Road bike

Goldie

Über Member
I've just bought an early 70's Claud Butler road bike which I absolutely love, as it is the kind of bike I used to want when I was growing up. I've been out on it today and it got me wondering whether there was a modern equivalent - a quality, sub £500 road bike assembled in the UK using a British built frame.

I've been away from cycling for a while and most of the UK manufacturers that I was familiar with seem to have moved over to distributing or just branding bikes made in the far east or elsewhere - for instance, my budget Raleigh MTB which got me back into cycling was nailed together in Tunisia.

I'd be grateful if anyone could point me in the direction of manufacturers who still build their bikes here in the UK.
 

Gerry Attrick

Lincolnshire Mountain Rescue Consultant
That's a tall order! At British labour rates, you'd be lucky to just get a frame. There are many small-scale frame and cycle builders in the UK; Jackson, Longstaff, Mercian, Dave Yates to name but a few, but their products will cost significantly more than £500. Even people like Thorn who have their frames built abroad, but assemble the bikes here are way above that figure.
 

Alembicbassman

Confused.com
Nothing wrong with a Taiwan made frame, the technology used in their manufacture is the most advanced in the World.

Bianchi still make steel frame road bikes, but at a price.

I'd love to own something like this, but at £2500 it's too much for my meagre earnings.

 
OP
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Goldie

Über Member
It's a bit odd. I don't think it's the quality - I saw a Specialized road bike in the flesh for the first time in Harry Hall's the other day and it looked like a top quality piece of work, and quite beautiful with it. But I couldn't get excited about it, in the same way that I don't get excited about taking my Raleigh out. Riding the Claud Butler is like having the keys to a Jensen Interceptor though - I genuinely feel lucky to ride it, even though the paint's chipped and I should really sort out some new tires for the old girl.

I had a look at Gerry's list of frame builders and was cock a hoop to find that two are in my home town, Wilsons (http://www.wilsoncycles.co.uk/) and Orbit (http://www.orbit-cycles.co.uk/), although I feel a bit daft at the same time for having lived in Sheffield for 30 years and not realised either of them were constructers... Doh!
 

ASC1951

Guru
Location
Yorkshire
Don't confuse a 1970s Claud Butler with a new one! Certainly in the 60s they were the best British bike you could buy without going custom made. I had to make do with a BSA with Huret while my mate with the rich parents got a Claud Butler with full Campagnolo. I'm not bitter, really I'm not...
 
OP
G

Goldie

Über Member
Alembic, I saw the spitting image of your dream Bianchi at the lights in Manc the other day while I was waiting to cross with my daughter. It wizzed up and stopped at the red. "That is a lovely bike" I said feeling a bit dazed. "I know" said the bloke, before out accelerating the first car across the junction. I felt a bit like God had just come round for tea and complimented me on my cooking.
 
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