Our Process

Your Custom Steel Frame or Complete Bicycle – The Design Process

Having a custom steel frame or complete bike built is a very rewarding process. In a world of mass-produced throw away products, a custom steel frame is almost unique. Steel frames are built to last and if the worst happens they can be repaired. It also easy to update them in the future.

Where do we start?

Well first of all we need to find out about what kind of riding you do or intend on doing with your new bicycle.

We can help you as much or as little as you want to design the right bike, with the right specification and in the right size. We have nearly 80 years experience in building custom steel frames and bikes for customers, so we know what works best and what doesn’t.

Come visit us in person

We recommend that you come and see us in person when ordering your custom steel frame or complete bicycle. Afterall buying an Ellis Briggs frame is an investment which we expect you will keep for years and years. However when visiting us in person is not possible, we can work via email.

Building your custom steel frame

Once we have your design and specification and we are both happy with every aspect of it, we will start to build your frame. Building a the actually frame usually takes about a week from start to finish.

We start by selecting the tubing and lugs and preparing them to fit your design.  We use the best quality tubing available, made by Reynolds Technology in Birmingham Next we assemble the main triangle in our fixture and tack everything in place.

The final brazing of the main triangle is done “free” from the fixture and held in the vice. This ensure that the tubes can expand and contract freely during brazing and cooling. Building “free” ensures that the frame is built with no stresses in the structure and the finished frame is straight and true as a result.

The rear triangle is the most difficult part of framebuilding to get right. Ensure the rear is in perfect alignment with the front is very difficult because there are so many variables. We have honed our process over nearly 80 years.

Once the frame is built and in perfect alignment, we then go about brazing on all the fittings, bosses and braze-ons that you require.

Now your frame is ready to go to the paint shop.

Traditional stove enamelling

All our custom steel frames are stove enamelled to provide a tough, weather proof finish which has a deep colour and shine.

We can paint your frame however you wish, in a multitude of diferent colours and finishes. In fact choosing a colour can be the most dificult decision of the whole process. So much choice!

Getting ready to build your bicycle

If you’ve ordered a complete bicycle any parts that we don’t usually fit to our custom steel frames will have been sourced so we can check their fit with the frame but the rest of the parts are usually sourced while the frame is away at the painters..

The build

We put as much care and attention into building up your bicycle, as we do into building and painting the frame. Which is why we do prefer to build the whole bike, rather than just supply framesets.

Picking up your complete bicycle

We insist that all our complete bicycles are picked up in person, from our showroom in Shipley, West Yorkshire. We like to make sure that all our bikes are ready to ride when they leave our workshop and we will also assist you with any final setup.

Your new Ellis Briggs Handmade Bicycle

We hope you will enjoying covering many thousands of miles on your bicycle.