One of us in the August house is officially on Christmas break. The other is not. You guessed it, Mrs. A is still working away until Christmas Eve, so I've been faffing about and tying up loose ends. There's been some workshop planning, wheel building and general admin to do and with Mrs A. leaving Instagram, we've had time in the evenings to sit, talk and plot a little.
No more powdercoated custom bikes
We've thought long and hard about this one but from now on, we will not be offering powdercoat as a finish for our bikes any longer. The simple reason is that it just isn't meeting our standards. It drowns out finer details, seems to take forever these days and we are never 100 percent happy with the end result. There's only so much moaning we can do and frankly, we are tired now.
We know powdercoat seems appealing because it is significantly cheaper than paint. And yes, it has reputation for being hardier as well but it's just a bit...meh. There are better options now and despite our seemingly endless search for a good painter locally (we drew a blank), we will find the energy to resume the nationwide scour.
As ever, we won't be dealing with any paint money directly. We will organise and ship but when it comes to payment, customers will be liaising directly. We're not interested in tacking a little bit on for ourselves or for "our trouble" as some people put it.
Please bear all this in mind when ordering!
Andy's new custom forks
Andy's a great chap and needed to give his Cielo CX disc racer a freshen up. We added some mudguard mounts to his frame and then built some steel forks to replace his Enve ones. Dimensionally, they are the same but are flat mount disc, thru axle and there's a tapered steerer for good measure. There's clearance for a 42mm 700c tyre or a 35mm 700c tyre with mudguards. Some snazzy stainless Gilles Berthoud 'guards were fitted ready for action.
The whole lot got a sleek black powdercoat job and we sent it off with a set of fresh decals, courtesy of Chris King. Lovely stuff.
The 2022 order book
We're not ones to go in for all that "oh my order book is soooooooo full" crap. Let's be honest and say that nobody has the four-year queue that they, maybe, used to. That being said, we are fairly booked out for bikes next year. Something happened in this last quarter and we took deposits from plenty of lovely, excited people. Some are already talking about squeezing in another frame alongside their confirmed builds. It's all quite surreal but fantastic.
This means that unless we have a slew of cancellations, lose an arm or find an extra month in the year, we won't be looking to accept many, if any, more frame builds for next year. Wheels, forks, stems, racks et al? Bring them this way, we can make space for those. Those weird and wonderful small projects you bring to us always get us head-scratching too, so don't stop with them! BUT...if you want wedding rings...let's get the right size info, please. Mentioning no names. Ahem. ALISTER,
A farewell to our tamper stash
As we said on Instagram this week, we will no longer be making tampers and simply putting them up for sale. The market is getting a little crowded and despite making them for more than seven years, we can't be arsed to keep trying to flog you all things! It gets a little dull when every post is a "please buy my stuff" plea, doesn't it? We think it does.
So, back to a focus on things we've machined and ongoing projects. It'll make for a nicer Instagram grid and far more interesting morning toilet scrolling. So you're all welcome.
Plans for the August Bicycles' workshop
I've been somewhat neglectful when it comes to the workshop. We built it years ago, when Mrs. A and I were still young and carefree. Just like us, it's looking a little haggard now so this Christmas period is going to see it getting a freshen up. We are finally going to paint the floor with proper epoxy paint. Better storage is going in and the clean area is going to get a thorough tidy so it can be used for admin as well as final builds. We might even get a little creative with the walls. Now we have a GoPro, we will try to film some of the inevitable hilarity. It's a big space, with a separate heavy machine area, so it's time to make it look like a workshop and not a dusty garage. It has never been a garage or a garden office, so it's going to get some love. In spring, it will get a fresh coat of black paint on the cladding too.
When the workshop is more fitting for visitors, we will be inviting more of you over for chats about potential builds. It's always been via email up to now but these are personal projects and you are welcome to come and say (with an appointment). Let's be honest; it's a good way to find out if we are a good fit too isn't it? Anyone can seem convivial in an email...
Thanks for 2021
It's been a weird year. We've had lockdowns, mental health issues, bad haircuts and an unruly toddler to deal with and we're still here. We've cemented some great friendships with people that we are looking forward to riding and hanging out with next year (Chris C, Mark E, Loo and Noah, you guys know it's you, amongst others!). We're hoping to keep rolling with the punches, rising above the industry garbage and just focussing on what we love doing: making bikes for nice people. Because that's how simple it should be. Guys. These are just bikes. We don't cure cancer, solve climate change (not directly anyway) or make a huge impact on anything drastically important. But bikes are fun. Good people that enjoy riding them with no snobbery or elitism are fun. And that's a pretty uplifting thing to be part of.
Here is a tiny selection of this year's workshop fun:
This year we've helped people commute in comfort and style. We provided the machine for local hero James to complete outrageous audaxes on. We built up a family cargo bike for new parents and we were involved in a very sweet surprise project that we can't talk about until next year. There have been so many more builds as well. No two bikes have been the same but every rider has had something in common: they've all been bloody good people. We feel extremely privileged to know that everyone who rides an August, that they originally commissioned, is made from the decent stuff. Yes, we got pretty protective of our brand this year and decided to say no to anyone we don't feel a connection to, but even before that, our customers have all been such lovely types that we all stay in touch. We know their kids names (James W, Amy is still desperate for baby number two because of your little girl's moniker!), we commiserate when they've lost someone and we support their endeavours. We won't go so far as to say anything naff like August is a family, but it's definitely on par with inclusive communities and collections of well-meaning misfits. Fuck. Are we the Breakfast Club guys? We all know Mrs. A is Judd Nelson if we are... Maybe she's Richard Vernon actually. What we are trying to say is that we're thankful. We support our family with this business and you all contribute to that. Here's some of the silliness you all contributed to!
So that's it, probably for the year. We are a bit slack right now because things have been hectic. Days feel long and we are ready for some serious time off doing sweet FA. It's going to be interesting to see what 2022 has in store for us, but we hope you'll enjoy it with us, or at least enjoy laughing AT us.
Rad peeps of the week
All of our Buy Me A Coffee supporters from 2021. Insane.
Mark for taking my forgetfulness in his stride.
Anyone with a tramp stamp. Apparently, they are back in style, so you made it guys! It all came back around!
Good friends who call to talk about fork prototypes but then chat for an hour about anything but. You're our MVP.
Edna Mode. Best Pixar character by FAR.
The person that invented duvets. How fucking good are they on the sofa?
Everyone we love. We don't tell you enough because we think we're too cool for it, but there's nothing rad about withholding affection. We do love you, we value you and we can't wait to make new memories with you in 2022. (Dickheads can stay away, thank you please.)
See you next year!