Philly Bike Expo 2014.

Metal Guru is on the road again. We will once again be taking a road trip to exhibit at the Philadelphia Bike Expo on November 8th and 9th, 2014. Stop by our booth and speak with us about your interest in learning the art of bicycle frame building and painting.

For more information please visit the Philly Bike Expo website.

We hope to see you there!

Spoke and Hop 2014.

10603617_1526915957521587_2444494266387745866_nMetal Guru is heading South!! We will be taking a road trip South of the Mason-Dixon Line to down to Richmond, Virginia to exhibit at the Spoke and Hop Festival on Saturday September 13, 2014.

More information on the festival can be found here.

Please stop by our booth and speak with us about your interest in learning the art of bicycle frame building and painting.

We hope to see you there!!

Round Top Mountain Bike Festival 2014.

Metal Guru will be heading north into the Catskill Mountains to exhibit at the 2nd Annual Round Top Mountain Bike Festival at Riedlbauer’s Resort, 43 Ravine Drive, Round Top, NY 12473 on Sunday June 15th, 2014 (Day 2 of the Festival). It will be a great fun-filled day of riding, events and food. Festival admission is free.

Please stop by our booth and speak with us about your interest in learning the art of bicycle frame building and painting.

We hope to see you there!!

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Frame Building with Bilenky.

Stephen Bilenky the man behind the award-winning frames of Bilenky Cycle Works recently returned to Metal Guru to teach 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.

Scott Schofield of Indigo Custom Bicycles who builds custom lugged frames enrolled in the class so he could refine his techniques in fillet brazed construction to better serve customers that might require a specific geometry and tubing diameters that lugged construction methods might not be able to produce. Scott chose to build a sloping top tube cyclo-cross frame with a roomy 32+ tire clearance, an oversize tube set, rim brakes and S-bend rear stays.

Chris H. built a custom sized road frame for his wife with a geometry suited to long distance riding. Due to her smaller stature Chris decided to use 26″ diameter rims rather than either 650c or 700c. Chris decided to go with a tube set with traditional tubing diameters to keep the ride feel compliant and chose to use straight rear stays for the simple clean aesthetic.

The following gallery shows their progress through the class.

A student list already forming for another class, please email metalguru@viciouscycles.com or call (845)883-4303 ext. 2 if you are interested. A description of the class details can be found here.

Thanks for everything Stephen. Great work Chris and Scott!

~Carl

click on any photo for caption and to begin slide show.

Taipei Cycle 2014.

I recently had the good fortune of attending the 2014 Taipei International Cycle Show. This was my second visit to both the show and the island of Taiwan. My first trip in 2008, did not include the time to see the rich culture of the island, so this time I made sure there was a day to explore Taipei at the end of the trip.

My trip begin taking the high speed rail down to Taichung to visit various bicycle manufacturing facilities. The Taiwanese are extremely proficient at producing high quality products in volume, which is evident in at all times within each factory. Next, I traveled to Taipei and attended the trade show. I’m sure you will find the following gallery from my trip to be quite a captivating  look into another side of bicycle manufacturing and a great cultural experience.

enjoy!

~Carl

click on any photo for caption and to begin slide show.

Frame building with Frank.

Mountain Bike Hall of Fame inductee Frank Wadelton AKA Frank the Welder was recently in-house at Metal Guru as a guest instructor teaching an aluminum frame welding seminar.

Frank spoke about the subtleties of working with aluminum, including insights into heat treatments, alignment, machining, bending, forming and welding. His discussion of the welding process covered details including machine settings, shielding gases, preheating, welding techniques, electrodes, filler materials, tack welding and weld sequence. He then proceeded to weld a frame to demonstrate the aluminum frame welding process. Once the welding demonstration was finished I gave a demonstration of the aluminum brazing process. This was followed by the opportunity for students to have some hands-on experience with both the welding and brazing processes.

group shot

back row L to R: Erik L., Frank Wadelton (Frank the Welder), Lance Mercado (SquareBuilt), Steven H., Marc Samuel (Pro Tube)
front row L to R: Carl Schlemowitz (Metal Guru / Vicious Cycles), Seth Rosko (Rosko Cycles Inc.), David L., Rick Jones (Rick Jones Bicycles), Mike Zanconato (Zanconato Custom Cycles)

The information learned during this seminar can provide a great starting point for those who are interested in the complex process of aluminum frame building but not familiar enough with it to confidently begin building on their own. The gallery below provides some of the highlights of the seminar from throughout the day.

On behalf of Frank and myself we would like to say thank you to all who attended. For those who missed out there is already an attendee list forming for another seminar, please email metalguru@viciouscycles.com or call (845)883-4303 ext. 2 if you are interested. A description of the seminar is available here.

~Carl

click on any photo for caption and to begin slide show.

Fillet Brazing with Bilenky

Metal Guru is proud to annlighting torchounce the return of guest instructor Stephen Bilenky of Bilenky Cycle Works, who will be teaching a course in fillet brazed steel bicycle frame building. The class will be limited to two students and Carl Schlemowitz will be co-instructor, so there will be a one to one ratio between student and teacher. The class will be 68 hours over 8 1/2 days. The two spring 2015 class dates scheduled are March 30 through April 8  and June dates TBA with no class on Sunday. The course cost is $3750. Interested students should please send an email to metalguru@viciouscycles.com or call Carl at (845)883-4303 ext. 2. Students will finish course with a completed frame, ready for paint.

The photographs in the gallery below are fillet brazed joints done by students during the 2013 class taught by Stephen Bilenky at Metal Guru. A complete account of the 2013 class can be found here and here.

Brass Fed (Part 2).

This post further documents Rob S. and Dan W. as they progressed through their recent Fillet Brazed Frame Building Course with Stephen Bilenky at Metal Guru. Both students chose to build touring frames that will fit a 26″ x 2.3″ tire. The gallery below shows the steps they took from tacking through to the finished frame. To see their initial efforts check here.

A student list already forming for another class, please email metalguru@viciouscycles.com or call (845)883-4303 ext. 2 if you are interested. A description of the class details can be found here.

Nice work!

~Carl

Brass Fed (Part 1).

CoolHBStephen 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.

brass fedDan 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 metalguru@viciouscycles.com 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.

~Carl

Silent welds.

Justin Shipp builds lugged bicycle frames in Chattanooga, Tennessee. His bicycle company is named Silent Cycles. Silent Cycles

Justin attended Metal Guru to learn the process of TIG welding bicycle frames. He arrived in style in a 1981 Mercedes turbo diesel station wagon converted to use waste vegetable oil as a fuel source.

Justin’s prior frame building experience gave him both the manual dexterity and attention to detail necessary to quickly master the bicycle frame welding process. He chose to build a ‘monster’ cyclo-cross frame in class that has disc brake mounts, clearance for a triple chain ring crank, a suspension corrected geometry and can fit full size 29″ tires.

Below is an extensive gallery that details Justin’s progress through the class and also a few photos of his wagon.

Excellent work Justin!!

~Carl