Ever wondered what it takes to build a custom bicycle? Wish you could be a fly on the wall in a bike fabrication shop? Then you'll love this video that shows step-by-step how a custom Bike Friday bicycle is built.
The custom bike being built in this video is the Pocket Companion. The building of this bike is fairly similar to a New World Tourist, Pocket Llama, and Pocket Rocket. If you have any of these bikes, this video is a pretty close approximation of what happened when we built your very own custom bike!
1. The first thing that we do is to cut and prepare all of the metal pieces of the Pocket Companion. Because every frame built is custom, you can see the Station Operator studiously checking charts, making key measurements and cutting and mitering with careful precision.
2. Once the bicycle being custom built has all of its pieces cut, it then it moves into the welding station. The Welder takes all of the pieces and puts them into place in the jig. There are several jigs, one for each line of custom bicycles that we build: Tikit, BFC, Tandem, and Cargo. The Welder makes lots of finely tuned adjustments in the set up of the bike frame before tacking them in place, this is a crucial part of the custom bike building process. Once everything is tacked, the Welder finishes welding all of the joints on the bike in the jig.
3. After the bike frame has been welded it moves over to the Brazer. The Brazer finishes the structural work on the frame by brazing fillets on the remaining joints of the custom bike frame. The Brazer also adds all of the smaller more delicate pieces to the bicycle, the so-called “braze-ons” like water bottle bosses, cable loops and guides.
4. The Brazer passes the bike off to the Painter, who does some pre-allignment on the bike frame. After that the Painter blasts the frame in the sand blaster and then very carefully coats in the frame in a fine polymer powder, which gets baked on in a 350 degree oven. After the bike comes out of the oven and is allowed to cool, the Painter then applies the decals onto the custom bike frame.
5. Next in the production line is the assembly station. The Assembler takes the bicycle from the painter and cold sets the frame, ensuring that each of the key measurements are perfectly set, that the frame is balanced and that the parts are all hung on the bicycle.
6. The Assembler hands the bike off to the Cabler, who sets up all of the brakes and shifters on the bike. Once all of the cables have been properly tensioned, your custom bicycle is ready for its very first test ride!
7. Once the bike has had its first quick ride, its ready to be packed and shipped to your door!