Stephen Bilenky the man behind the award-winning frames of Bilenky Cycle Works was recently in-house at Metal Guru teaching a Fillet Brazed Frame Building Class to two eager students. With 30 years of professional frame building experience, Stephen is extremely knowledgeable on the subject. He also has an excellent wit and sense of humor and his lectures were informative and technical but still engaging, and are peppered with good natured wordplay.
In our class discussions we explored how fillet brazing is a wholesome method of frame construction in regards to having unrestricted geometry, being strong and also visually pleasing. It wasn’t long before we began joking and comparing the fillet brazed frame construction method to wholesome food production methods. We then coined the phrase “brass fed” playfully implying that these bikes were pasture raised on brass wires. This of course conjures an immediate mental picture which lead to the illustration below. I do however feel it necessary to disclose at this time that Stephen Bilenky is a vegetarian.
Dan W. and Rob S. both decided to build touring frames that could fit up to a full size 26” off road tire and full rack, fender and three H2O bottle boss mounts. Rob asked Stephen to install couplers so he could easily travel with the frame. While Dan opted to include provisions for a SRAM Hammerschmidt internally geared crank and a NuVinci variable speed internally geared rear hub. Both frames have geometry designed around a non-suspension compensated length rigid front fork. The following gallery shows their progress through the machining and tube preparation portions of the class.
A student list already forming for another class, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (845)883-4303 ext. 2 if you are interested. A description of the class details can be found here.
For those who don’t know, Stephen Bilenky is the first guest instructor at Metal Guru to teach a frame course utilizing the fillet brazed construction method. Thanks for everything Stephen.