Donald Haden describes the history of the Midlands cycle accessories firm

New angle on the history of Haden Bros

The metal-working firm Haden Bros ceased to trade in 2002, made unprofitable thanks to competition from overseas, mainly Asia. The firm had been involved in the bicycle industry since the 1870s and was still in family hands when it closed. Specializing in lugs, bottom bracket shells and other cycle fittings many of the best-known 20th Century British frame builders used parts from the Haden Bros catalogue. In the 1960s and 1970s the firm was also a major supplier to Moulton of Bradford upon Avon, making many of the bespoke parts demand by Dr Alex Moulton.

This rich history is expertly described in "A Bumpy Ride", a history of Haden Bros by the last managing director of the company, Donald Haden.

As well as describing the early history of the company – which also produced the New Comet brand of bicycle and, later, motorcycle – Haden entertains with anecdotes from his time leading the firm, including being the only other first-class passenger on a flight with president of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe.

The appedix of "A Bumpy Ride" contains technical specifications of certain Haden Bros products, including patents for handlebar stems and other accessories, and also contains a useful list of bicycle-related companies trading in 1962.

The book costs £15 and is available from

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