If you owned a bike before the 1980s in the UK, the chances are it was British-made. If you own one today, most likely it’s made a abroad.
My 1980s Falcon Sprint bike was made in England. It is superb quality and a rides like a dream despite its age. Falcon Cycles is still going. The company owns and sometimes uses a number of different bicycle brands including Elswick, Hooper, Holdsworth, Falcon, British Eagle, Coventry Eagle, Townsend, Optima, Boss, Shogun, CBR and Claud Butler. The same company (Tandem) now owns Dawes cycles too. Like Raleigh Cycles, Falcon and Dawes make few if any of their bikes in the UK nowadays. I used to have a British made black Raleigh Record racing bike from the 1980s too, which I now regret selling. New foreign made mass produced bikes are just not in the same league quality wise.
Reynolds is a manufacturer of tubing for bicycle frames and other bicycle and non-bicycle components in Birmingham, England. They were established in 1898 and are still going.
Brooks England still make most of their bicycle saddles in England, but most of their cycle bags and so on are made in Italy or China. The company are Italian owned. They make one or two cycling rucksacks in the UK, e.g. the Eton leather satchel and the Piccadilly leather knapsack.
Sturmey-Archer are now Taiwanese owned and manufacture only in Taiwan.
Of course in Brompton and Pashley, both UK-owned with factories in west London and Stratford-upon-Avon respectively, there is genuine reason for cheer. Brompton is now the largest volume bicycle manufacturer in this country, with Pashley, who made the last all UK-sourced bike in 1986, before Michelin closed their tyre factory in Stoke-on-Trent, not far behind.
Also, there are folding / separable bikes with small wheels from the Moulton Bicycle Company, which are made in England.
But what if you don’t want a folding bike or an upright? Well there are still a few small companies producing hand built frames such as Mercian Cycles, Shand, Ted James, Wilson Cycles, Villiers-Velo, Roberts Cycles, Chickens Frame Emporium, Orange Mountain Bikes (note that whilst high end Orange bikes are built in Yorkshire using components from all over the world, Orange entry level bikes are made in Taiwan) and 14 Bike Company. Lee Cooper make frames in the UK for the 14 Bike Company. Enigma Bikes make bikes and frames in the UK. Thorn (St. John Street Cycles) touring bikes are assembled in Bridgwater to customer specifications; it is not clear from their website but seemingly using mostly foreign made components including foreign made frames. Vickers Bicycle Company build frames and wheels and assemble in Britain. Sven Cycles are hand built in Dorset, England (also available from Meccanica). Starley Bikes are built in the UK (also available from Meccanica). Woodsman Bicycle Company bikes are made in England, using Reynolds tubing. Stanforth Bikes are built in the UK; their Kibo cross over is made using Reynolds 631 tubing by Lee Cooper.
Prices for bike handbuilt in the UK can be reasonable.
Hope Technology (IPCO) Ltd make bike components and lights in England. Ultimate Sports Engineering (USE), parent company of Exposure lights which I mention below, also produce bike components in the UK. Middleburn Cycle Components Ltd in Surrey make British made bicycle components; chainwheels, spiders and cranks, all made in their factories in the UK.
Fenwick’s bike care products are all manufactured in the UK (as incidentally is 95% of their packaging as well) – cycle cleaning fluids, bike and chain cleaning sponges, grease and oils, maintenance kits, and tubeless sealant. Fenwick’s also make caravan, motorhome, tent and awning (cleaning and re-proofing) care products in the UK. http://www.fenwicks.info
Pragmasis manufacture in the UK ground anchors, security chains and shed shackles, useful for a variety of securing applications including securing bicycles and motorbikes. They also supply Squire padlocks to go with these products, some of which are made in the UK (you will have to ask which or better still ask Squire - only the Squire stronghhold high security padlock range is made in the UK). The steel they use is supplied to them from Europe.
MECCANICA (Meccanica Coritani) mens clothing, which is inspired by racers of cycles and motorcycles from the 50s, 60s and 70s, is made entirely in Britain, and suitable to wear on the bike or for casual - http://www.meccanicacycles.com
Route Clothing sell clothes that celebrate bicycles and cycling culture. On their website they state that where possible their products are made in the UK, although mostly they sell t-shirts and none of these are made in the UK (although they are printed in Glasgow). They have a nice UK made cycling cap and bag and they offer free delivery in the UK - http://www.routeclothing.com
Albam cycling caps are made in England – http://www.albamclothing.com/product/18817/premium-navy/cycling-cap.asp
This is Cambridge (tic) specialises in cycling caps made in Cambridge, England. Inspired by the enthusiasm for cycling in one of Britain’s greatest cycling towns, they produce a range of vintage style caps made from British tweeds and wool. Their other products are likely foreign made – http://www.this-is-cambridge.co.uk/Shop/Cycling-caps.html
I’m not sure what, if any, other British made bicycle equipment suppliers are out there. Any thoughts?
Incidentally, Boris’ Bikes (the London cycle hire bikes and docking stations) are made in Canada!
Condor Cycles are made in Italy these days, not London. Whytes bikes are made in Taiwan I understand.
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