Tag Archive for hand-built bicycles

A Sweet Simple Beauty

I went for a spin this morning on the Elgar – my own name for the one-off bespoke randonneur built for me by Mark Reilly at Enigma – and once again I was struck by just how well this bicycle fits me, and what a remarkable difference a truly perfect fit on a bicycle can…

An Aston Martin Bicycle?

I see that Aston Martin has joined the growing list of automobile manufacturers who are seeking to cash-in on the new-age bicycle boom. The legendary sports car maker, purveyor of fast stylish transport to the likes of James Bond, has launched its own super-high-tech, limited edition, high-performance bicycle – the One-77 Cycle – yours to…

My (New) Bicycle and I

Not so very long ago I took delivery of my dream bicycle: a classic old-style steel-framed tourer, custom built with a quill stem and stylish Rene Herse-inspired lugwork, stainless Gilles Berthoud fenders painted to match the frame, cream-coloured touring tyres, and a French-made front rack and decaleur with one of those traditional canvas-and-leather Continental-style handlebar bags; all in all, very much like the sort of thing they used to call a randonneur back in the golden days of hand-built bicycles, when art and function lived happily side by side.

It was built by Mark Reilly, master frame-builder at Enigma, small family-run firm of bicycle makers whose workshop is just over in Pevensey. That’s a leafy little village not far from where I live down here along the Sussex coast. I can hardly believe it’s mine. I’d been daydreaming about doing something like this for ages: putting together my ideal bike, something that would be a personal and philosophical statement as much a bicycle, reflecting everything I loved about cycling and the sheer joy of being out and about in the world on two skinny wheels.