TEACHING AT THE BICYCLE ACADEMY
It’s official! Ted will soon be teaching at The Bicycle Academy in Frome alongside Robin Mather. They will both be splitting their time between teaching at TBA and working on their own projects. Apparently there were so many applications for the job that TBA’s website crashed! Ted is very honoured to have been chosen and will be starting after Bespoked. For more info on the new recruits and to book a course with Ted, go to TBA’s website.
INTERVIEW ON THE RED BULL SITE
An interview with British BMX frame builder Ted James.
Ever since Mat Hoffman first moved the manufacture of Hoffman Bikes to the Far East in the mid-1990s, the vast majority of BMX frames have been made in Taiwan. With the exception of a few US companies, such as FBM and S&M, BMX frames are no longer made by riders. At present, there is a massive lack of BMX frames being made in the UK. One man in Stroud, in the West of England, hopes to end that. Renowned frame builder Ted James is turning his hand to building high-end BMX frames using high grade British steel. We spoke to Ted about his lone venture.
>>Read the full interview here
WORKING WITH REYNOLDS ON THE NEW 921 TUBING PROJECT
A few months ago Ted was honored to be asked by Reynolds to work with them on their new (top secret!) 921 tubing project. He was chosen to build the first frames with 921 tubing for testing and was super stoked that the first road frame (TIG welded) passed the EN14781 frame fatigue test.
921 is a new stainless steel tube-set, cold-worked to a tensile strength of over 1000 MPa, similar to that of heat-treated chome-moly steels, making it probably the highest strength cold-worked tube set available in the bike industry. “It’s an affordable stainless option for those seeking the legendary ‘ride of steel’” say Reynolds.
Ted’s currently taking orders on frames built with 921 so drop us a line if you’re interested email@example.com
Check out the short film Bespoked made about it:
FILM BY ALEX RANKIN
Alex Rankin came up to film the last, and biggest, machine being moved into the new workshop for Charge TV. Which means the workshop move to Stroud in Gloucestershire is now complete! Filming had to be put back a week as the lathe had fallen over in the old workshop (see post below), and was finally carried down from London on the back of a Hiab and lifted outside the workshop. Getting it down into the workshop was another mission altogether…
The guys from Dirt came down to the workshop a while ago to do an interview for the website, so it was great to hear they were also going to run an article in the June magazine. The interview is currently the featured article on the front page of the Dirt website with some great pictures of the workshop. Check it out here
The workshop move from London to Stroud in Gloucestershire hasn’t been an easy one, to say the least. Access to the new space is tricky with a three foot drop into the workshop, the machines have to be winched down with a block and tackle on a massive framework. With the first of the two big lathes flipping off the trailer onto the road in the middle of the night, snapping handles and oozing oil and coolant like blood, we thought it couldn’t get much worse. Then the big Dean, Smith & Grace fell on her side while trying to get her out of the old workshop.
A busy couple of weeks with the Bristol show, moving the workshop to Gloucestershire and then exhibiting at Spin London – a new bike show in the Truman Brewery. Ted did a talk/interview on the Saturday and then this incredibly well filmed and edited short film about him by Tom Bell was screened (pedal powered of course).
Having missed out on an award at Bespoked, Ted was very pleased and surprised to be awarded the Peer Award after the show. Voted for by all the other frame builders at the show, which made it a massive honour, Ted came joint first with Paulos Quiros. Here he is being presented the award and a bottle of bubbly by Phil Taylor.
BESPOKED BRISTOL 2013
Another week of no sleep to get Matthew Watkin’s stainless cruiser finished in time for Bespoked Bristol. It was worth it though, the bike looked amazing on the stand, alongside the new BMX’s, winning Ted the Peer Award and a great review on the Dirt website here. Big thanks to Phil and Tessa for creating such a great show.
EXHIBITING AT V&A FRIDAY LATE
Ted will be showing some of his work and possibly doing a couple of demos at the next Friday Late at the V&A. Come down and say hi.
NEW BUSINESS CARDS
Just had some new business cards designed and screen printed by Dot Studio. Really pleased with them, and a lot quicker than the hand stamped/painted/printed ones we did ourselves. Because they’re hand screen-printed, the colour-fade on each one varies slightly, making every one a one-off.
STAINLESS ROAD BIKE IN CYCLING PLUS
Ted built a stainless steel road bike for Mike Chick who was writing an article for Cycling Plus on building a complete bike using only British materials, components and craftmanship. Sounds like a good excuse for a new bike.
LIVE BRAZING AT BOILER ROOM (Posted by Poppy)
After making a batch of frames for Boiler Room – Red Stripe Make Session 007, Ted was asked if he could do some brazing live on stage during the event at Hackney Brewery on Monday. He tacked up a frame beforehand and brazed the entire frame during the event in front of a live crowd of 300, and thousands of viewers watching it on a live stream across the world. Apparently the loud music and flowing beer helped him focus.
FIRST TITANIUM FRAME
Titanium is a very tricky material to work with so this took me a long time and i learnt a lot along the way.
This is a 29er mountainbike built with straight guage 3Al2.5v Titanium tubing, i manually Machined a 44mm id headtube from a solid bar of 6Al4v Titanium to run a tapered steerer. The dropouts i also machined from billet to run the new Syntace x12 bolt through axle system
Photo by Ben Broomfield
BMX BMX BMX
I first thought about building a BMX when i was around 18 when i had no means or know how, i have now finally build the first of many, i started building 3 at the same time, two are now complete, i will be putting up more pics when i can.
Click on image for more pics on flickr.
MANUAL TUBE BENDING
A while ago i got myself an old beast of a manual tube bender along with a good range of formers.
I have bent some of my own unicrown fork blades, below you can see me bending some skinny mtb forks, it is 1” od with 1.5mm wall 4130 chromoly.
I have a piece of scaffold bar for extension with a solid 1 1/4” lever bar slotted inside for even more leverage, you can see the curve in this solid bar as it flexes under the strain.
29GNAR GETS A PAINT JOB
See more pics here
MADE IN ENGLAND (posted by Poppy)
A few weeks ago we went to Look Mum No Hands for the launch of a beautiful new book about the artisans behind the handbuilt bike, put together by Matthew Sowter, framebuilder Ricky Feather and photographer Kayti Peschke. It features 12 framebuilders, old and new. Ted is one of them. When we have a mo we’ll post his pages, but for now, check out the website pushprojects.net where you can also buy a copy.
CLOUD 9 CYCLES
I popped into the new Cloud 9 Cycles shop the other day.
Great location and great looking shop. Kris and Adam are always working really hard to think of new things to do and try to offer something a little different.
Three are traditional looking fixed or singlespeed two of which have spliters for beltdrive. Also a road frame with a more modern look. They all have etched CLoud 9 Cycles brass plates on the top tubes.
IMPETUS MOMENTA (posted by Poppy)
Ted will be talking about the evolution of fixed gear trick riding at the Southbank Centre next Thursday 6th December as part of Impetus Momenta, a presentation about the history of Fixed Gear. For more info and to buy tickets go to impetusmomenta.tumblr.com
BIKE STORY by MIKE CHICK
This is a short film by Mike Chick about the craftmanship behind building a bike.
This was my first stainless steel frame build and was early days of Tig welding so when i had Mike who the bike is for following me at every step you can imagine that it was a little stressful. I am happy with how the frame came out and so is Mike, with everyone else involved in the build it has come together to be a very nice bike indeed. This video, the amazing photos and Mike’s enthusiastic stories of how it rides makes it all worthwhile.
RED BULL WEAVERS (posted by Poppy)
At the end of August Red Bull and Charge put on an epic event in a corn field in Somerset. It was a head to head dual slalom race through a corn field, on 29er hard tails. Ted competed, qualifying in the top 32 on speed to make it through to the next round where he was knocked out in the head to head slalom. Here’s the video – see if you can spot the 29gnar.
———————————————————————————————————————————————————————- SAM HART’s bike
This is one of my favorites, check out the details
Click here for more pictures
CUSTOM ESB FOR D*FACE
Back in the spring I customised this ESB for artist D*Face. I handmade special racks which are brazed to the front and back with the rear rack shaped to fit a child’s seat and the custom mudguard also acts as part of the supporting structure.
It has a gusset between the top and down tube with D’s wing shape cutout and internal cable routing to rear brake and hub gear.
With drum brakes and hub gear it keeps it neat and looking simple.
Photos taken from D*Face
TOURER IN SOUTH AMERICA (posted by Poppy)
Jason sent this picture in of his tourer (Ted built last year) loaded like a pack-horse, mid expedition in South America.
THE WORKSHOP ON PEDAL CONSUMPTION (posted by Poppy)
SURREY HILLS ROAD RACE FESTIVAL (posted by Poppy)
TJD will be exhibiting at the Surrey Hills Road Race Festival on the 28th & 29th July. It’s a free festival for anyone coming to the area around Box Hill to view the Olympic Road Races. The expo will feature “the cream of the cycling community showing off their wares” with a hand built section curated by Phil Taylor of Bespoked Bristol. TJD will be showing alongside Feather Cycles, Just Riding Along, Paulus Quiros, Simple and Slate.
TJD IN DIRT MAG – posted by Poppy
TJD and the 29Gnar got a great mention and photo in the latest issue of Dirt magazine, stoked! The first appearance in a mountainbike mag, hopefully the first of many.
SPECIAL OFFER ON TJD T-SHIRTS
We hand printed a load of TJD T-shirts a couple of months ago on heavy weight cotton Beefy T’s. There are a few left so we’re selling them at a reduced price of £18 including p&p. Click here to buy.
We also have a very limited number of the TJD Jacob Knill T-shirts left so are selling them at the reduced price of £20 including postage and packaging to make way for the new artist collaboration T-shirts coming soon! Click here to buy.
TESTING THE 29GNAR
I’ve been on my 29 Gnar lots trying to get some test riding in, done a few miles and some jumps including this gap.
I spied this wedge gap, bank to bank transfer, tabletop, whatever you want to call it. Its two very mellow grass banks with a long gap between them and a flat run up. It was hard work getting the speed up for this, i ended up using a steep double stair set to run in for extra speed, crankin, two gear shifts cranking till the last second then pull up hard off the non existant lip.
Pretty much made it with a couple of inches hang up. Gotta go back to get a propper nose in, hopefully with less wind
My friend Greg got some great shots
Check out the newest edition of SOFB Gregs online mag
29er SUPERTED CUSTOM – posted by Sol
The 29er Superted custom is made from the strongest lightest Reynolds steel and is built to resist the roof drops and gaps of the 14 Bike co team.
Oscar Khan bike check
Oscar Khan putting the 29er to test in California and New York
Sol proving the strength of the frame hand made from British steel
Photos taken by Greg Falski
BUSINESS CARD PRINTING
Just found this shot of TJD business cards being printed for Bespoke Bristol.
All hand printed in East London!
TED ON RESONANCE FM’S THE BIKE SHOW
The Bike Show on Resonance FM went to Bespoked Bristol and interviewed Ted, Paul Villiers, Tom Donhou, Ricky Feather and Jonathan Paulus about how they got their start and what it takes to become a good framebuilder. Take a listen to the program here.
29GNAR AT BESPOKED BRISTOL
It’s been crazy busy in the run up to and since Bespoked, hence it’s taken til now to post about the 29Gnar, which made it’s debut at Bespoked, having been finished at 6am the morning of the show! Full details and write-up to come when Ted has the time, but for now check out all the great coverage it got online from…(click on the names below for article)
THE FOOTDOWN VISITS THE WORKSHOP
Ty from The Footdown came round yesterday and took some nice black and white shots of the workshop
See more here
TJD ON REDBULL’S DRAKE’S PASSAGE
In this week’s episode, Drake visits London where he meets up with “Super Ted” James, one of the most innovative custom fixed bike builders around, before heading to judge the Red Bull X-Fighters event that night. The next morning, he takes a train ride north to visit darts legend Bobby George, aka “Bobby Dazzler,” at his home pub, where he discusses life and gets some pointers on his darts game. It’s an experience he’ll never forget.
TJD ON THE GUARDIAN WEBSITE
Gave some quotes for an article on why it’s worth buying British bikes for the Guardian website a couple of days ago.
Read the full article here http://gu.com/p/3666y
MACHINING A HUB
I have finally got my newest addition up and running after a long wait, it is the Rolls Royce of lathes. Dean Smith & Grace 17×36
It is amazing and such a pleasure to work with.
The first job on it is the first operations on a prototype hub for a special project i have been thinking about for a couple of years.
I want the hub to have a 135mm female axle for 10mm bolts with fixed cog fitting and disk mount, there is nothing on the market with this criteria so i decided to make it myself.
In the making of this hub all three of my machines have been used, doing each operation in turn to create the finished piece.
I used the 4 jaw chuck to hold the billet of aluminium which i drilled right through then cut the bore for the bearing which has to be within 0.02mm and roughed out the disk brake mount.
With the 4 jaw i can leave two jaws in place while i loosen the other two to flip the work then it’s much easier to get it exactly straight again ready to work on the other end.
I repeat the same process so i have two iso mounts, one for a disk brake and the other i can use for a bolt on sprocket.
I Then made a mandrel to hold the work from the inside. I spent a long time making sure it is very accurate, it has a slight taper at the ends to lock the work in place.
Next it goes on to the milling machine for iso hole drilling and tapping, shaping the disk mount and spoke hole drilling.
I have a collet chuck on a rotary table which gives good accuracy and ease of positioning.
Using the same mandrel i then put it on my other lathe with a collet chuck which means it’s instantly centred.
I used a rotating centre to give extra support which is not really needed with this mandrel but extra support means bigger cuts.
The tool i wanted to use for profiling the shape of the hub body was too big to work in my tool post, i had no suitable cutter to mill it down but then found it would work upside down in the rear tool post.
I then did the final operation.
This hub is for a prototype bike with a hubgear mounted in the front triangle, if all goes well i will be unveiling the 29Gnar at Bespoked Bristol
RESRAP TWO YEAR ANNIVERSARY
It’s promising to be a great event with lots of support and prizes from various companies.
TJD will be offering Jacob Knill print t’s and a single one off hand built stem to mark the occasion.
Pic taken before going for a clear powder coat.
MOULTON FRAME REPAIR
An old Moulton with a cracked seat tube proved to be quite an interesting job.
I stripped the bike down and checked the broken tube. There was quite a lot of rust inside the tube below the area where the seat post gripped internally.
The seat tube had an id of 35mm for the seat tube and 37mm od which went around 100mm from the top down, it then bulged out to 38od and 36id for the rest of the tube down to the bb.
The tube would have probably been custom drawn by Reynolds for Moulton, so getting hold of the same thing was not possible.
After much searching and thinking about how to work with available tube sizes and possibly having to use a shim, finally i found a tube with thick enough wall to get the desired profile.
The tube is BS4t45 commonly known as t45, it is a high quality English made tube used in automotive sport for roll cages and frames. Also used by Curtis bikes for their frames.
I machined the tube inside and out to give the desired profile, leaving the id a little under size to allow for any distorsion and reaming after brazing.
I carefully cut away all the broken tube rather than using heat to minimize the chance of the existing tubes becoming brittle.
The bb shell had quite a lot of pitting from rust, i cleaned it up and drilled holes, one to allow any water in seat tube to go into the bb shell and the other to allow it to drain straight out of the bottom.
I brazed in the new tube and re-fitted the locating boss for the rack support, the socket for rear shock bushing, bottle bosses and seat binder.
I reamed the seat tube before sending all frame parts including racks to be powder coated.
All back together with some attention to the rear suspension pivot it works like new.
I ran out of acetylene gas for brazing so as usual i called my supplier for a refill, they told me they have none and cant tell me when they might be getting more. This seems to be a problem affecting many businesses who have been using acetylene for years and are now having to find an alternative.
For brazing, propane can be used for the fuel gas instead and is much cheaper so seems to be a good alternative. BOC, my supplier are offering a discount on hoses and regulators needed for the swap over so with no other choice i went for it and grabbed a bottle of propane to try out.
I stuck it on the back of my big bike and strapped it down tightly to get it to my workshop. It’s a little heavier than it looks because the gas is in liquid form in the bottle but with this bike it’s no problem.
I am working towards doing some batches of stems in various sizes but until then I thought it a good idea when making one to do a couple extra to stick up for sale.
All have been made using Reynolds 631 tube.
The bolts are stainless steel and have had the lettering taken off on my lathe to give a cleaner look.
Here are two fillit brazed stems for 1 inch steerer and 25.4 or 1 inch handlebar clamp
They have single pinch bolts and raw finish with phosphate and matt clear coat to prevent any corosion.
The reynolds R logo shows it’s made with quality tubing but is easily removed if so desired.
When making my mums bike i made two stems because i was not sure which would go on. This is the stem which didn’t go on so its up for grabs.
I also made some spacers and top cap to match
Check my shop to buy
MY MUM’S BIKE
I have finally finished my mum’s bike, It has taken me ages to build.
It’s all the small details which take the time and also give it a clean look.
I will be showing it at Bespoked Bristol 2012
TJD JACOB KNILL T-SHIRTS
My friend Jacob has drawn the TJD logo in his amazing style with slime and leaking brains
Check out Jacob Knill on the internet
This artwork is availabe to buy, professionally Printed on a Gildan heavyweight t shirt. Buy Here
26” prototype, seen here in SOFB
————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————– Riding and judging at the Eurobike Fixed Gear Championships. Photo by Rip Zinger.
TJD at Bespoked Bristol 2011
Printing T shirts and business cards
New lathe in the workshop