Cheap frame material

Discussion in 'HOW TO' started by herku1004, May 21, 2012.

  1. herku1004

    herku1004

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    Bike from scratch?

    OK. I'm new to this site. I've however decided to give a shot on creating my own bike from scratch (seriously. I've got ABSOLUTELY nothing).

    Now, I've go a design in the back of my head, but I need advice on how to start. What I'm looking for is some sort of tutorial or detailed instructions. My biggest problem right now is the fact that I've no idea how to create my own frame. I could use some advice as far as the way a frame is formed and welded at first. Then, what material is used for framemaking; where do I get it and how much does it cost?

    I have an vintage looking bike, it was my sister's so it's hardly used at all. I am about to sell it. Is it a better idea to try and convert that to what I'm looking for, or would it be cheaper to sell it (probably about 70 EU) and use the money for my project?

    I know I may sound like a complete noob. That is because I actually am one as far as bikes are concerned. So... help please?

    EDIT: So... 20 views and no replies. Maybe I should post some photos of the bike I'm refering to. Is it because I'm in the wrong section that I don't get any replies? If yes, where should it be?
     
  2. wimpy

    wimpy

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    Re: Bike from scratch?

    Well,to start with: welcome dude. I know how you feel, not knowing how to kick off. But it actually starts by reading on forums like this and looking at pictures,of course.
    It all depends on the idea that's in your head, how much money you can (and want to) spend, what your own skills are,etc.

    You can build a frame from scratch or you can bake a frame from two scrapbikes. Possibilities are numerous.
    So I'ld suggest, take your time to figure out what kind of bike you actually want to build, make an inventory an start collecting parts.

    That's how I did it.
    My bike had to be a budget-bike, so I didn't use the proper tubing (it's way too heavy), but it's sooooooo much fun to ride that I don't care. :mrgreen:
    Try to make a drawing with it's rough dimensions (length and height), or you'll end up with a 10' long bike, like mine (unless you want to).

    It all starts by reading and writing down.
    Down below,I've put a few links from my own building project in 2010. Nothing hi-tech,nothing fancy, just to give you a rough idea.
    Good luck and have fun.

    http://www.forum.freakbikenation.com/ph ... =17&t=2876
    http://www.forum.freakbikenation.com/ph ... =17&t=2937
    http://www.forum.freakbikenation.com/ph ... =17&t=2946
     
  3. herku1004

    herku1004

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    Re: Bike from scratch?

    Thanks for writing to me. Your bike seems quite similar to what I had in mind, long and with straight lines (cause I know nothing about curved ones...yet). As far as the budget is concerned, I don't intend to spend more than I would to buy a new one. The problem however remains. What material should I use? Keep in mind that I really don't care AT ALL about the weight. I'm only concerned about the price
     
  4. herku1004

    herku1004

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    I was thinking about creating my own bike from scratch (check the "Bike from scratch?" topic on this forum). As a noob, I was wondering: what material should I use for the frame?
    Note that I don't care about how heavy is it gonna be. I want something that is cheap and that would be easy for a total newbie to handle. Also, I'm not planning to have any pipes bended so the tube can really be as hard as it can get, as long as I can still cut it.

    So... any suggestions?
     
  5. inshane64

    inshane64

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    Electrical conduit, cheep. easy. available.
     
  6. herku1004

    herku1004

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    @inshane

    OK. You sound very sure so I'm gonna check it out. When you say cheap, how cheap do you mean? Give me a price reference.
     
  7. Uncle Stretch

    Uncle Stretch Moderator

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    Re: Bike from scratch?

    Its a little hard to tell someone how to build a bike. A lot of it depends on your skill levels. If you can weld and bend pipe/tubing then its pretty easy. Not sure where you live , but all the big box stores carry a black 1/2'' gas pipe. If you buy it from a steel place they call it something different. I have built several and I use 1 1/2 16ga tubing. It looks a little cooler to have the larger tubing.
    If you go to the built from scratch section in builds , there are a bunch that have been built and they show the process they use too. Good luck.
     
  8. herku1004

    herku1004

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    Re: Bike from scratch?

    Thanks Uncle! Didn't even know that topic actually existed. Really helpful.

    Another question for you bike gurus: What is the optimal distance between seat, steering and pedals? Does it even matter??? I'm working on my bike's design and that's my biggest problem so far. Here's a rough idea of what I'm on about:
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Wilcycle

    Wilcycle

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    Re: Bike from scratch?

    Well I'd guess the optimum distance from seat to h/bars depends on how long your arms are.
    And optimum distance from seat to pedals depends on how long your legs are.
    It does matter because you need to steer and pedal. Not much fun otherwise.

    Seriously though.
    Measure up a bike (like that old one you have) that is set to fit you.
    That will give you the distances. you just need to work out the angles from there to get the riding position that you want.
    That is the difficult bit.
    If you want to make it comfortable and efficient, go with centuries of development and stick with a diamond frame.
    But where's the fun in that :lol:

    You probably got lots of reads and few replies because you are going straight in the deep end with this.
    Most guys start with hacking an old bike to get the feel of working with bikes and figuring what works for them.

    Good luck, Kevin
     
  10. Uncle Stretch

    Uncle Stretch Moderator

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    This is about $40 worth of pipe and metal in either one of these frames.
    You have to have at least 10'' from the rear of your tire to the BB or your feet will hit when you pedal. I found 21'' from the BB to where your seatpost comes out of the frame works for me and I'm 5'9. A bunch of it you have to learn though trial and error. Nobody here can tell you exactly what will work on a frame. Different people like a frame to feel different.

    [​IMG]

    You seem to be a little light on the metal pricing. Can you weld?
     
  11. inshane64

    inshane64

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    It's a little more than a dollar a foot.

    Link to lowes, your experience may vary. Also conduit benders are cheep and easy to use.
     
  12. Walker

    Walker

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    I know it's been brought up here before on many occasions, but conduit is galvanized which gives off toxic and potentially deadly fumes when welded. Even if you THINK you ground off all the galvie how can you be totally sure....

    I usually chop up other bikes for donor tubing, or keep an eye out at the dumps for usable material.

    Happy hunting
     
  13. inshane64

    inshane64

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    Always weld with proper ventilation, use common sense, and be cautious.

    A hazard? yes. Just be careful.

    I would submit that ANY fume off of a weld is toxic and potentially deadly when welding. I have even been in a situation where shielding gas caused alarm and hazard due to an unforeseen issue with a project.
     
  14. herku1004

    herku1004

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    OK. Since I posted questions about the frame material, I got asked many times if I can weld.
    The truth is that I have never welded before. Is it really that important to have welded before?
    What is it that makes it so important anyways? Please inform me about it so I can get someone older to do it for me.
     
  15. herku1004

    herku1004

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    Re: Bike from scratch?

    Thanks Kevin! I like the idea you proposed! I am actually going to note down the distances on my other bike. The thing is, that this is a girls model and ,honestly ,nothing like what I have in mind. Still, I will make sure the distance between pedals and seat is the same and I will then make a right "steering wheel"

    PS Seriously, what is the thing called for steering in bikes??? :?: :?: :?:
     
  16. nick_ish

    nick_ish

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    a singular weak weld is a weak frame and there fore a danger :) or so they say haha
    i'm terrible at welding but with practice and maybe a quick google or youtube search and i'm sure you will have the skills to put your knowledge to the test!
    good luck
     
  17. herku1004

    herku1004

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    Hehe! Ok nick! I think I'm gonna give it a try.
    Hoewever, I still have a problem: How do I know that the tubes will actually sorta hug each other? How do I cut them right before the welding?

    Also: How big does the hole where the mechanism for the pedals go in? And how on earth do you call it???

    I may have to apologize but English is not my native language. I'm still learning the parts of the bike.
     
  18. wimpy

    wimpy

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    Depends on what you want. In my case,I took a donorbike and cut off the complete bottombracket. I marked it with the blue lines in the pic.
    Later,it was welded onto this frame. Keep in mind,you use the same material. Iron and aluminium don't mix too good in welding,I think.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. wimpy

    wimpy

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    Re: Bike from scratch?

    Handlebars or just bars.
     
  20. Uncle Stretch

    Uncle Stretch Moderator

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    Not wanting to burst your bubble , and anything is possible , but it requires a little skill to build a frame from scratch.
    The ability to weld is one of the things that you will have to know. Whether you learn it before you start or as you go along.
    Most people start with throw away frames and modify them. Then after a little trial and error you build what you like...or what works. There is a safety factor involved too. If what you put together isn't stable you could be hurt. The people that scratch build frames here have some knowledge of how to build things out of metal. Well most do.
    Saying I want to build a house , tell me how , but I don't have a hammer or know how to use one will make the task quite a bit harder. I know your not trying to build a house , but the concept is the same.
     

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