The Design Process

Your Custom Steel Frame or Complete Bicycle

If you are looking for bike repairs, at Ellis Briggs we have the best workshop facilities in the Yorkshire. Our three highly experienced, full-time mechanics are able to do any job from fixing a puncture to completely rebuilding your bike. We also build and repair frames on-site. Our frame-builder is Reynolds 753 approved, the highest standard in the world! Having repaired your frame, we are also cycle frame painters.

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

We recommend that you come and see us in person when ordering your custom steel frame or complete bicycle. After all, 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.


We have developed over the years a fairly simple and effective bike fitting.  We recommend, unless you are totally happy with the position on your bike, that you come along to the shop so we can tailor your new bicycle to you perfectly.


The measurements we make during your fitting are transferred to our sizing jig.  Our fixture allows us to design a frame which has the required geometry for your riding style without compromising the fit.

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 the actual frame usually takes about 2-4 week from start to finish.

The Build – Selecting the Parts

We start by selecting the tubing and lugs and preparing them to fit your design.

Depending on the lugs you have selected, this can be anywhere from a day’s process to a week’s.  Fancier handcut lugs take much longer to prepare, but add character and individuality to a frame.

We use the best quality tubing available, made by Reynolds Technology in Birmingham.

The Build – Main Triangle

Now it’s time to assemble the main triangle in our fixture and tack everything in place.

The main triangle is then silver brazed, each joint is put together individually – checking alignment before and after.  To ensure your frame is straight and free of inbuilt stresses, we braze all the joints out of the jig.


The Build – Rear Triangle and Braze Ons

Once the main triangle is assembled we file the lugs so they have a uniform appearance before work on the rear triangle can begin.

Our process for building the rear triangle is something we are particuarly proud of because it ensures that the rear wheel is perfectly inline with the front wheel.

Final filing begins once the frame is assembled, before fitting the braze ons that you require.

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 any way you wish, in a multitude of different colours and finishes. In fact, choosing a colour can be the most difficult 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.