Gateway Cycling » Bob’s Blog » Tale of a bespoke bike frame

Tale of a bespoke bike frame

A couple of years ago I started selling off part of my collection of vintage bikes mainly to make some room in the garage,having reached a manageable level I decided I would spend the accumulated monies on one last bespoke frame. I have had two previous steel frames built both by a builder in the north of England but thought it would be nice if I could find someone local.

I was directed by Richardsons  cycles to a builder in Ramsden Heath conveniently situated on route to Hanningfield. I met Mark there last November where I was quoted for a columbus steel frame loosely based on my current Specialised Paris Roubais model.Due to three other customers before me I was given a rough delivery date of late April this year which would coincide nicely with my birthday. In early January I visited the workshop to inspect the tube set to be used to find a slight change of plan in the offing. Mark asked if it would be ok if he used  a head and seat tube of stainless steel in the mix  to make something a bit more unique to which I readily agreed. In mid March I inquired as to progress and if likely to be on time but of course the dreaded virus intervened and workshop was temperately closed and there would be some delay. Mark was able to finish braising up frame ready for base painting by early May.

Well covid strikes again and paint shop well behind schedule but completed their part about 10 days ago. The plan was then for me to collect and arrange to take to an air brushing artist for some  Gothic artwork to be added. No such luck ,first Mark phones to say he has to self isolate for two weeks due to a positive test in his family workplace and collection date is now next Monday  fingers crossed. In the mean time I had been unable  to Contact John the artist until yesterday morning when he finally answered his mobile from his hospital bed where he has been for some time and will not be discharged for another two weeks. He was cheerful  and his treatment is not covid related and surprisingly says he will be able to resume working once discharged from hospital. So very unlikely to see completed frame til some time in August when then will have to be booked into Richardsons  for complete build with Durace group set , American classic wheels and a carbon Bontrager cockpit. With luck it may be finally ready some time in the Autumn.

I have to say all these people have been helpful and nice to deal with and I am hoping I will still be around long enough to appreciate their workmanship.

Bob D

robert drake

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Gateway member from day one 2007. Also member of CTC, VCC, Forty Plus CC and the Fellowship of Cycling Old Timers. Am interested in cycling history especially from the 1950s and 1960s.

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5 Responses to "Tale of a bespoke bike frame"

  1. Jon Lane Jon Lane says:


    A nice interesting tale during these ‘plague’ ridden times, I hope it all works out for you. Thanks, and keep pedaling… Cheers! Jon (-:

  2. robert drake robert drake says:

    Frame in orange base paint now with me,waiting for air brush artist to be discharged from hospital to continue next part of project.

  3. Philip Baker Philip Baker says:

    Well at least the bike has its own story now. Look forward to seeing it.


  4. robert drake robert drake says:

    More delay Im afraid,John the artist is not expected to be discharged from Papworth hosp cambridge for at least two more weeks so time frame may go into 12 months from start time to finish.Still patience is a virtue so they say. Bob.

  5. robert drake robert drake says:

    UPDATE.Vic and myself delivered frame to spraypaint artist in Maldon today. Hopefully will be ready for pick up in about 3 weeks. Nice lunch in Bicnacre on the way home. Bob.