This is a bike I made for James Bowthorpe. He wanted something to be able to carry his kid and carpentry tools. So we went with a front loader cargo bike. The small wheel in the front helps to get the load nice a low to help the bike feel stable. I also gave the bike low trail so even when its loaded up and weighted down the steering still feels natural.
Here is a bike I made a while ago. Henry wanted something that would fit and be comfortable for long ride but also light and fast. The frame was made out of 853 tubing with an opposed oval down tube. 853 has a higher tensile strength then titanium which mean reynolds can butt the tubes quite thin but still offer a very dent resistant tube set. The opposed oval down tube gives a nice wide section at the bottom bracket to help stiffen this area when your putting the power down. Henry told me this frame feels stiffer then his old carbon road frame! By giving the top tube a 6 degree slope so he can show more seat post and using thin 16mm seat stay then frame still feels surprisingly comfortable, giving the rider confidence on fast bumpy descents.
Big thanks to Phil and Tessa for a great weekend @Bespoked UKHBS. The velodrome was the perfect venue. Never throughout I’d see bikes being ridden at a bike show! I had some fun riding everything over from the shop. I’ll have to take a cargo bike to every bike show as it makes everything that much easier.
Neil asked for a time machine and thats exactly what I gave him! This one took a while, but we got there in the end. There are a lot of firsts on this build for me; Tapered head tube and fork, epoxied mudguard eylets on to the fork, di2 routing, lightweight Columbus Spirit main tubes, complicated powder/ 2pac paint job. Have a look at the build here.
I’ve always been a bit hesitant to work with over-sized headtubes in steel as they add a lot of unneeded weight to the frame. But when I got my hands on this tapped head tube from Columbus I was peasantly surprised how light they were able to make it. To work with this head tube I had to turn up a couple adapters so it would fit on my jig, I then managed to cut/part and face the head tube on my lathe, so the faces on the head tube where perfectly parallel. As there are internal cups to be silvered in after brazing. to minimize any distortion, so the internal bearings are happy.
The spirit main tubes are so light cold setting was not an option. After tacking and checking the frame on my alignment table I braze each joint in opposing quarters and was careful to add an even amount of heat to either side of the frame, leaving me with a frame that was straight on its centers. We went with an 853 rear end as the chain and seat stays have a longer taper, thicker walls and are laterally the same width. Making them a bit more vertically compliant but laterally stiffer, also disc brakes put a lot of stress on a frame, so I wanted a thicker wall to strengthen this area.
The mudguard eyelets were epoxied on to the fork, which took a few months of test pieces and head scratching to get it right, check out the process here. Armourtex have really outdone themselves on this paint job. They started with an orange powder coate, 2pac white bands, 2pac logos, then a couple 2pac clears on top, and then mixed a 2pac orange for the fork to match the frame. The result is a great finish that should be super durable. Thanks Neil!
My good friends from magic bike polo asked me to design and fabricate a range of polo bikes for them. I’ve been making custom polo bikes for myself and friends for a few years. When designing these bikes my main priority was to make a range that would be strong enough to take whatever people through at them. So I gave Reynolds a call, and they were kind enough to do a small run of 631 tubes they make for BMX bikes, which meant the main tubes would be thicker at the head tube, therefore being better at withstanding head on collisions, while still being light double butted tubes. Here are some video of the build. And there are more photos on my Facebook
Nik and I where reminiscing about our last big trip and its got us thinking whats next, These are photos by my brother Dave in Sinai desert,
Ive wanted to make one of these for years, as trying to get two chain stay the exact length by hand takes me ages. Basically took a bunch of scrap that was laying around and came up with an jig that turned out pretty ridged, and the first cut was perfect as you will see, better then I expected to be honest… click on the photo to see it being made
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Ooo I do love it when I get emails like this.
“Hey Ryan, Passed 5,000km today and I’ve now done the first oil change on the Rohloff. Just wanted to drop you a line to say the bike’s been an absolute dream so far – it’s handling everything with ease and is such a pleasure to ride, even with 30kg of crap weighing it down. Thanks again.”
This is an interesting build as I had to make quite a few tools. First I turned up some adapters so i could mount the massive tapered head tube in my jig. Then I had to figure out how to get both top and bottom faces of the head tube parallel , as there are internal cups for this head tube to be silver brazed in after building, so i turned a puck and fit in the head tube allowing me to mount the head tube in the lathe and cut and face it, which is not the easiest thing to do with my little lathe. The down and top tube are huge so i wanted to cut massive holes in the head tube to save weight. I also had to cut holes in the bb for the di2 routing which meant i had to make an arbor so i could mount the right sized cutter in my mill to do the job. pheww this all took 4 days before i even started cutting tubes! yeikes! if you click the pic you can see this bike being made on my facebook page…
listening to Mr Llewellyn talk about frame building as I poodle around my shop, this is what its all about making better bikes that ride well and are durable, video by Gavin Bannerman