A custom made roller cam brake bike = one very happy Richard!

Here at UBI, we’ve been teaching folks how to build bicycle frames for decades. It’s one of the coolest things any cyclist could ever do for themselves, and is also an amazingly challenging, rewarding career path.

Every time we teach a frame class, the instructor builds a demonstration frame to allow students to see the next step, and pick up helpful tips and techniques along the way.

Periodically, however, even the most seasoned of frame builders can struggle to find inspiration when charged with building 10-12 frames per year with no specific rider in mind – so, often, the teachers will reach out to other staff members for ideas – which that UBI staffer then gets to integrate into their personal quiver.

This is the first in a series of articles detailing one such bike – each inspired by one key unusual component for the entire build.
The Roller Cam Brake.

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Keeping a balanced inventory is really important as the industry heads into an era where products are delivered directly to your door for no additional cost. At the holidays, we are always looking to make that extra couple dollars. It’s a common theme in the industry to see shops struggle to maintain that connection to customers and keep them walking through the door. More and more shops have moved away from sales to service as the number one profit center for keeping the lights on and the doors open. We've got some reminders of some best practices during the holiday season that we talk about during the last day of our Pro Class. 

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The bottom bracket houses bearings, and in this case, a Junction B box for all the internally routed Di2 wires.

Along with the wave of electronic components, there was a cultural aesthetic riptide which added the difficulty to streamline the outside of the bike: hide the wires. One advantage here is that the electronic signals no longer require straight lines or necessarily smooth curves to achieve the perfect response; although a kink wouldn’t be great either. While Shimano spent many extra hours streamlining ways to add the wires into the bars and stem, the frames also needed to change. Following this same line of thought, is an entirely new way to think about frame construction. The classes we present at UBI are not exempt, in fact, frequently our instructors are already on the front of that thought, querying; how can we bring this to our students?

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Kaitlin and her dog, Atlas, enjoying a walk.

Interview by B Vivit

I first met Kaitlin Johnson through one of the most life-changing emails a person could ever receive. An email that most women working in shops across the industry sit, crossing their fingers waiting for, between September when the application opens until December when the winners are notified. And an email that can change 16 (and this year 32) lives for the better, while reaffirming that all folx are welcome in this industry, after hearing "No," for so many years.  
"Happy Wednesday B, I am delighted to inform you, on behalf of QBP and our partner sponsors, that we have selected you as a recipient of our Women’s Bike Mechanic Scholarship to United Bicycle Institute!" At the time, Kaitlin (nor myself) knew that I'd eventually be supporting the scholarship from the other side, but I'm happy to say that working with Kaitlin; the stoke is high. A genuinely beautiful person, Kaitlin herself embodies much of what the scholarship is about, and we caught up to her to ask a few more questions about how she got started in the industry and what the scholarship means to her...
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