Getting Started: Resources

If you’re looking to start your journey as a bike frame builder or just build your dream bike frame, we hope this index with resources helps you.
You can also check this page to search for frame building schools or buy a frame from a professional frame builder.

Frame Design

All about designing the perfect frame for a specific body. Tools and online resources to help you figure out the right size.

BikeCad: There’s a free version that runs on the web and a paid downloaded version ($382 USD). The site also has a page where you can check frame designs made by other people.

RattleCad: Similar to BikeCad, this software can help you design the frame that you want based on your body dimensions and other variables. There’s a free and a paid version of US$27.

Pithy Bikes YouTube channel explaining bike geometry and how to use BikeCad

Cobra Frame building designing a HardTail with BikeCad

Video part 2 here!

Welding or Brazing

You might be wondering what type of technique is best, cheaper, or preferred. We gathered some resources on this section to help you choose your setup.

Popular methods for “gluing” steel tubes are TIG welding, brazing with Oxy-Acetylene, and brazing with oxygen concentrator-propane.

  • acetylene vs. propane
  • If you’re going to use a TIG welder check out this video from Cobra Framebuilding explaining the setup needed.
  • If you’re just starting and want to go with the cheapest option, the Oxygen concentrator/ propane is the right option.
Oxy Concentrator and propane beginner setup:
  1. Torch handle – Some popular torches are Uniweld 71, Victor J-28, and Smith AW1A
  2. Tips – The site sells torches and tips specific for Propane / Oxy setups.
  3. Propane regulator – Example
  4. New or used O2 concentrator- Any Oxygen concentrator with 5 LMP should be enough. You can find them online on pages like or at
  5. AB fitting hose set – Like this one.
  6. Propane tank – The one you use for your barbecue. 🙂

Free Books and resources

Building a custom bike frame – Article from

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