Retailer starts up own-brand product

18 Bikes to launch custom frame build service

Hope-based retailer 18 Bikes has told BikeBiz that it plans to launch an own-branded custom-build frame brand.

Having set out in the bike trade with this venture in mind, co-owners Simon and Matt Bowns were approached by the owner of the store they worked in (Bespoked), to take over the reins – and soon after they renamed the store for the backburnered project.

Simon Bowns told BikeBiz: “We’re heading to the EHBE show to display a few bits, and then plan to attend more to support the European frame building community and ‘network’ with similar businesses.

“We’ll launch soon after this, but not via a big trade show. We’re hoping to achieve approximately one frame a week once rolling properly.”

The frames will be crafted at a separate workshop, while painting will be outsourced. The headbadge will also be outsourced to what Bowns describes as a: “Very posh machining facility with a big 3d metal printer.”

The frames will be sold direct via the 18 Bikes store and will be on a made-to-order basis. The spec sheet of each model may vary, too.

Bowns added: “They won’t be off-the-peg builds, so each will be different. We’ll have a few key brand identifying features on all of the frames. “Each one will be manufactured from steel, sourced from Reynolds, Columbus and True Temper, again dependent on that particular frame.”

Bowns also confirmed that the brand had no plans to place the 18 Bikes logo on any other product “unless a feasible, genuine gap in the market emerges”.

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