Bicycle frame building courses Posts

Frame Building at Downland Cycles

Frame Building at Downland Cycles

By David Cabourn

I wanted to let you know about my experience as a novice frame builder when I took a course with Downland Cycles, who also exhibit at Bespoked in Bristol each year.

I had always dreamt of building my own frame and one Christmas decided to see just how practical making that dream come true would be. After a little internet research I decided not only was it achievable it was also within the modest budget I had available to me.

Downland Cycles in Canterbury run a five day frame building course at their dedicated workshop in Canterbury with the additional option of building a fork on the 6th day. So I booked my course and began dreaming of the bike I was going to hand build.

Bespoke 2015

Bespoke 2015

I was given the privilege of exhibiting at this year’s Bespoke bicycle show in Bristol where I hoped to generate interest and contributions to this website. I was gratified to meet many frame builders who were hobbyists rather than professionals, though even the professional builders were accommodating with knowledge. I hope that many of those I met will indeed keep in touch to help disperse their knowledge.
Below are the aspects of the show I thought may be helpful to framebuilders, though actually having a stand at the show leaves little time to get around and view!

Framebuilding Courses

THE BICYCLE ACADEMY: Welsh Mill, Park Hill Drive, Frome, Somerset BA11 2LE Telephone 01373 473767
The Bicycle Academy also offers hire of full workshop and jig facilities for builders who wish to build their own bikes after completing a course, Marvelous if you find this convenient enough.

DOWNLANDS CYCLES: Downland Cycles Training Centre
2 Stone Cottages, Lynsore Bottom, Canterbury, Kent CT4 6EG
01227 709706

BICYCLES BY DESIGN (Home of Swallow bicycles):
The John Rose Building, High Street, Coalport, Shropshire TF8 7HT
Telephone 01952 459900

DAVE YATES CYCLES: Ivy House Farm, Hawthorn Hill, Coningsby, Lincoln
LN4 4UW (The original framebuilding course)
Telephone 01526 343322 (During opening hours only please, Mon, Tues, Weds, Fri 9am – 5pm)

PHOENIX HOTWORKS: London Frame builder Darren Barber offers 5 day courses only, but they are 1:1.

NERVE BIKES: Unit 3, 83 Railway Road, Newhaven, East Sussex BN9 0AP
Telephone 01273 515994


About is a website for bicycle framebuilders starting out in the United Kingdom. I have started it because I was unable to find a similar resource anywhere that provided relevant information all in one place for prospective bicycle framebuilders, who have probably been on a basic course to build a bike frame and then wish to carry on building more at home with the minimum expense. It does not attempt to instruct you in how to build a bicycle frame from scratch but hopefully will offer information you only realised you needed when you decided to do it yourself. Whilst input from professional framebuilders is more than welcome the site is really for those who will probably never build bicycle frames as a livelihood. The basis of the site reflects my own experiences and the things I did not learn on a course and had to find out for myself. Currently there are several frame building schools and courses in the UK to acquire the necessary basics and some now offering advanced and related subject tuition. Of course most of the site will be dedicated to building in steel which is both the most accessible material and many would say still the best, but there are undoubtedly homebuilders who build in aluminium, carbon fibre and maybe titanium. There is even a course to build your own Bamboo frame.

Any contributions to the site are welcome, be it comments or articles on your own techniques or experiences, or reviews of courses you have attended or books you have read.

Please forward any contributions to

Stephen Hilton