The journey begins. Having a hand-made steel bike custom made

Simon Darby is a keen local cyclist that over the last 5 years has fully embraced bike-packing, an ultralight version of off-road bicycle touring that is currently enjoying a huge rise in popularity. He has used his rigid steel 29” mountain bike to do this, but now wants a bespoke bike made that fits him more closely and will be even more suited to multi day off-road camping trips. Comfort and durability are the main factors he wants built into his new bike.

After having a pretty in-depth conversation with Simon covering what he wants from his bicycle, Simon came to our Paignton workshop to have a “Power-Fit” bike fitting on our Watt bike. We asked Simon to wear his usual cycling clothes, including his preferred cycling shoes, for which we provided a suitable sort of SPD pedals.
Pedalling to the perfect fit

First off, we got Simon on the bike and pedalling at an easy pace. The first adjustment was to the saddle height in 5mm increments until he felt comfortable and any “rocking” of the pelvis was eliminated. Once this was done, the angle of his leg was measured at the bottom of the pedal travel. This is recommended to fall between 15 and 20 degrees. The appropriate fore and aft position of the saddle is also found during this process.

Then we moved onto reach. This is the distance between saddle and handlebars, which is a fairly straightforward process that is mostly dictated by the primary use that the bicycle is intended for. A road racing bike will have a longer reach than a mountain bike for instance. Handlebar width was discussed, taking into consideration Simon’s size and the intended use of the bike.

The next step will be to take all of these noted measurements and input them into our Bike CAD software to finalise the geometry of the frame.

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