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Lugged Bicycle Frame Construction, A Manual for the First Time Builder: Expanded Second Edition Paperback – August 2, 2010

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About the Author

Marc-Andre R. Chimonas learned the basics of technical writing as a student at Georgia Tech and as an officer in the U.S. Epidemic Intelligence Service. He is the author of "Construction of Lugged Bicycle Forks," "Lugged Bicycle Frame Construction," and the electronic pulp novel "Magic Sky Daddy." He has published articles in "Boneshaker: A Bicycling Almanac" and various peer-reviewed medical science journals.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 2 Expanded edition (August 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 145365058X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1453650585
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.5 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,075,732 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Louis Mauriello on March 9, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First off this book is perfectly readable. Don't listen to the reviews that say it isn't. Ok, it could have used a spell check. And, yes, the author has some views on design and materials that not everyone is going to side with. Yeah, it could have been a better technical manual had he not, but, he wrote the book not you, that gives him the right to put his views in there.

Now for my review:
I titled this review "good" because that is what it is - it is good, not great or fantastic. Someone who already has some brazing skills could certainly build a frame in his backyard using the directions in this book and basic tools (that's the author's claim and I say he did a good job of providing the information needed). Someone who does not have those brazing skills would not be able to, as, unfortunately, there are no real directions on things like pre-braze metal-prep or fitting, which I think should have been included. The author mentions having things like Lime cleaner and flap disks but doesn't give any direction in their use.

The reality is anyone can put heat to two cleaned and fluxed interlocking pieces of metal and add solder to create a joint. What you'll need to know though is how to properly fit tubes in lugs and then how to properly clean all the points of contact before putting heat to metal in order to get a good and proper brazed joint.

So here is what this book does give you - A sound set of procedures to design, assemble, mock up, and hold in place the various frame parts in order to build a frame, in your yard, using basic homeowner tools.

Here's what it doesn't give you - Any meaningful directions in how to prepare the various metal pieces, fit them into each other, clean them in preparation for brazing them, and properly flux them.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Tim Tobola on May 8, 2011
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Im very impressed with this book. The whole read is very encouraging and erases all fear in getting started to build. The step by step process and tricks of the trade give the reader a real insider view into the world of bike building which few other how-to books do. This is a picky observation, but the only criticism I have towards the book is the quality and number of photos in the book. I would love to see more step by step photos.

Im very glad to have found this book, and Im so glad the author has chose to keep the DIY attitude from print to practice.
I'll keep my eyes open for another book in the future!
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Before finding this book I had read lots of other stuff online etc about lugged frame construction and had learned quite a bit. With this reading came more questions about some specific things like attaching and finishing seat stays at the seat post as an example. The book was able to clearly answer all these questions to a satisfactory level. Keep in mind that this book is designed to build a successful frame taking advantage of the most user friendly parts on the market. I think the idea is that once you get a feel for brazing and assembly of the frame following the book, you would then be able to start trying new things like carving your lugs or running internal frame cable routing and on and on. If you are a first time builder like me, get the book for sure!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By R. Harold on April 7, 2012
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This is a good guide to building your own bicycle road frame. The author succeeds in demonstrating that you don't need to invest in a lot of specialized equipment to complete the task. Like most home made items, you won't be making a bike frame more cheaply than you can buy ready built. And it is very likely you won't be building a bicycle of very high quality. But the real point is the joy of making something yourself, that will be custom fit. Also, the only warranty on your frame will be your own.

The book is not perfect. The printed pages are not perfectly aligned. Margins, especially the bottom margins change from page to page. There are some spelling errors. There is a momentary rant in the begining. And sometimes he repeats points. But this is a manual for a craft for which there are few books available. So, I am not reading this for literary enjoyment. I am impressed that he explains procedures as well as he does. The author writes fairly clearly. Sometimes it requires pausing and rereading a section to understand and visualize what is described. But this is true of any technical book.

I have some disagreements about technique: You shouldn't have to epoxy an aluminum angle to the jaws of a vice. A center punch is the proper tool to dimple metal for drilling. Hand held power rotary tools for grinding the inside of cast lugs can easily remove too much material too quickly to carefully expand the inside of a lug to receive a frame tube and still keep the necessary tight tolerance for silver brazing.

On the whole, this is a very good source of information for the begining frame builder.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By cnagorka on January 23, 2012
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First off, I'll say that this book is a valuable resource, and without it I wouldn't have been able to build my own frames. But it would be SO much better if Mr. Chimonas would stick to the business of building bike frames, not veering off into cutesy judgments which spoil the book. For example, talking about frame building materials other than steel, he says "Carbon fiber (graphite) is the stuff that comes in pencil leads. Carbon fiber is the frame material of choice for ill-tempered roadies and gram counting weight weenies, which are really one in the same." Later in the same paragraph, "Carbon fiber frame building kits do exist for the hobbyist and are comprised of straight tubes that fit in aluminum lugs with epoxy. In my extremely objective opinion, there are much cheaper ways to sniff glue." It's exactly this kind of BS that makes me downgrade this book. The technical aspects of his frame building technique are fine, and his step by step instructions are very good, if written in very stilted third person language. One must be careful, though as Mr. Chimonas has personal opinions on what makes a good bike, and following his opinions may not give you what you want, for example his warning against long chainstays which create "a big, ugly gap between the rear wheel and the seat tube". The frames I've built all have chainstays as long as I could make them and they ride and handle beautifully.

So, at the end of the day I would recommend the book, just take what he says with a grain of salt. This book is far more essential, in my opinion, than the Paterek manual, which is excellent in its own way but pretty much takes the tack that you can't build a decent frame without a full machinist's shop to work in.
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