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Bikes, Beer, and Sex
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey I'm a mechanical engineering major in college and I just started, I'm trying to get some insight as to what subjects I should focus on for building frames and componentry. I'm taking welding this semester and a cnc class next semester, what else should I be focusing on?
 

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Strength in Materials and Dynamics were both good classes for me. I'm assuming if you're taking an NC machining class you are up to snuff with your manual machining. If not, that is arguably more important than cnc. A copy of the Paterek Manual is always nice to have in your library in addition to the afformentioned stuff.
 

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Focus on Cal I, Cal II, Cal III, Diff EQ, and Linear Algebra because without those, you're going to suffer in all of your other classes and you'll probably flunk out of ME school. Once you're through all of those, it'll all get easier and your required courses will teach you plenty. I'd pay special attention in Material Science/Metallurgy if you're interested in really understanding welding, heat treating, different alloys, etc. Strength of Engineering Materials, Statics, and Dynamics will be useful. Also, your CAD course is going to come in handy especially if they offer any sort of FEA in it.
 

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There are really two questions here

IF you are asking "how do I learn all about bikes while getting a useful degree in engineering", then listen to Jay and bust your butt in class. Forget about bike specific stuff until you have a really solid foundation.

Actually, bust your butt in class no matter what. But that said...

If, on the other hand, you are asking "how do I become part of the bike industry when I graduate", go take some accounting and business classes at the business school. Learn how to figure out how a product will be profitable (or not) and how to run a business.

Building bicycles is (relatively) easy. Building or designing bicycles and making money at it is a totally different set of skills.

-Walt
 

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Walt said:
If, on the other hand, you are asking "how do I become part of the bike industry when I graduate", go take some accounting and business classes at the business school. Learn how to figure out how a product will be profitable (or not) and how to run a business.

Building bicycles is (relatively) easy. Building or designing bicycles and making money at it is a totally different set of skills.

-Walt
I think this is the best piece of internet advice I've read all morning...
 

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Walt said:
Building bicycles is (relatively) easy. Building or designing bicycles and making money at it is a totally different set of skills.

-Walt
Excellent advise , basically the same thing K.B told me years ago , "Anyone can make a bike frame , making bike frames as a business and staying profitable is a totally different story.

Only other advise I would give is pretty much the same as spelled out above.
Do well in ALL your classes , you will never know the useful information you can gain from different subjects and you will only fully understand this years down the road .

The classes the benefited me the most in school were traditional drafting - my teacher was old and stuck in his ways which benfited me the most. He said if you can't draw it on paper , then you wont be able to take it to the computer and in the end you wont fully understated how to build it . IT referring to any product you were working on large or small .
Other classes were basic machine tools and practices - you need a solid education in machineing fundimentials if you want to be a frame builder.

Other than that years of working in a bike shop and studying under local frame builders when I could thought me the most .
Try to work as a apprentice with another frame builder or two if possible , also see if you can wile still in school tour a larger production factory where they make not just one bike at a time but hundreds this will open your eyes to whats really possible .

Good luck :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the advice. I work in shop already and have been for almost a year now, the closest bike company near me is titus. Would a bigger company like that even be making frames here?
 

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Walt said:
If, on the other hand, you are asking "how do I become part of the bike industry when I graduate", go take some accounting and business classes at the business school. Learn how to figure out how a product will be profitable (or not) and how to run a business.
I'd take a course in Mandarin too, and I'm not trying to be funny.
 

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motorcyclemike said:
Thanks for the advice. I work in shop already and have been for almost a year now, the closest bike company near me is titus. Would a bigger company like that even be making frames here?
I believe titus still makes some frames in house , not 100% sure so dont quote me on this .
If there close i'd suggest going and checking out
Titus
Pivot cycles / BH bikes
Not sure of any other companies located in AZ other than Cocchino
 
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