Sometimes we receive unique requests. Like this one from Taeke: he contacted us a few months ago because he was building his own road bike based on a frame he had made together with a frame builder. In this guest blog, he will share how he managed to build a bike with help from us and other brands in the cycling industry.
How it all started
“Hi, I’m Taeke Teye Kelling, a 17-year old Dutch boy. When I started cycling two years ago for my first triathlon, I immediately fell in love with the sport. A few months later, I bought my first bike without knowing anything about bikes: I didn’t know what a groupset was, the effect of the bike’s geometry or how to replace a chain. My new bike as amazing, I cycled almost every day. In the summer I came up with a plan to cycle to Swiss and cover the 1000km solo in a week. I really enjoyed this ride: spending all day on my bike and enjoying the most beautiful landscapes.
As part of the school research paper which is an important part of the high school curriculum, I needed to design and create something for a subject I had chosen. I immediately knew I wanted to do something with cycling. Together with a teacher who’s also a cyclist, we came with the idea to build a frame. First with the idea that it might be used as a city bike, as it’s hard to create a frame that is perfectly aligned. That’s when I decided I wanted to develop a frame with some help of companies and build a bike that would make me smile when I use it.”
Building a frame
“After contacting many frame builders in the Netherlands, I get many enthusiastic replies. But nobody had time to help me build a frame in their workshop. Luckily, there was a positive reply: a frame builder in Goes was willing to help me. Only problem: the workshop was located 3 hours from Amsterdam. So, I took the train at 5.30 in the morning for a visit to his workshop. We discussed the sketches, he taught me how to weld and together we would build the frame for my gravel bike.
I spent four days in Goes in which we started with filing and cutting al pipes to make sure they could be connected. After temporarily fixing them, we started welding the different parts. I took my frame home in the train after which I could start finishing it by myself. I needed to file the seams before it was ready to paint. The frame got powdercoated with a gradient which makes the bike unique.”
Building the bike
A frame itself isn’t a bike. I realized this when I talked to my parents about the exciting days I had in the workshop. It was going to be a challenge to build a bike based on the frame I designed and built. By contacting other companies in the cycling industry and spending many hours on Marktplaats (a Dutch secondhand marketplace), I collected the groupset, all parts and a set of cycling clothes. Via my teacher, I got the opportunity to learn how to build my own wheels. One of the partners was Dynamic, who supported me with their line of greases and assembly pastes.
In a day I transformed my frame into a bike. It was an amazing feeling to finally see all my hard work coming together. In the end of May, I had the plan to cycle to Friesland to meet my familie. With the wind in my back, I took my own bike for a test ride of 180km. These were the first great kilometers on my very own bike. I couldn’t have dreamed about such an outcome when I started this project. Although many bikes have multiple owners during their lifespan, I promise this one will always be mine!”
Awesome story Taeke! We’re glad we could help you with this once in a lifetime project. We wish you many safe rides!
All photo’s via Taeke Teye Kelling.