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Homemade Bikes: Bedfo's super bike

12:26 16th September 2011 by Billy Thackray
49 Comments
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One day, Adrian Bedford decided to make his own all mountain trail bike…the Bedfo Super Bike!

I love messing around in the shed making things but am not very good at it. So I’m in awe at people like Adrian who have the skills and patience to do a proper job. What with the rising cost of bicycles these days a build-your-own approach could be a feasible alternative, it certainly must be satisfying riding a bike that you’ve built yourself.

Engineer, Adrian Bedford, has done just that, built his own bike. Here is the story about his first creation “The Bedfo Super Bike” (that isn’t it’s actual name, it’s just what his mates are calling it, but I like it!)

Bedfo’s Super Bike

A bit about me first, I am 33 and live in Dorset, I work as a mechanical design engineer and for the last 8 years I have worked in the Aerospace and Defence industry, I currently design military air to air refuelling equipment.

Before getting into the aerospace stuff I worked for Dyson developing some serious purple vacuum cleaners! I’ve always been really keen on making stuff so this project has been in my mind for years, I just haven’t had the facilities to get on with it. I now have a cool workshop and sometimes I find time to tinker!

I’ve always wanted to build a frame, initially I wanted to do a full carbon DH bike but over the years my riding has moved towards shorter travel bikes. Being small and light (and living in Dorset!) I find a DH bike a bit too much, trail bikes are way more fun but currently there is not much out there that has decent geometry and will last. I got fed up sending aluminium frames back for warranty so I decided to make something that would last and have everything just how I wanted it.

The frame I came up with is based on the Balfa BB7, 150mm travel with high pivot and idler. Here are some geeky stats!

Geometry
Size 16.5″ (Small)
Head angle 65
BB height 12.7″
Wheelbase 44.5″
Chainstay 17.5″ (grows to 19″ at full travel)
Travel 150mm vertical, 40mm rearward

Front end 4.45 Lbs
Swingarm 2.6 Lbs
Shock 0.6 Lbs
Idler and all the other bits and pieces 0.5 Lbs
Total weight 8.15 Lbs

The mainframe is steel, 4130 chromoly plain gauge tubes which I hand cut all the joints, my brother Phil CNC’d me a load of parts from 2.5mm 4130 sheet for the shock mount area and to reinforce the main pivot. He also turned me the BB shell and head tube from 4130.

Once we had all the bits together a friend of Phil’s fillet brazed it (with my tea making and jigging help!). We didn’t bother to properly jig this first one, just bodge jigged each joint as we went. It moved slightly but I’m pretty happy with it. I reckon its straighter than a lot of top end ali frames.

Initially I designed a steel swingarm for it and I made all of the tubes ready, however it had some more complex bits that needed CNC’ing. Phil just didn’t have the time, so I decided to go ahead and make a carbon swingarm as I have everything here in my workshop to do it. Initially I made up some moulds for the dropouts as these were a tricky area, the rest of the swingarm is made without moulds of any sort. I made some simple thin walled tubes and an internal structure linking the shock mount and main pivot area, I then made the rest of the swingarm with blue foam carved to shape.

Once it was laid out I started the process of adding the external structure. It was built up 2-3 layers of unidirectional carbon at a time, each compressed and cured. I started it at Christmas and it took pretty much until Easter to get it done! I was seriously anal about getting it right and obviously making sure there was strength where it was needed, with the exception of the finishing layer there is not a single fiber in it that doesn’t add to the structure. Consequently it is massively strong!

I’m really happy with the way it rides, its great on the really rough stuff and feels much like my old Balfa did. I’ve been trying to break it for around 3 months without success and its just got through 2 weeks in Verbier with no hitches at all! I’m well pleased with that, its already outlasted the last two aluminium trail bikes I’ve had! Obviously there are things I’d change, the chainstays could be a bit shorter, and the front end a little longer, and it’d be cool if the fork crowns didn’t hit the downtube! But for a first attempt I’m chuffed. Obviously should mention that without Phil’s help making parts and Andy the welding god, this bike would still be a box of bits!

I’m now working on making a frame building jig and have some ideas for a really simple 4 or 5″” trail bike built for ragging with a decent head angle and BB height. I’ve also just bought myself a small CNC milling machine so I should be able to make pretty much all of the parts myself.

So there you have it, my homemade frame. There are a lot of hours of hard work in these pictures, I hope you find them interesting!

Adrian Bedford
——————————————–
If you’ve made yourself a bike that you are proud of then send an ebeam to Billy

  1. Djfattony2000

    I would love to have the skills to do something like this. Bike looks great.

  2. alex

    want

  3. Paco

    Amazing! Great work

  4. Luca

    Thts’ great!!!!..You should start your own brand!.Much respect for your patience and skills..And le bike looks very good indeed.

  5. de Souz

    I’ve seen loads of homemade road frames, but never anything on this scale, seriously good piece of work! Jealous.

  6. ddmonkey

    Ace. I wish I had the time, skills, patience and tools to do something like this, but I doubt it would turn out anywhere near as good! Good work.

  7. joe

    You should make that available… slack and looooooow

  8. Mikes mum

    :-) Just plain and simple awsome!. Congrats mate. I wish i could do that to.

    They charge far to much for frames and bikes these days. I dont know who buys them brand new unless they get a discount or know a mate of a mate.

    Great to see home made stuff. :-)

  9. Chazney

    Lovely stuff!!!

  10. Mark

    I love stuff like this. It gives me hope.

  11. ben

    appalache real…

  12. ben

    i should really learn to read rather than just looking at pictures…

    great work adrian! as you work in defense, how about one thats fitted with some aim9′s

  13. Daire

    Really cool looking bike. Just out of curiosity, how much do you think this build cost you?(excluding your own hours of work obviously)

  14. Daniel

    Great work! I think the suspension layout with its high pivot and low shock mount are going to be the future of trail/all mountain bikes (I suppose it is also the past as this is heavily bb7 influenced but the best designs get evolved rather than discarded). You are onto something here.

  15. ronin

    Adrian-very cool work! come and join the SOPWAMTOS collective!
    SocietyOfPeopleWhoActuallyMakeTheirOwnShit

  16. AmplusTarenBrasil

    Put this available to the world!

  17. binturong

    that is insane! and working with carbon no less!!

  18. Torico

    Great to see it in dirt adrian. The bikes a beaut and mr bedford is no slouch on a bike so you can be sure he’s tested it thoroughly! See you up the bike park soon

  19. Leon

    That rear triangle is in credibly strong man ! pretty sure most rear ends would not stand up to that abuse.
    So lucky to have the skills , patients and equipment to be able to do this , well maybe lucky is the wrong word as you don’t get that good with luck :P

  20. Churchie

    Awesome looking frame, really inspiring.

  21. loltroll

    Doesnt look like a trek

  22. spiceylover69

    I’ve seen this guy ride up p’town and at the blandford ukbp bikepark. he’s fast as hell on that sled. Seems like a really chill dude for someone so talented as well. sick, keep mtb dorset!

  23. Tommo

    reminds me of the Appalache I had stolen :( best bike ever that.

  24. Ross

    That is really impressive, well done

  25. Dave

    Wow, a true d.i.y frame without the sketchy burned welds and with one of the coolest suspension designs I have seen. Inspiring to see a real trail bike for once.

  26. comment posting troll

    I love it, and it’s got geo that no marketing manager would ever allow on a production frame!

  27. zak

    Awesome!

  28. Bedfo

    Cheers for all the kind words everyone!

    As for producing it, i’d love to although not with this frame as yet. I would need total confidence in the strength of it plus it would need refining, some aspects of it i’m not totally happy with. I’m going to work on a simple 4 or 5 inch travel frame next, maybe make 5 or so and get them well ridden by heavy riders. If that goes well i’d love to start producing some!

  29. Ross

    Bedfo, i’d love to hammer one for you and give my feedback. Currently on a sx trail 09 amogst other things and love the idea of this. You could lend one or two to alpine (or wherever else) enthusiasts to hammer for their 2 weeks trips (like mine) and then hand it back to you, just the frame would do, i’d happily stick my own gear on it. Would be a good test of durability.

  30. Ross

    Should have said I meant lend it out all summer so the bike does a good 10 x 2 weeks trips in the alps.

  31. ben

    awesome mate, get it done!!! great idea ross, rider feedback always important

  32. DAN W

    well done sir. how much did u spend on the raw materials and how many man hours went into the project, what was ur total cost when it was all said and done?

  33. Bedfo

    I honsestly don’t know how much it has cost me in terms of materials, everything for the swingarm I already had and I didnt keep track of all the other materials I bought. In terms of hours that’s also a hard one, a lot! I think I spent over 24 hours just filing the brazed joints smooth! The swingarm must have been in excess of 60 hours work

  34. Dosher

    That’s bloody amazing and truly inspirational grassroots stuff…wish I had the skills and imagination to do something like that.

  35. DAN W

    great dedication Bedfo, at this point if u were planning on selling the frame( hypothetically) how much would u be asking for it?

  36. jonesdirt

    @Bedfo looks great! Whats the chances of getting a ride on it for the mag Bedford?

  37. Dirk

    Well done. Bike looks awesome.

  38. VonDH

    Top Job

  39. XX SlOpEsTyLz.4.LyFe XX

    That sled looks amazing! I would totally buy that!!!!!” totally love to reed more about it in the mag two! awesome work duder! BRAAAAAPAPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP!!”££”"

  40. cy@cotic

    Great job. Great looking bike. Very jealous of guys so good with their hands.

    Talk to Reynolds if you’re building another one. They’ll do singles on their stock tubing and you could knock a bunch of weight out of the front end with double butted 853 IMO.

  41. geetee

    Adrian, I am sat here reading all this praise and thinking ‘I told you so!’ It’s a real joy to read all of this! I can’t think of anyone more deserving really.

    I had the (absolute) pleasure of meeting and riding with Adrian in Verbier this year. To illustrate how modest he is, allow me to recall the conversation about this bike when I saw it hanging in the garage:

    Me: Wow, what kind of bike is that?
    Aid: That? Oh nothing.
    Me: What do you mean nothing? It’s clearly something, in fact it’s clearly something pretty special but I don’t recognise the make
    Aid: Oh that’s because I made it myself
    Me: But it’s got a carbon swing arm and an idler! How the feck did you make a carbon swing arm?
    Aid: Oh I just knocked it up in my shed. Like I said, it’s nothing really.
    Me: But it looks amazing, how the hell did you do it?
    Aid: Well like I said I just sort of knocked it up in my shed.

  42. Kevolution

    I penned a similar swingarm design a few years ago, and when I showed it to people the told me the leverage ratio would never work.
    So it’s absolutely brilliant to see that someone has defied convention and gone out and produced a bike based on what seems to be the simplest solution for single pivot bikes.
    Good on ya fella! keep up the good work.
    I’ve got some ideas for a new 4 bar layout that I think will work.
    mail me @ lodgecycles.co.uk and we can talk angles.
    All the best with your future projects.

  43. Dim

    awesome job,its like a dream hobby.keep up.would definetly ride one of those bikes.waitin for next one:D

  44. ChunkyChew

    I had the pleasure of meeting Adrian ay a UKBP race earlier this year. I stopped to ask him about his bike (as I’m sure loads of people do) and he came across as a genuinely nice guy, and seemed really happy to chat about his bike. The bike looks amazing close up, too. Good luck to you.

  45. MOliver

    Is that last riding shot from Triscombe? I think I recognise it!

  46. dean

    howzit great bike man looks amazing is there a posability that you could send me the plans and dimensions ?? regards Dean

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