Over the past few years, we’ve had the honour of previewing Paul Brodie’s entries to the North American Handmade Bicycle Show. They’ve always astounded us by the huge amount of dedication and skill that he instills within each project.
You might have also picked up that he teaches Framebuilding 101 at Canada’s University of the Fraser Valley. Mathew Braun, one of his alumni, is primed to carry on the torch.
Now that he has mastered the basics, under Paul’s tuition, Matthew has founded Skyland Cycles, inspired by climbing through the fog over Vancouver’s North Shore mountains: “No one around, nothing to focus on but your breathing. Rhythm. Repetition”.
Matthew completed Paul’s course in the fall of 2012 and, after assembling and riding his own frame, was hooked and has since dedicated himself to providing others with the tools required to ride through Canada’s rarefied air.
This is his own bike, which he plans to ride for the upcoming race season in Vancouver BC. It’s a modern and smooth looking ride; white and black with windows that allow the fillet brazing and Matthew’s craftsmanship to shine through.
His aim in building this frame was to reduce the weight without compromising the strength of the bike. “To do that,” Matthew says, “I built it around the perimeters of short chain stays (405mm), an aggressively sloping top tube, and a 120mm stem”.
Matthew breaks it down for us: “The tube set used is Columbus Life. I dropped the seat stays low to make the rear end stiff while still being able to use a 14mm single taper stay for weight. A traditional head tube was chosen over tapered to keep the weight down.
“The downtube is 35mm and is pressed asymmetrically for greater purchase on the BB and the head tube. The top tube is 31.8, with a 28.6 seat tube. Since the tubing sections are so short I wanted to use an offset carbon post to allow compliance over rough roads”.
He’s also a big fan of Tom Ritchey, hence the limited edition Cadence x Ritchey Airflow stem and handlebars. Like Paul Brodie, Tom is another inductee into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame — a frame builder that helped shape the modern mountain bikes we ride today.
The role of the teacher is to impart knowledge to their students, keeping the tradition alive — the role of the student is to improve upon the skill of their teacher. Looks like Paul and Matthew have both done a fine job. You can contact Matthew through the Skyland Cycles website, and find out more about Bicycle Framebuilding 101 with Paul Brodie via the UFV website.