It’s nearly a year since I traveled to the UK and attended a frame building course with Downland Cycles, and until now I didn’t even realize there was a class right here in Australia. Brett Fuerst studied under the tuition of Brett Richardson at Brisbane TAFE and built this impressive road bike inspired by his Giant TCR.
Brett tells us the story: “I’ve always been interested in bikes, from cutting mountain bike tracks around Cairns as a teenager, building a ridiculous aluminum mountain bike frame in tech studies during high school, to now smashing out river loops in Brisbane as an adult.
Back in 2016 I was reading through The Spoken as I do almost daily and saw Brad Marshalls ONPOINT PT1001. The bike looks incredible and, funnily enough, I’m also an Industrial Designer in Brisbane. Reading through the article I learned that there was a frame building TAFE course run by Brett Richardson (Beretto) in Brisbane.
“Straight away I researched the course and within a few hours, I was enrolled.
“I didn’t go into the course with the same plan as Brad who went in with a specific tube set and geometry in mind. The first day Brett handed me a box of lugs and Columbus Zona tubing and told me to figure out what kind of bike I wanted to build.
“I ride a Giant TCR, which I’m really happy with so decided to copy the geometry almost exactly. I decided to shorten the chainstays slightly for what Brett describes as a ‘racy’ frame. As the TCR is a compact frameset there are a few little changes but the main angles are identical to my large TCR.
“The course itself is fantastic, Brett is a great teacher and was very patient with my constant questions and checking and double checking dimensions and angles. I was doing the part-time course so every Tuesday I would be in there cutting and brazing. I would spend the rest of the week after work filing, sanding and cleaning freshly brazed lugs or getting components ready for the next week.
“There are a few slight modifications I’ve made from the standard frame the course provides. I decided to run internal cable routing for the rear brake, so sourced some suitable bronze tubing from a hobby shop to run through the top tube and the assorted frame hardware off eBay. In the same eBay order, I purchased a different rear brake stay and some fancier cable stops.
“After the course, I spent hours and hours cleaning up the brazed joints, filing, sanding and polishing. I took it a bit far making sure every file mark and every bit of excess bronze was removed. Each joint was almost mirror polished which was a bit stupid as they had to be roughed up before painting anyway.
“I’ve painted a few frames in my time but this frame was something special and my rattle can paint jobs just wasn’t going to cut it. I brought the frame and an Illustrator file of decals to the guys at Paint My Bike. Initially they weren’t keen on the blue and gold color scheme but in the end, they thought it could work.
“They also thought that my middle and last name ‘Von Fuerst’ seemed like a legit bike name so that was good. About a week later it was ready to go and the guys had done an incredible job. All decals are stenciled and painted metallic gold and the metallic blue candy over black looks incredible in the sun.
“The final step was building it up, which took a bit of time. I had the stem, headset, seat post, seat and handlebars from another project. Sourced the latest Ultegra R8000 and most of the finishing kit online and the ZIPP wheels locally.”
If you’re a cyclist, making your own frame under the tuition of an expert is an unparalleled experience, and it’s one that Brett can tick off Life’s list. All in all, he’s extremely happy with the result. But if that was the Fuerst, what’s next?
Brisbane TAFE Course Website