Bicycle-framing course FAQ
Do I need any prior experience?
Are there any prerequisites for this course?
No, but it does help to have good hand/eye coordination, and good (corrected) eyesight in the medium to close range.
What is the class size?
We limit the class size to a maximum student/instructor 4:1 ratio.
What kind of tubing will I use to build my frame?
We use high-quality, butted, 4130 (cromoly) tubing from a variety of sources.
Why can't I build using the super-light, heat-treated tubing?
Because the thin wall is more difficult to weld, it doesn't make sense if you are just learning those skills. It is more suitable for an experienced frame builder.
Why can't I build with aluminum or carbon fiber?
These materials offer challenges that are unsuitable for the novice frame builder.
What type of bicycle can I build?
Almost any type of a steel "hardtail" frame, without lugs. This could be a MTB, single-speed, cyclocross, road, or track bike. Wheel sizes are 26", 29", or 700c. Frames can be TIG-welded, or fillet-brazed. Brake bosses either V-brake or disc. We are not setup for tandems, recumbents or full suspension bikes. They are a LOT more work...
Can I build an elevated chainstay bicycle?
No. Our fixtures aren't designed to accommodate this style of frame.
Do I get to build a fork?
No. Forks are not easy to build for the novice, and there are many good ones on the market for a reasonable price. However, you do need to know which fork you will be using on your frame.
Can I build a full suspension frame?
No. This is much too complicated for an introductory course such as this.
How are the days structured during class?
Classes are Monday to Friday, 8 am to 3:30 pm, with 45 minutes for lunch. Course duration is two weeks. The focus is "hands-on", but there will be a lecture and demonstration daily, with the occasional slide show.
How much of the work do I get to do myself?
As much as you like, or are able to do. If, after practicing TIG-welding, you do not feel your welding skills are sufficient, then the instructor will weld your frame for you.
Will I be able to finish my frame?
Yes. There is enough time in this course to have it ready for paint at the end of two weeks.
Where can I buy components for my frame?
Registered students will be able to buy a gruppo at close to wholesale pricing. Please let us know in advance if you would like to do this.
Will I be able to paint my frame at UFV?
No. Painting a frame is a very different skill from building a frame, and it is not within the scope of this class to offer that. There are painting services available elsewhere, and we can refer you to them.
Can I get a job building frames after completing this course?
It is possible, yes. It is also possible to create your own job and become a self-employed frame builder; the Internet has made this much easier. Others just want the satisfaction of building their own frame.
How much does the course cost?
The course cost is $2500 Cdn, inclusive. This fee is payable to the University of the Fraser Valley when registering for the course.
What does tuition include?
The course cost includes use of shop facilities, tooling, and shop supplies.
Is the cost of the course tax deductible for Canadians?
The University of the Fraser Valley issues a T2202 Tuition Deduction tax form for our Bicycle Frame Building course. This is sent out from the university in the spring.
Are there any additional fees for international students?
No. The same tuition rate applies to all students from Canada or other countries.
Is there a charge for shop supplies?
All shop supplies used during the course are included in your course fee. This course is based on an "average" tube set, dropouts, and brazeons. If you opt for premium components, there may be an up-charge.
Will I need to buy textbooks?
No. There will be handouts on all aspects of the frame building process, but you may want to take notes as well.
Do I have to take my own tools?
What time does the course start?
The course starts at 8 am in the morning and ends daily at 3:30. We have about 45 minutes for lunch. Bring your own lunch or there are fast food outlets available within a 5 minute drive.
What should I wear while on the course?
Steel-toed boots, comfortable clothing.
Will I receive a certificate?
Students successfully completing the course will receive a frameable statement of completion from the University of the Fraser Valley.
Will there be homework?
Where is the UFV Aerospace Centre located?
We're located at the Abbotsford International Airport at 30645 Firecat Avenue, Abbotsford, British Columbia. Abbotsford is located 45 minutes east of Vancouver, BC and 5 minutes north of the USA border.
Where can I stay while at UFV?
Abbotsford has the usual variety of small to mid-sized name brand motels/hotels, as well as a variety of B&Bs.