NOPE! Cycles is the name of Moritz Ploss’ frame building business based in Stockholm, Sweden. Moritz studied a frame building course at the end of 2017 and since then has been working hard to establish his first frame building workshop whilst also studying a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering. We’re really enjoying watching NOPE! grow so we asked Moritz to tell us a bit more about how he is transitioning from student to practitioner.
In this article Moritz tells us a bit about his experience on the 7 day frame building course at The Bicycle Academy workshop.
“Thinking back to my time at the Bicycle Academy, the first thing that comes to my mind is a cold and rainy autumn morning on the fifth day of my frame building course. I was staying with my partner’s sister in central Bristol, and in an attempt to fully immerse myself in cycling I had decided to bring my road bike and commute from Bristol to Frome.
Slowly making my way out of Bristol, I recall the numb feeling in my legs as I rode down wet cobblestone roads, too exhausted to even break a sweat. The only thing that kept me going was the stack of energy bars in my jersey pocket and the prospect of seeing the sun come up over the rolling hills of Somerset.
Commuting for 90 odd kilometers each day was exhausting, but at the same time, it was a truly spiritual experience. Life had never been simpler - ride your bike, build your bike, ride your bike, sleep. The team at The Bicycle Academy did everything they could to support me in my adventure.
The moment I set foot in the workshop, I felt welcome. There is an atmosphere of inclusivity. Looking back what impressed me most was the standard of teaching. The teachers took great care to adapt the theoretical and practical parts of the course to my particular skills and prior knowledge and made sure that I get the most out of my stay - all while catering for my food preferences and providing plenty of advice on my commuting route.
Starting the course, I was eager to get practical experience in bike fabrication, and maybe even kick-off my own custom road bike workshop back in Stockholm. I used my time at The Bicycle Academy to build an all-out racing frame which has since become my favourite road bike."
The fillet-brazed frame Moritz built during his 7 day course.
"Back in Stockholm, I spent time dressing and painting my frame whilst starting to look into ways to set up my own workshop. I made a list of things that I’d need, estimated the startup cost and even wrote a business plan. When I saw the rather large figure at the bottom of my spreadsheet, it dawned on me just how much of a financial commitment this was going to be. Going forward, there were really only two options: to put the project on hold or ditch the spreadsheet. I went for the later, and I haven’t looked back."
The workshop of NOPE! cycles in the south of Stockholm.
"For me, NOPE! cycles was never just been about building bikes. I want to combine my background in mechanical engineering and my minimalist approach to living in order to offer a counterpoint to the faster-stiffer-lighter mentality that is taking over the cycling world. Thus, whilst looking for a place to set up my workshop, I tried to refine my ideas around the brand, started a bicycle design blog called #FrameWorks, and developed a CAD software that I could use to design road bike frames in the future.
After ten months, I finally managed to get my hands on a shared industrial warehouse in southern Stockholm. I renovated the space, bought a bunch of tools and started to hone my TIG welding skills. Fast-forward another six months and I’m now looking forward to opening the workshop to the local cycling community. NOPE! Cycles is officially open for business”
A work in progress at NOPE! cycles workshop
Words - Moritz Ploss
Photography - Mariana Bocoi
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