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Your build your way.

There was a time, before Lance, that most bike shops built bikes. Lance Armstrong changed the sport in many ways that are not always immediately obvious. As the poster boy for a group of businessmen led by Tom Wiesman, known as the Champions Club, Lance spearheaded the move from small independent fabricators of racing bike frames to large global manufacturing companies who wanted to supply entire bikes to maximise their profit.

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Before the big global brands came to dominate the market most local shops either had in-house frame builders -  big up Hertfordshire’s own Barry Chick! - or sourced white label frames which they painted and badged as their own and then built up to the customers’ needs and budget. These weren’t bespoke in the sense that the frame was built to fit the client but the componentry  was chosen by the customer. This meant the bike looked how the rider wanted it and, most importantly, fitted correctly. The big manufacturers offer frames in different sizes but have you ever wondered how they chose the

components? The difference between group sets is easy to understand, but what about gear ratios? How are cassette and chainrings chosen? And the stem? The cranks? The saddle and bar width? All of which are essential if the bike is to fit correctly and for riders to maximise performance and avoid injury (see It’s all in the fit). The simple fact is that Toyota do not have the contract for making human bodies. In other words they vary. A lot. So how can an off the

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peg bike fit everyone perfectly? Think of it this way: while some of us may be the same height, how likely are we to be the same proportions and, in the - unlikely - event we are, do we have the same biomechanics (not to get too technical here but how someone bends their back can effect frame size).


At Spoke we can offer from-the-catalogue bikes. But we can also build them. You set the budget, choose the frame and the finishing kit (in the correct size) and we put it together for you and ensure it fits. Whether it’s a commuter hack or a hydro-formed titanium race frame, off-road or on, TT or tandem.

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