Monday, January 30, 2012

Starting a new partnership -

Hey hey everyone,

my friends Adrian and Joakim from are starting a partnership with me :).

They make some absolutely awesome clothes/shoes(they have designed them themselves, original works) and since they like my bikes quite a bit, we decided to forge an alliance.

In a few months i'll be able to sell their hoodies and t-pak's and they can sell my bicycles

Thats it, anoter update coming later today :)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Working through winter wonderland - tough times

Hey guys,

It's been a while since i've posted and the main issue is that my garage door has frozen completely over(we had some peculiar weather a week ago) and i've been trying to melt the ice off ever since.

I finally got in yesterday evening after i had broken the lock, but then i found out that I had no electricity - this morning I find that it has been turned off because apparently there was a huge draw on energy(like trying to melt the door free?) and the managing company turned it off(because they thought somebody was stealing electricity.

Anyways, i'm going back there tonight and will try to get more pictures of the jig and parts i have lined up.

Thanks :)

Monday, January 16, 2012

How to build a bicycle frame - welding jig special part 2

Hey guys, sorry for the long wait.
As you might have read, I had a pretty nasty case of the virus attacks - basically ruined most the of the files - had to recover the hard drive, and that took 3 tries and about 2 weeks. Backing up your files really does help :).
But enough about that, lets get started with the heavy duty frame jig plans :)

Aluminium bicycle frame welding jig - heavy duty

This welding jig is made out of 1 type of material - 6063-t6/t82 aluminium. High strength and adequate weight made it a good choice.
Since i did not have the tools to cut it, i had it cut at a local metal shop, which cost me around 175 bucks, with material. The lathe cut details ran me an another 110 bucks. Add about 25 bucks for all kinds of threading taps and bolts and you've got yourself a mean bicycle frame welding jig!
The weight came in at around 40 pounds. Heavy, but good for the welder and good for me - stiff jig means a straight and true frame.

You can find the cutting files and drawings here - - make sure you use the latest revision, since the earlier one was missing some parts for some reason.
If you have any issues opening the files, give me a shout and i'll tr to give you a file that works for you. Most metalworking shops should be able to cut the parts using the DXF file in the package.

How to put it all together? 

Compared to the MDF welding jig, this is very straight forward -
* get the parts cut/CNC'd
* get some hand taps that work with theholes specified
* clean, tap the holes
* bolt it all together
* marvel at your skill
* start making frames

Questions, problems, notes etc

Since this jig was designed in the metric system, i would suggest migrating to it aswell. If it is not an option, just use a metric-to-inch thread conversion table and select those which match the metric ones best.

The materials i used are also metric standard, so a 10mm material can be substituted for either a 0.40 thickness material(10.16mm) etc. Slightly thicker materials probably wont hurt you as much as going thinner, because the bolts might not fit in the end.

I used only 2 threads to simplify the construction  - M10 and M6.

Additional drawings are available with dimensioning, but i did not add them, since they are in metric - if you still want them, contact me :)

Thanks for checking my blog and send me an email/hoot if you have any questions. Next blog post is coming by Friday, i promise - it will include a lot of pictures about the heavy duty jig, me assembling it and showing how it fits different frames(videos included)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Update to the roadside blog - virus attack

Hello everybody,

over christmas i had a real miracle happen - a virus that basically destroyed my windows install folder and currently i'm recovering files. Since i lost about 6 months worth of work, i'm tracing my steps and i will put a new  post up when i have either recovered the files or created a new version of them.

Thanks and keep a stiff up a lip :)

Friday, December 23, 2011

How to build a bicycle frame - welding jig special part 1

Hello all,

I had planned to write this post after the 24th, but because many people were curious and contacted me to get more information regarding welding jig's and how they were made, how much did it cost and if it actually worked. I'll try to answer as many questions below, if I leave something useful out then just give me a hoot and i'll add it in there :)

MDF/Plywood welding jig
If you are planning to build between 1-3 frames for your own use, I'd suggest using the following jig. While it is only meant to last the welding of a few frames, the cost and simplicity of manufacturing offsets the short lifespan. After about 3 frames, the jig is too soft to use. The main issue was that due to the softness of wood, the frames would come out crooked.

Manufacturing/machining the jig:
Cutting files and model can be found here: bicycle frame welding jig
As for machining the jig itself, I reccommend contacting a local wood working shop, furniture building company or a metal company with a CNC router or a waterjet cutting aparatus(note that plywood can be cut by a waterjet, MDF cannot, as it will absorb too much water and become distorted after a few days as it dries out).
Drawings: please send me an email or message here or reddit, to get the drawings - can't attach them to the blog directly :(

Cost and bill of materials:
 - 1 sheet of 18/20mm plywood or MDF. 0.7 to 0.8 inch thick to our american friends :)
 - M10 and M6 screws, 40 mm lenght. Unfortunately i have no idea about inch thread sizes, its about 0.35 inches of bolt thickness for M10 and 0.22 inches of bolt thickness for M6. lenght would be 1.5inches. if you want better results, you can buy a few washers too.
 - 2 quick releases, 1 front wheel and 1 rear wheel. The front wheel one is used to secure the bottom bracket, rear wheel one is used to secure he headtube(allows a maximum height of abot 145mm)
 - a jar of good wood glue
 - some wood screws(make sure you drill atleast a 2.5mm or 0.1 inch lead hole to reduce material splitting)
 - about 1-1.5 hours of your time and a good mood
Since I had all of this lying around the house, it cost me roughly 30bucks/20 euros to get the parts CNC cut by a local wood shop. If you have to buy everything from skratch, I'd estimate the cost to be around 75 bucks/55 euros. Works fine for first prototypes and gives you a good sense of how difficult building these things really is - (its not :) ).

Build order:
 - start by finding the material to cut the jig blanks out of. Plywood or MDF will do fine.
 - after you have gotten your material, take it to a place that will cut the blanks out for you. after accomplishing this, give yourself a pat on the back and have a break, this is the hardest part.
 - go buy your bolts, washers(if needed), wood screws and some good wood glue
 - start preparing your parts for assembly - sand rough edges, clear holes and give them a gentle sand to remove any collected particles.
 - drill lead holes into the headtube and seat tube (detail B-01, B-03 and B-04) and into 1 B-02 spacer block. after drilling is done, line the blocks up, add some wood glue in between and drive the screws in. wipe excess glue to make it look nice and make sure to check that you have a 90 degree angle(+/- 1 degree is fine).
 - with M10 bolts, the thread is quite coarse, so i decided to forgo any anchors and just threaded the bolts into the MDF. If you dont overtighten the bolts, it should hold adequately to complete a few frames.
 - you may have noticed that the rear axle block is missing completely -  that was substituted by a M10 thread rod with some nuts and bolts spaced at strategic positons. When i needed to change chainstay length i just unsecured one bolt and slid the thread rod/nut assembly up or down the slide - easy peasy.
- When using quick releases to secure either bottom bracket or headtube, use an anchor ( picture) - thread is too small to drive it directly into the material. In europe, the quick release thread is M5 - not sure if its the same for the US and CA.
- After getting everything secured and bolted togeather, make sure you check all angles before welding - this will avoid getting crooked frames.

I'm sure I left something out, so if you start the build and hit trouble, just send me a hoot and I'll give you a helping hand.

As an added bonus to the people who made it to the end - a singlespeed frame design I've been working on - feedback much appreciated :)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

How to build a frame part 1: materials, welding and tube sizes(+ welding jig)

Hey all.

The point of this series is to show how we plan to build some nice Roadside Designs bicycles and frames.

All the info i'm putting up here will be OPEN SOURCE  - email me if you want any drawings to technical knowledge, i'd be happy to oblige. Unless its personal or difficult to explain, everything in the following series of posts should be information enough on how to manufacture your own singlespeed/fixie frame!

1) Materials
Bicycle frames are usually made from 4 common materials - steel, aluminium, titanium or carbon. More exotig materials are available, but difficult to source and difficult to manufacture with. Shortlist:
 - steel: heavy yet very strong. since thin walled tubes are difficult to acquire in Estonia, I will steer clear
 - aluminium: 3x lighter than steel, stiff but prone to strain induced cracks. at same strenght, it is 35-40% lighter than steel (my material of choice)
 - titanium: 2x lighter than steel, very stiff, very strong. difficult to source materials and very tricky to weld. will stay away right now
- carbon: 3-5x lighter than steel, extremely stiff, does not like scratches or dings. can be produced, but needs specialized tools, which are difficult to acquire. will stay away, but considering for future purposes.

I'm setteling with aluminium alloy, 6063-T6 and 6082-T6, because a good supply is available and its highly weldable and relatively easily machineable. It has very good material properties and nice tube sizes.

A quick pic of a frame I designed for a friend:

2)  Welding
Bicycle frames are usually welded, brazed or bonded. Welding works well with steel, titanium and aluminium, bonding with carbon and if you have a flare for nostalgia and beautiful and hidden welds, then brazing is the way to go for steel.

Welding has 2 main subtypes used with steel/aluminium/titanium - TIG(tungsten inert gas) and MIG ( metal inert gas). MIG welding is done with an automatic filler rod feed(think robots), TIG welding is done by hand, and filler added as needed(MIG can also be done very well by hand, but welding round tubes with MIG welders is best done with robots).
TIG welding produces very nice welds with a wide weld pool - ensuring good quality of the frame(for example, an aluminium frame can have a 5mm wide weld pool, while titanium frames have used 2mm and less).

Welding 6000 series aluminium yields usually very good results and thusfar has not produced any frames that have cracked(thanks to the good welders too).

3) Tube sizes

When looking for tubes, its generally a good idea to scout out what the importer has to offer. First - to get the lightest yet stiffest frame possible, second - to make sure that your bottom bracket threads and headset cups fit nicely. If you can get your hands on some oval/elliptical tubes, then go for it, at the very moment i'm limited to completely circular tubes. Or rectangular.

General sizes:

Headtube/bottom bracket - 34mm inner diameter, 2-3mm wall thickness(for inches, its 1.34 inner diameter, and 0.075-0.100 inch wall thickness)
Toptube/downtube - anything starting from 30mm up to 45mm, wall thickness 1.5-2.0mm(for inches, its 1.2 to 1.75 inches for outer diameter with 0.060 to 0.075 wall thickness.
Chainstays - between 16 and 22mm, wall thickness generally 1.5mm(or 1.0mm if you are feeling adventurous. For inches, thats between 0.6 and 0.85, with a wall thickness of 0.060 inches.

4) Welding jig

 A picture is worth a thousand words :).

More information regarding the project will come in a short while, probably on the 24th or 25th, depending how much food I consume.

Happy holidays :)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Building frames - a new series starting 22 of Dec!

Hey guys,

I'm in the process of starting up my own bicycle company.

Building frames - new series of posts, where you can join me in seeing how a bicycle frame starts from a bunch of tubes and ends up as a beautiful frame! I'll go over geometries, materials, cutting, threading and all manner of other stuff interesting and uninteresting :)

Planning to do 2 bike types - singlespeed bikes and fixie bikes. I'd love your feedback on my ideas :)

Aimed to be ultrasleek and ultralight. Currently I'm trying to get it to weigh around 7.9 kg or about 17.4 pounds. Comfortable yet very agile to use. Frame size would not be variable, fixed at 60cm or 19 inches.
1-2 colors and a few other small things you could change - very basic yet very versatile.
* Light, sleek and sexy
* Easy to use, for city folk

It would be of a similar concept to the singlespeed, but lacking a rear brake and utilizing a much more agressive parts - heavier gears, lighter(and smaller) tires, stronger spokes, a much more agressive fork/ handlebar combination. The frame would be almost completely made to order - almost anything can be changed.
* Light, svelt and agressive stance
* Customizeable frame

Custom frames and framekits for everybody! For the near future, I am limiting production to only singlespeed frames and biketrials frames. Pictures and info shall start arriving in the near future, when I've gotten a chance to get more pics!

Let me know what you think, feedback much appreciated. Pricepoints are still open, but hoping to keep the price in the 350-450 USD/  270-340 EUR range.

Thanks :)