United Bicycle Institute, Portland, Oregon.

As I was staying at the Friendly Bike Guesthouse,  the unofficial but very local accommodation used by most UBI students, it wouldn’t be cricket to miss out on a tour of UBI before I head home to Blighty.  I called UBI and spoke to Steve Glass, who agreed to give me a tour this morning.

UBI is now in it’s 30th year of operation, and their frame building classes started in 1990.

Bike mechanic training classroom.

Mechanic workstation.

Mechanic students get a Park Tool book and a UBI water bottle by the looks of things.

Steve and I then walked across the courtyard to the frame building shop.

Frame building workshop / classroom.

Frames are designed on paper rather than computers to increase the learning experience.

Frame drawing detail.

Tubing stocks. UBI keep stocks of Dedacciai, Columbus and Kasei tubing.

Richard Sachs lugs in the house.

All the lugs a budding frame builder could want..

Trued and perfectly dished wheels for checking alignment when building frame rear triangles.

Chainstays are mitred on this machine, with a fixture (not pictured).

Head tubes, steerers and crown race seats are cut on this lathe.

Over the years, students from 40 different countries have studied at UBI, but students from the UK make up a very small percentage.  Many students come from Japan, Korea and the far east.

Classes generally follow a pattern of lecture and demonstration, then students apply this to their own frame.  Frame building classes are 2 weeks long.

Sometimes, guest instructors such as Tony Pereira and Joseph Ahearne take a class.

Tig welding and brazing classes are offered.

Students are given practice joins to complete:

Practice join.

The welded or brazed joins are then tested by inserting a bar and levered on. A break on the weld, you lose. Above the weld, you progress to working on your frame.

This triangular practice piece is used for Tig welding.

Don't be mean, we all have to start somewhere.

Bottle boss brazing practice.

Arctos frame jig.

Main tube mitring is done on this milling machine.

Milling head is angled to cut the mitres into the tubes.

Tig welding machines

Frame building workstations

More workstations.

Workstation detail.

Oxy-acetylene rig.

So that concludes my US frame building trip.  Thank you America.

I fly home to London tomorrow.


2 Comments on “United Bicycle Institute, Portland, Oregon.”

  1. David says:

    Damn this has been a good blog. I don’t know much about frame building, but it’s been fascinating all the same.

  2. […] United Bicycle Institute, Portland, Oregon. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s