The Bicycle Academy

Established in 2011, with backing from a successful crowd funding campaign, The Bicycle Academy is a frame building workshop based in Frome, Somerset. It’s a collaboration between legendary frame builder Brian Curtis and engineer Andrew Denham, the brains and drive behind the Cobble Wobble. The four day course teaches the skills needed to build their own bike frame, attracting students from all over the world – and a few professional frame builders eager to learn from Brian. The frame built on the course is designed to withstand day-to-day use in Africa, where many people use a bike as their only source of transport. It will be strong enough to hold a load of 100kg in addition to towing a small trailor and carrying the rider. Each student’s completed first frame will be sent to charities in Africa for distribution to local people. Graduates of the course can rent workspace at the Academy and return to build their own frames. These photos, showing recent graduates Fin and James, document the four day progress from brazing practice on scrap metal to cold setting the frame. I met Andrew in 2011 at the Bespoked bike show in Bristol so it was great to see the project up and running and so popular. They also have a very impressive selection of biscuits.

Recent work by Bristol photographer Adam Gasson. Images shot on Canon 5D III cameras with Profoto lighting.