New bike build – with a difference. Metalworking content

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  • New bike build – with a difference. Metalworking content
  • A few weeks back I posted on here looking for advice on a balance bike frame that would suit my nephew (a 5’8″ young fella with some special needs). I got some good ideas from that but then out of the blue a certain Mick Rushton (mick_r on here, superhero in real life 🙂 ) emailed me some photos of a singlespeed frame he’d custom made for himself and offered to custom make a frame for said nephew!

    How great is that! So mega thanks to Mick for volunteering and all the work so far.

    Anyway after lots of measuring, remeasuring, emails, humming and hawing we settled on the following (Mick does all the work btw 🙂 )

    Basically a really low saddle works best for him (keeps his legs away from the frame / wheel) along with higher bars. BTW there is no BB – that’s just in the diagram for reference.

    Yesterday Mick got the tools out and took some photos as he went:

    It’s going to be brazed together, then powder coated in the chosen colour.

    Initially I’ll build it with a single rear brake (I need to modify a v-brake lever to run really close to the bars), low saddle, bars about 15cm higher. As he gets the hang of it we hope to raise the saddle so he can get a bit more push and the bars will rise with stems and risers (up to bmx stye one is required).

    Also thanks to Alisdair for the new forks and Brad for other bits: much appreciated.

    And just to show off some of Mick’s finished stuff (I hope he doesnt mind):

    I’ll add more photos as we go and hopefully of the end product in use (around Christmas if we’re lucky).

    Premier Icon NZCol

    Brilliant, well done that man, those men. You know what i mean.


    10 points each to all concerned….if there are other bits you need, let me know and I’d be happy to donate 🙂


    Good show !


    Excellent, gets the cynic-al seal of approval.

    the cynic-al seal of approval

    You should have a logo for this seal: like the British Standards kite mark for bicycle diying? 😉

    if there are other bits you need,

    I think we’re good. We got all the main parts in hand (forks, wheels) before finalising the plan.

    Good to see you’ve got (getting) something sorted. The generosity of people is a great thing.


    Hey mick, nice work. You doing commissions now ? 🙂


    Excellent, would love to build my own frame.

    Well done 😉

    **scuttles off to garage**



    I have a couple of old wheels if they are any good to you

    TJ – thanks but we’re covered. It’s a long story but its getting two front wheels.

    Luckily I got 2 nearly matching new front wheels that take disk and v’s.

    #Edit – wilburracing – forgot to say Mick cant logon til tomorrow.



    Premier Icon mick_r

    Hello all. Sorry for the delay – must get a password I can remember at home….

    No progress yesterday as we had a kid free day out (singlespeed blast around back of Skiddaw). I’ll hopefully be snatching bits of metal time after work this week.

    Plans now changed slightly as I need to get chainstays (cut down forks) attached before brazing head tube (so I can tweak the head tube height once back end is fixed – mitre directions mean there is no margin for adjustment in the back end). Ronan – I’ll drop you a mail to discuss a mod in the chainstay length.

    Wilbur – I might be persuaded to make things for friends (and I’ve just bought £300 of tubes….). This bike is passing on the random mtb kindness of strangers thing after your / Pam’s help last new year 🙂

    Probably silver soldering seat clamp after work tonight. More pics as things happen.

    Premier Icon wwaswas

    Good work so far 🙂

    cynic-al seal of approval.

    I quite like the idea of a carbon fibre spoon as being the opposite of a wooden one.

    Time for an update:

    Still lots to do – but now it looks like a bike!


    Looks awesome


    that, and in fact this whole thread, is 100% of OSSUM.


    Sometimes something comes along that restores your faith in humanity. This is one of those moments.

    Premier Icon rOcKeTdOg

    10/10 so far, great work, faith in humanity restored

    Premier Icon Speshpaul

    Top work


    That is a truly excellent piece of work…

    A true example of men in their sheds..



    Wicked. I will tell brad as he never comes on here.

    If you need some sweet grips or something cool to finish it off, give me a shout. We have a pile of bits for situations like this.

    Thanks guys! (and again especially mick!)

    Mark – there may be some last minute bits. I’ll let you know if needed.


    nice, will be interesting to see how the BB is done.


    Lovely work! I’m guessing there is going to be some sort of triangulation at the back?

    Looks great, well done for stepping up and making something great.


    Looks great.


    Best thread for ages. Hurrah to the pair of you!


    Amazing, it reminds me of a trails bike. I can’t wait to see it completed. Good thread.

    some sort of triangulation at the back

    I believe so – as per the diagram – a seatstay and forward brace.

    And yes – it does look a bit like a trials bike! That was one of the ideas from the original thread. Just with 26″ wheels and a saddle.


    I have been watching micks productions with an interest he’s actually quite a talented chap


    o96192083 – Member

    nice, will be interesting to see how the BB is done.

    Its a balance bike


    That is Ace – looks not unlike a Trimble.


    Brilliant. Good work guys

    Premier Icon mick_r

    Hello – thanks for all the encouraging comments.

    Just grabbed an hour in garage – front trimmed off main tube, front tube blanking plate shaped and seat tube under-stub trimmed down.

    Top tube is half mitred – just got seat tube end to cut. Going with a small diameter 22mm tube – hopefully strong enough….

    Nasty seatstays (I hate making them!) will be 19mm. Then maybe a rear disc mount if time available……..

    Food and painting a wall in the house next. Then maybe a final hour to finish that tube ready for brazing (no gas bottles at home). Eternal balance of family-home-work-biking-bikebuilding-etc

    Looks fantastic. Do you have any pictures of your own frame Mick?

    Time for another mini – update. No pics this time, but I managed a bit of a fundamental booboo on the forks (: –

    I never checked if they were road or mtb disk forks. I just assumed disk = mtb. Doh. Turns out they’re too narrow for the tyres we were planning.

    But – more good will – Dave at Schwalbe is providing tyres, tubes and rim tape. Fantastic! Of course I’ve always loved Schwalbe tyres : cause they’re the best! And we may have some new brakes on the way too: touch wood.

    Also thanks to Chipps for the contacts!

    Hopefully Mick will have more photos soon.

    Do you need some forks?

    I’ve got a shed full of s*** I’ll never need, some old 80mm RS Dukes with borked internals so they no longer boing of any use to you?

    Thanks non-cutlery-guy (why oh why did we come up with these usernames). I think we’re going the use the forks we have (as they’re new) and skinny tyres. But it’s up to Mick really. Hopefully he can post up later.

    Premier Icon mick_r

    Managed a bit of brazing last night (didn’t do a great job but don’t think Andrew will notice) then an hour tonight cleaning things up a bit. I’m not loving the looks of the front end but that configuration was a deliberate choice to do a quick job / avoid alignment issues etc.

    Side view in approx bike alignment shows top brace tube now stuck in place – 30 degree down slope on main tube and 10 degree on brace tube.

    One of Ronan’s spare rigid forks should be fine. Its been designed around a 400mm A-C fork so not really suspension friendly – but thanks for the offers.

    Davetaylforth was asking about my own bike – so I’ve indulged in a picture below (first proper showing on singletrack!) 29er with sub 16″ chainstays……..

    And finally a big thanks to our sponsors! Now looks like we have some nice new finishing bits where we would otherwise have been using nasty scrapbin salvage.

    Thanks so far to:-
    Ronan’s pals
    The Bike Chain
    Chipps at Singletrack
    Dave at Schwalbe UK

    Also to Craig at Ride On and Amos at Keswick MTBS – they both offered forks etc when I was hunting for donor steel things to chop up.

    Tomorrow should be cutting and bending of seatstays!

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