Self-taught frame-builder Ricky Feather claimed Bespoked Bristol 2013’s Best in Show Award for his “ultimate modern classic” – an all-stainless steel road bike kitted out with electronic gearing.
Despite turning his hand to frame building less than four years ago, the founder of Feather Cycles claimed the show’s most prestigious gong after winning best road bike in 2012 and best track bike in the show’s first year.
“I suppose this is the big one!” Feather told BikeRadar on Saturday during the packed-out show.
“The idea was to create the ultimate modern classic, a bike that’s got that classic look with traditional geometry and all the stainless steel on show and all raw, but with the latest groupset you can get,” he said.
He explained the bike – designed for a customer – took a week and a half to build, with the finishing being particularly labour intensive.
“The forks took an entire day just to finish – half a day to build and then a full day to finish them,” he said.
With detailing like this it’s easy to see why Feather won Best in Show
Feather began building bikes in his shed at home 10 miles from York, where he’s still based. He had background in welding and fabricating but said he had never braised or silver-soldered – two crucial frame building skills – until he started making bikes.
“Building bikes – I thought it would be something I’d always talk about but never get around to doing,” he said.
Now, customers are put on a 12 month waiting list such is Feather Cycles’ soaring popularity. He said a breakthrough occurred after last year’s Bristol show. “I had about a three-month waiting list and two weeks after it was up to about ten months,” he said.
Feather’s hand is still firmly on the tiller at his company, though he is thinking about hiring staff and will move to premises in York later this year.
“At the moment I’m doing three or four people’s jobs so it’s exhausting,” he said.