Anyone with eyes will tell you that cycling has enjoyed something of a resurgence in the UK (the US too it seems) of late. Whether it’s the health benefits, the surge in British cycling successes at the previous two Olympic games or just the fact that it’s a hell of a lot of fun, people are taking to bicycles in their droves to navigate city streets and country lanes – although there was hardly another two-wheeler to be seen on my commute this morning.
As with all flourishing industries there are a handful of companies capitalising on the cycling renaissance, building hundreds of cheap, low-quality bikes to satisfy the needs of a host of new consumers. But there’s also a new breed of bike manufacturer establishing themselves in workshops up and down the country, creating frames slowly, in the time-honoured traditions of Britain’s long-established hand-made cycle industry.
Made in England, a brand new hardback volume from Push Projects, seeks to explore this quintessentially British industry, travelling the length and breadth of the country to meet the masters of British frame-building – from the men whose fathers and grandfathers passed down their welding skills to the self-taught guys reinventing the way we look at bikes. And we’ve got out hands on the first ever copy.
The book is a complete labour of love; conceived and written by two of the country’s finest (and newest) frame builders Matthew Sowter and Ricky Feather, and designed by Samuel Moore of Grid Creative, it’s detailed enough to satisfy the obsessive cyclist, but beautiful enough to be a perfect coffee table decoration for the casual fan (let’s face it, who doesn’t love beautiful photos of gorgeous bikes). And at 220 pages you get plenty for your money – we’re on the pre-order list and reckon you might want to be too.