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In The Shop: Custom MTB Frame

Welcome to our first installment of “In The Shop”, where we’ll be giving you an inside look at what happens here behind the curtain at Felt Bicycles.

Last week, We noticed one of our Engineers, Nate W, fitting some tubes together in a bike jig.  When asked what  he was working on Nate answered  “Well, this is a frame I’m welding up for myself.”  We wanted to know more, so Will G (The newest member of the Felt Design/Marketing team) took it upon himself to interview him.  Here is what he came up with:

 

The best parts of working at a bicycle company is that everyone here is able to pay attention to their ‘hobbies’ as well as ‘do work’ and the two often benefit each other. 

After seeing this frame come together, I decided to ask Nate a few questions to get the full story:

What were you welding up last week?

I was welding a new bike for myself.  Its main use will be for me to commute to work on.  It’s a fully rigid, steel hardtail with 26” wheels and disc brakes.

Is it the first bike you’ve welded?

Yes.

 You’ve designed and engineered frames in the past for Felt right?

I’m still fairly new here so I haven’t designed anything totally from scratch, but I have made and checked plenty of drawings.

How did this differ from past projects you’ve done?

This will be the first project that will put my life in the hands of my own craftsmanship (or lack thereof).  It will make the ride into work more exciting if I have to think about my bike self destructing on me.

Did it come out the way you wanted it to?

Yeah it did, I am very happy with it.  Besides the weld around the ST/DT area everything else came out really good.

How many fingers did you lose in the process?

I am happy to say not a single one.

How did it ride?

Awesome.  It was really scary jumping it off the first curb because I wasn’t 100% sure it would hold up, but after that it was fun.

What’s next?

A 140mm travel trail bike made out of similar straight gauge Chromoly tubing.

What was the hardest part of building this guy?

Welding…and finding time to do so. 

 What was easier than you thought?

I was most worried about bending and mitering the stays, but they turned out to be really easy.  Jeff (my boss) showed me some primitive cave man methods that were surprisingly effective.

 Anything else you wanna share with us?

Nope, that’s it.

There she is, ready for her maiden voyage!  

Though the final product speaks for itself, we’re stoked that Nate took the time to answer our questions and share some photos! Be sure to tune in next week for more “In The Shop” entries!

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