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Build your own frame under the tutelage of Geoff Roberts

Custom framebuilder Enigma has announced a new Frame Building Academy, running week-long courses in which you'll learn to build frames and come away with your very own joined up set of pipes. The course costs £1200 plus materials and applications are now open.

Enigma staff say they have been askedif they offer frame building classes but being a small team in a very busy frame shop has meant they’ve not had the spare time. But bowing to popular demand the new Enigma Frame Building Academy will be available to enrol to from August 2014.

To make the courses happen, Enigma will be partnering with their friend and legend of UK frame building Geoff Roberts of the Roberts Cycles dynasty. Geoff started in the family frame building business when he was in his early teenage years and was trained by his father and company founder the late Charlie Roberts. Geoff has an unparalleled level of skill and experience plus a vast pool of knowledge, which he will share in the course.

The courses will be one week long, limited to just one per month for only two people at a time in the Enigma workshop. Attendees will experience the atmospheric hustle and bustle of the workshop where frames go from tube selection through to final paint and finishing. Geoff is a real character and a great teacher and Enigma say a week’s frame building with him will be an unforgettable experience.

The frame building course lasts five days, Monday to Friday, and will cost you £1200.00 plus materials. What you get for your money is a tour of Enigma Works, a health and safety in the work shop briefing, an essential bike fit followed by a personal frame design and Columbus tubing selection.

Then you’ll move on to equipment set up, a demonstration of how the jig works and the tools needed to build your frame and cut and miter the tubes, and the preparation of lugs. Then there’s a brazing demonstration followed by students finally getting their hands dirty with a practice session before the construction and brazing of their very own frames.

Finally, there are the finishing touches of checking of braze-on fittings, shot blasting, cleaning, alignment and tracking of your frame.

The price doesn't include painting. Enigma will paint your frame for you from £180 depending on the finish, or you can take it away and get it sprayed elsewhere. 

Lunch is provided each day with unlimited tea, coffee and biscuits. We reckon we could dunk a good grand’s worth of biscuits in five days so the course sounds good value to us. And you get your very own bike frame, made by your own hand.

If you fancy a little bit more input into ho your frame looks then the Classic Frame Building Course might be for you. In addition to the standard course you get the opportunity to select the paint scheme and decals of your choice during a tour of the paint shop and mixing room and an opportunity to discuss any other requirements needed for the bike’s build.

Your frame will then be left in the hands of the Enigma paint team to spray to your special colour and then couriered to you. The Classic course will cost £1500.00 plus materials.

For more information Enigma Bikes

Jo Burt has spent the majority of his life riding bikes, drawing bikes and writing about bikes. When he's not scribbling pictures for the whole gamut of cycling media he writes words about them for road.cc and when he's not doing either of those he's pedaling. Then in whatever spare minutes there are in between he's agonizing over getting his socks, cycling cap and bar-tape to coordinate just so. And is quietly disappointed that yours don't He rides and races road bikes a bit, cyclo-cross bikes a lot and mountainbikes a fair bit too. Would rather be up a mountain.

5 comments

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russwparkin [45 posts] 1 year ago
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these things are fantastic

people looking for a good steel bike anyway will basically have to pay a couple hundred more. and imagine rocking up to the open mould carbon club and people mocking your frame, to be able to say 'see that perfect smooth weld there? i did that'

very cool

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notfastenough [3661 posts] 1 year ago
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2 people per month, there'll be some waiting list for this, sounds awesome!

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severs1966 [293 posts] 1 year ago
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I'd love to do this. But I'd love to learn how to build recumbent trikes even more, and then I can build my own, being a tandem if possible (buying one costs thousands).

I wonder if the skills are transferable? Lugless fillet brazing (or bronze welding as they used to call it) would be needed, and the photos here seem to imply trad lugged construction. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

Maybe I should do a night school course in MIG welding at the local Tec and go from there. If all else fails I could emigrate to Taiwan and get a job in the A-Pro factory...

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notfastenough [3661 posts] 1 year ago
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I guess much of it would be transferable, but only with the right amount of thought in order to apply the logic to a rather different frame design with it's different stress points etc. An engineering background would undoubtedly help.

£1200 plus materials - I wonder what the choices are? The other courses I've seen only offer 853, you can't for example upgrade to 931 or whatever.

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Gromski [43 posts] 1 year ago
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@severs1966 - you should have a chat to Andrew at The Bicycle Academy (http://www.thebicycleacademy.org).

They'll actually teach you the skills to make frames on your own, and their advanced course let's you build pretty much anything. They had a guy build a talldax (tall + audax) recently.

Same price too.