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W/C 21.06.21 August Bicycles Workshop Update: Making, measuring and moaning

Updated: Dec 22, 2021

We were hoping for a productive week of clearing everything off our to-do list, but the parts shortage in the UK is getting less and less funny. So...we've been making the things we need, therefore it's all taking a little longer. That being said, it's been nice to actually get down to some properly custom bits and bobs again.

First off, we finished the 'apology build' for our customer Andoni. A classic and retro-style build, it's a sharp looking ride that we've added our own touch to with a custom downtube cable stop, some custom handlebar shims and some cable hangers. Probably a little overkill, but when the regular parts aren't available and looked a bit naff, and we have a customer waiting, we hit the lathe and start getting creative. The cable stop has been made to mimic the styling of the Campagnolo bottom bracket cable guide, with the same scallops and mirror polished finish to the stainless steel. Really happy with how everything turned out and it'll be nice to get this to its new owner.

We also made a special tamper for our friend Steve over at Homage Cycling Art this week. We've been working on something together and couldn't think of a better way to say thank you than with a cheeky little tamper that nudged him to finally treat himself to a coffee machine. This one has a 50mm base and as ever, was machined all in-house, from catering grade stainless steel. Thanks Steve, hopefully you'll enjoy your morning brew even more now!

It's been another big wheel week. Everyone seems to be booking in for their Chris King services ahead of some summer riding, which is great. Don't forget guys; you are supposed to have them serviced every six months. We know most of you don't, because they really are an investment, but with our rubbish UK weather it's worth getting in at least once a year. We charge £75 for a service, so get in touch if you've been meaning to have your hubs looked at. This is your sign to get it done!

We were really happy to have Sara over this week too. We've worked with Sara on a few projects, including a fork for her titanium Genesis and now, we are getting ready to design her a new bike. Sara is one of those customers that you just genuinely look forward to seeing and we can't wait to make her something special. She's a more petite rider, which offers some fantastic opportunities to get creative with the proportions and building for such a passionate rider and amazing ambassador for the sport is a privilege. You always hope to get really invested in each build, and we've designed our business model to ensure that we actually do. No bill-payers, just bikes we like for people we love.

Those of you who have visited us will be shocked to learn that we've started actually tidying out the workshop! We know. Sit down if you need to! We are trying to get in a position to properly revamp the entire workshop in July, with a painted floor, better storage and just generally, make it look less like a tatty machine shop and more like the high-end bicycle workshop it is. The tip is certainly going to love us in a couple of hours, when we roll up with plenty of swarf and all the bloody packaging that parts come in.

Talking of rolling up to the tip, we will be doing so in our new whip. Most of you will probably remember that we went car-free for a long time, but after a hit-and-run with our little one on the Bullitt, Mrs A got, understandably, nervous. Well, she actually got majorly fucked off with not feeling like she could safely transport our daughter and so, we started looking for a Caddy. We used to have one and loved it, but we were smashed into by an articulated lorry on the motorway (we've had some great luck) and it was written off. We mourned it for a while, had a baby and now, have the ultimate fam wagon/work van/pope mobile in the form of a Caddy Maxi Life. We've called it Van Ashcroft (10 points to the first person who knows who it is named after) and we are now wondering how we ever lived without it. After some rudimentary measuring and finally just having a go, we discovered we can get a Bullitt in the back, and with a bit of massaging, probably both of them. The world of UK holidays has suddenly opened up a little more with this knowledge, though not just yet because you know...pandemic.

Now for a moan. It's all just a waiting game right now, with parts not easy to come by. We have thousands of spokes on backorder, we're waiting for a big hub delivery and there are a handful of other bits we need but the stars aren't quite aligning. Add in a toddler that has suddenly decided that 4:30 - 5:00 is a reasonable time to wander through and get us up in the morning and it's been a bit of a struggle! But life goes on, is generally very happy right now and in the grand scheme of things, we don't have a lot to whinge about. Which feels rather nice.

Rad peeps of the week:

  • Peter Hitt. You bought the most insane number of coffees for us that we had to double-check our Buy Me A Coffee page. Thank you Peter. We can't wait to make that special rack for you!

  • Casey. You know why.

  • Jon, Linda and Tilly for keeping us updated about your travels and letting us know you got a fresh headset sorted!

  • Everyone that got involved with our 'ask us anything' Q&A on Instagram. Always fun and a real eye-opener for some of you in terms of what we make, profit-wise. If good vibes paid the mortgage, that's all we'd charge guys, but alas, you have all gotten a bit more of an insight. It was especially funny to see the two side of it, with fellow full-time framebuilders commiserating the total lack of money made on a frame and everyone else saying that can't be right!

  • Corona for the pop classic "Try me out", to which we had some lovely hip thrust action on our stories.

  • Roger Moore for being the best Bond. We used to like Sean Connery too, but he slaps women too much and is just a bit of a shit, so Roger takes the crown for us.

See you next time!


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