Do you want a custom bike based around a quality pre-loved frame?  Something handbuilt and unique with bespoke components?

What do you actually plan to do with your bike? And how do you know how much your finished bike is going to cost, what it’s going to look like and how it will ride? Once I’ve met you and we’ve ascertained exactly what you want and your budget, I’ll keep in touch all the way through the process to bounce ideas for parts, options, colours and costs. I’ll also ask you in for a ‘fitting’ when we have your bike at the ‘rolling chassis’ stage, this a good time for us to make more detailed changes. If all this sounds quite serious it’s not – it’s actually very interesting and very rewarding to see your bike progressing from concept to reality – this is the bit I love the most. Or just leave it all to me…

Once you’ve ridden the finished bike around for a few weeks, I’ll ask you back in for a free first service. Bear in mind that a custom built machine costs more than an ‘off-the-peg’ bike, but it’s always worth it for the same reasons a tailored, bespoke made-to-measure garment is vastly superior to off-the-peg clothing.  It is worth the wait, you only live once so why not have the best? I’ve developed strong skills & contacts in the following areas:

Sourcing & restoration of vintage parts
Frame modifications & repairs
Thread-cutting & repair
Paintwork & stripping
Chromeplating
Leather saddle recovery
Singlespeed & geared conversions
Wheelbuilding
Decals & transfers
Customised parts
Bespoke accessories
Handlebar, drivtrain & controls conversions
Retro-modern builds

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I can custom build a complete bike, but can also undertake a job based around a supplied frame or parts only. Sometimes I’ll suggest buying a complete ‘donor bike’ if it works out to be a more cost effective way to find all the parts I need to build up your frame. You’re more than welcome to supply any parts you already own to project provided they are suitable and are in serviceable condition; naturally if these parts need restoration or repair this will increase my labour charge (eg the forks need servicing, older parts are very corroded or you require the wheels rebuilding from scratch etc).  I currently charge £35 per hour for all work.

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Two wonderful old sayings I find very appropriate to building custom bikes are:

“A poor person cannot afford to buy cheap things”
(if you’re going to the expense of getting a bike custom built for you, spend as much as you can on the parts… it won’t drastically affect your labour charge and with bikes – up to a point – the more you spend the better value for money you get)

“Cheap, light, strong… pick two”
(don’t just take my word for it, that’s a Keith Bontrager quote… and with vintage/retro machines you also might want to consider how authentic / period correct you want the bike to remain as well, though I also love building up restored vintage frames with newer components)

My aim is bikes that look beautiful and work perfectly; I lavish them with my fullest attention and they are handbuilt in an artisan workshop as opposed to being mass produced in a factory or carelessly retailed.  I tune bicycles down to the last ball bearing and labour over such details as which small parts to fit, brake pad toe-in, indexing perfection, decal placement, tyre pressure… if you’re a mechanic/geek you’ll understand, if not your bike will simply look and feel ‘right’.

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Regarding colour schemes, tastes vary but I often find this formula to work well… one main frame colour, one main component colour (generally black, silver or grey) and one colour for some of the little parts and decals that will contrast pleasingly with the frame and parts.

RAL colour charts

You may like the colours of the Jamaican flag for example, so you could opt for a bright gloss green frame with black components, finished with shiny gold anodized small parts and decals… classy. Choose what you like – it’s your bike, I’ll make it happen. I aim for harmony over a nonsensical effort to ‘match’ everything. The same applies to the myriad options for brakes, gears, saddle, pedals, handlebars etc.  Invariably I’ve tried almost all of the options and various set-ups you’re considering before – and can therefore advise you on these all-important choices.

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You can leave all this to me, or use the parts list below to help you to budget & plan your custom bike… it’s pretty comprehensive but you will not need every single part, it just helps make sure we’ve thought of everything and help me keep to your budget – and if there’s anything you’re unsure of just ask! For each part on our budget spreadsheet I’ll enter the price, add notes and details, record the source of the item and log the receipts (this helps with your insurance). Each item can be new or used, supplied by you or me, or be original to your bike – in any case I’ll make sure it’s immaculate before re-fitting it.

– Frame *
– Forks *
– Decals
– Headbadge
– Paintwork / Frame Treatments
– Fasteners
– Headset
– Top cap assembly *
– Seatpost
– Shim
– Seatpost clamp
– Saddle clamp
– Bottom bracket
– Cranks
– Crank bolts
– Cotter pins
– Chainrings
– Bashring/Chainguard
– Chainring bolts
– Chain
– Saddle
– Pedals *
– Toe clips & straps
– Stem *
– Ahead spacers
– Handlebars *
– Brake hangers
– Rim rear *
– Rim front *
– Hub rear
– Hub front
– Freehub
– Spokes
– Nipples
– Quick release skewers / Wheel nuts
– Tyres
– Tubes
– Rim tape
– Valve caps
– Gear shifters
– Front derailleur
– Rear derailleur
– Cassette / freewheel
– Brakes
– Blanking bolts / rim brake bosses
– Cable clips / guides
– Disc rotors & mounting bolts
– Brake adaptors & mounting bolts *
– Brake levers *
– Hoods
– Brake pads & carriers
– Straddle cables & yokes
– Grips / handlebar tape
– Handlebar end plugs
– Handlebar extensions *
– Gear & brakes cables
– Cable crimps & ferrules
– Chainstay protector

+ optional extras:
– Rack *
– Panniers
– Basket
– Lights
– Mudguards *
– Chainguard *
– Reflectors
– Kickstand *
– Saddle bag
– Pump
– Lock
– Extras (such as saddle recovering, dynamo mounting etc)
+
LABOUR

* it may be possible to paint this item to match or contrast the frame