Sven Cycles of Weymouth. A Breath of Fresh AirSaddles, Bags, Etc. Style & Fashion Bicycles Heritage Art & Design Monthly highlights Travel & Adventure Cycling
Every once in a while the cycle industry re-invents itself to follow fashions which come and go. Meanwhile, the ancient spirits of quality and style sit on the fence and watch, lending a helping hand to those who allow them through their doors. The recent resurgence in the hand-built British bicycle is a fashion that was once an epidemic. Almost every town had a cycle shop, with an often rudimentary building attached where a skilled craftsman would be building frames for local cyclists.
Meanwhile, cities like Birmingham, Coventry, Wolverhampton and Nottingham, housed companies who furnished the mass market with bicycles and components. The two parts of the industry went hand in hand, enabling people; to go to and from work during the week, while racing or touring at the weekends. However, it was 1950’s London that held the strongest flame for the artisans of the hand-built bicycle. Shops like Hetchins, Ephgrave and Rensch, kitted their creations out with components from the likes of GB, Constrictor, Harden, Chater Lea and of course, Brooks.[caption id="attachment_14228" align="aligncenter" width="614" caption="A unique Ladies' bicycle built for a discerning local doctor."][/caption] This revived interest in a British hand-built bicycle is a breath of fresh air. It in turn, naturally supports the surviving UK bicycle and component manufacturers, who have triumphed over adversity over the years and long may this growth, continue. [caption id="attachment_14229" align="aligncenter" width="614" caption="The 'Bespoked', Best Touring Bicycle for 2014"][/caption]
Recently, Brooks met one of the new bicycle artisans. Sven Cycles was founded in 2012 by Darron Sven Coppin in the seaside town of Weymouth, Dorset. Not exactly a place that you would immediately think of as a ‘hot bed’ for frame-building. But, Darron was taught to braze in his teenage years by his father; a jeweller and vintage car enthusiast. He also spent many years as a cycle mechanic and has since honed his brazing skills to become one the UK’s most respected frame builders. This work culminated in the Best Touring Bicycle award at the Bespoked bicycle show in 2014. Using Rohloff hub technology; it combines traditional 50’s touring bicycle styling, with modern thinking.[caption id="attachment_14230" align="aligncenter" width="614" caption="Rohloff gearing details."][/caption] [caption id="attachment_14231" align="aligncenter" width="614" caption="Rohloff gear with R.Herse replica chain-set."][/caption] If you take a browse through the other bicycles Darron has built, you’ll see a clear image stands out; the ability to ‘think outside the box’ without straying too far away from tradition. Everything is done ‘in house’, right down the paintwork. As well as offering the build of a full custom bike from start to finish, Sven Cycles also offers a workshop facility, which is well equipped and capable of undertaking anything from a straight forward bicycle service to the repair of damaged components, if replacements cannot be found. [caption id="attachment_14232" align="aligncenter" width="477" caption="Fine filet brazing details."][/caption] Sven Cycles is the sort of place our dads and granddads would have gone to if they were looking for a cut above the rest. If you happen to be in the Weymouth ‘neck of the woods’ and fancy following in your father’s footsteps for a hand crafted bicycle, then you could not go far wrong by visiting Sven Cycles. To find out more about Darron and his bicycles please feel free to join us at our flagship store in London, B1866, on Friday 20th February from 6.30pm. We will be holding a Q&A session with Darron and Mog of Sven Cycles, as well as Keith Noronha of Reynolds Tubing. Refreshments will be provided by Purity Brewing Company. So do join us, everyone is welcome.