I AM NOT A PROFESSIONAL FRAME BUILDER
, this is my first bike build.
BUILD AND RIDE AT YOUR OWN RISK
I am, however, a student in Polymer and Fiber Engineering at Auburn University with access to a composites lab. We have all sorts of fabrics including carbon fiber, fiber glass, kevlar, and all of those in prepreg as well. I got interested in biking from my dad and have always loved to make things. I found a couple instructables on bamboo bikes and decided i would make something similar. I figured I could make a carbon fiber bike if I replaced the bamboo tubes with carbon ones. After a couple failed attempts I made some decent tubes, it really isn't that hard.
Completing the bike has taken about 4 months, but i could make one in three weeks if i were to spend a lot more time on it. I decided to make a fixed gear because of its simplicity. I don't have to worry about a rear brake bridge, clamping the front derailleur on the seat tube, and all of the cable stops. Plus I already have a geared bike.
I didnt know much about composites or bike building when i started this project, but I know a lot more about both now. Having an experienced frame builder also helped a lot. Having a lot of contacts for tools or advice is a must for this.
I encourage anyone who attempts this project to do a lot of research before hand, I did for about 2 months and asked lots of questions to anyone who knew anything about bikes. I used Sheldon brown's website
a bunch for info. They have a bunch of singlespeed and fixedgear stuff as well as basically anything to do with bikes.
Some useful sites:
There are two things that you will learn aside from dealing with composites and building bikes; patience and the hatred of sanding.
This is not a project for everyone and not a project you can do in a weekend.
Oh yeah, DON'T GET YOUR BOTTOM BRACKET SHELL BACKWARDS LIKE I DID!