats impressive!! Also a free CAD based on SOLIDWORKS, Onshape.com. Free but all you work is public. Loads of tutorials if your starting out. Commercial available too
  • 1 0
 So strange that it looks absolutely cool! It has it's own beauty and this guy really has some talent given the way he describes the build process. Absolutely amazing!
  • 3 1
 That is a great looking effort and I bet it rides as well or better than a lot of production bikes. You've got a winner.
  • 1 0
 Great result! Really like the simplicity of this thing! I hope he finds someone who can help him reduce the number of solid parts in the chainstay assembly.
  • 1 0
 Nice work, I would need recovery from the stress of that build also. Cool that he did a woody first. Let's see some homemade e bikes!
  • 1 0
 @boozed: The context of imagining as opposed to stating a definitive result are completely different.

Your just bamboozled HAHA lol
  • 1 0
 Bamboozled by this response, perhaps. But you haven't answered the question.
  • 1 0
 @boozed: Good grief Man, you have no imagination apparently. Its the appearance of its design; Hence, high pivot in relation to the angles of shox and triangles render the look of bikes from yesteryears. Like the nostalgic Klein-Mantra -"BOINGBOINGBOING.... "now you get, i hope.? Its kinda like watching an old Road Runner cartoon.
To further alleviate your stress; i never meant it actually rides like a Pogo stick.

www.pinkbike.com/news/1996-klein-mantra-pro-now-that-was-a-bike.html
  • 1 0
 @likeittacky: I try not to assume what people mean, especially on the internet. It causes embarrassment.
  • 2 0
 Box section aluminum wins. Bring back the Pace RC100!
  • 3 0
 Be like Benni!
  • 1 0
 I also designed my own high pivot bike. That idler is not nearly strong enough I found out.
  • 1 0
 Definitely want to see some 3rd person video of him riding this thing! Rad bike!
  • 1 0
 How the f does it stand up on that piece of wood like that?

Honest question.
  • 1 0
 Very briefly
  • 2 0
 I'd ride that into the apocalypse. Nicely done, sir!
  • 1 0
 Excellent work mate, the fact it can balance on it's rear wheel is a bonus. Bikes, beer and party, sign me up.
  • 1 0
 Pleaaase!!! The formula cura are not ORANGE. They are GOLDEN!! It is so obvious and it is said on their website.
  • 1 0
 Looks good , but i have the feeling rear triangle will be very flexy. Not sure how will deal with the forces when riding..
  • 1 0
 i fear for the mid 'chainstay' butt weld joint the tension forces in that member at bottom out will be can opener strength.
  • 1 0
 This FCKW my loved enduro bikes. Good work
  • 2 0
 Well done!!
  • 1 0
 What kind of pressure do you have to run in that shock?
  • 1 0
 Great story! This bike looks great!
  • 1 0
 #WITGD
  • 1 0
 look fckup but im cool.
  • 1 0
 Mantis
  • 3 3
 Is the Grim Donut´s sister????? Does she know where is the ride review???
  • 9 0
 You mean the Glam Danish?
  • 2 0
 seriously, where is the grimy dog testicle?
  • 3 0
 Introspective Mudcake
  • 1 0
 AKA Spartan 117
  • 1 0
 Right Wink
  • 1 0
 Good on him. Looks good!
  • 1 0
 sickkkkk
  • 1 0
 Looks steep
  • 2 0
 your right. check this out

www.pinkbike.com/photo/18716548
  • 1 1
 Its ugly. I like it and would be proud to have built it.
  • 2 1
 Looks like an orange.
  • 1 0
 All hail the balfa bb7
  • 1 3
 ...youtube videos included; unified rear triangle 101 and the amazing Trek 'Y' bike...
  • 3 1
 Very different designs. Bottom bracket in front triangle vs in rear triangle.
  • 1 1
 @Saether: haha I was referring to aesthetics...
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