[CR] Was; overlapping wheels,,,Now; University degree in frame (mis)design.

Date: Wed, 11 Jan 2006 13:02:00 -0500
Subject: [CR] Was; overlapping wheels,,,Now; University degree in frame (mis)design.
From: Doug Fattic <fatticbicycles@qtm.net>
To: "classicrendezvous@bikelist.org" <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>

Norris, Dale and Roman,

I think one possibility for Norris in the UK to have heard about a University framebuilding course in the US would have been about the one I taught in the industrial ed department at Andrews University near me in Berrien Springs, Michigan in the 70's. Since Norris is in contact with Ellis-Briggs where I learned to build frames, it is likely that they might have mentioned something about my class there. I didn't want my masters in education to go completely to waste. It was not however a major or minor degree that one could obtain but rather a single semester class where the students made their own frame to their particular specifications. Eventually I taught the classes on my own in my shop. The logistics of private university tuition costs, transporting equipment, etc. made coordinating efforts with the University complicated. I look back with fondness on the effects of those classes. A few of the students were hard core cyclists but most were just mildly interested in bicycling and some where just taking this instead of upholstery to meet their industrial ed requirement. To their surprise, it was a lot of hard work (more than they expected) to make a frame but, instead of not liking that, it made the final rewards - when they rode a bicycle they had made themselves - all the sweeter. Those casual interests became life long passions. Not just about liking bicycles but it extended to the desire for fitness including becoming more conscious of what they ate, etc. To have participated in this growth provided one of life's nicest satisfactions. This personal experience sure has effected my philosophy of American education but that's getting OT. It has also contributed to my idea that bicycles are a way to not only improve oneself but society as well. That is why I like doing the Ukraine bicycle project.

I still teach framebuilding classes in my shop for $1000 + materials. One will be coming up around Easter time for anyone interested.

I have also heard of a fellow in California that taught some kind of frame design (I don't know if it was framebuilding) classes at his university in California (Bay area maybe?). And it seems like Gary Klein's original frames came out of class work in his MIT days.

Doug Fattic Niles, Michigan

Norris Lockley wrote: Some one once told me that it is possible to obtain a degree in cycle-frame design at some college or university in the States. Is that really the case?

Dale Brown wrote: No.. some engineering & Design students have used bicycle design as part of their qualifying projects but no degree as such.

Roman Stankus wrote:

Perhaps Norris has heard of the United Bicycle Institute in Ashland, Oregon where one can take framebuilding courses in a variety of techniques as well as bike technology. Students receive a Certificate of Completion and can get a Certified Bicycle Technician certificate upon completion of coursework and testing.

I only know about it from the website.

For more info - See http://www.bikeschool.com