One hundred years ago, the English Midlands dominated production of bikes and components globally, in the same way the Far East does today.
Now, with help from manufacturing powerhouse Liberty House Global, Liberty Trillion Cycles wants to turn back the clock and start up production of its own made-in-the-Midlands premium bikes.
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Founder and general manager Lawrence Bryan tells BikeRadar that he plans to do everything locally, first designing the frames from scratch then cutting and welding the tubing in a facility in Leamington Spa, before passing the finished frames over to be painted in Birmingham.
Final assembly will happen in Leamington Spa and Bryan plans to start recruiting more skilled workers in order to ramp up production quickly.
A selection of the brand’s first bikes will be on display at this year’s London Bike Show — more info below.
The story behind Liberty Trillion Cycles
So what makes this ambitious new brand so confident it can take on the likes of Colnago and Pinarello? Well, deep-pocketed owners, for one thing.
Cycling engineer-turned-entrepreneur Lawrence Bryan founded the company back in 2012, but it took a chance meeting with Douglas Dawson, CEO of steel engineering giant Caparo Industries (since bought by Liberty House Global), to really get things moving.
The two got talking about Bryan’s idea for bringing premium bike production back to the UK and by the end of summer 2016 he’d secured backing from Liberty House Global to make his dream a reality.
With a roster of partners, which include Rolls-Royce and F1 motor racing teams, there’ll be plenty of expertise to call on.
That’s not all — Liberty boss Sanjeev Gupta is said to have a personal interest in bringing bike production back to the UK, partly because it represents his belief in an integrated supply chain that brings manufacturing to these shores, but also because he once sold bikes himself for his father’s firm.
The Trillion by Liberty range
So that’s the back story, what about the bikes then?
Trillion by Liberty Node
First there will be a singlespeed model called the Node, made from Reynolds 525 tubing and designed to be “fast, tough and elegantly simple”.
With no cable or water bottle bosses, it’s designed with a super-minimalist look that can take plenty of punishment and accepts tyres up to 28mm.
Prices will start at £799 (international pricing TBC) for the frameset.
Trillion by Liberty Delta
Next will come the Delta, a hugely versatile-sounding commuter/gravel/touring bike made from Reynolds 631 tubing.
It’s designed to take up to 45x700c or 2.0×29″ tyres, so you can fit drop bars and road gearing for all-road adventures or riser bars and fatter tyres for some light off-roading.
Liberty Trillion says the geometry has been carefully considered to support either riding styles and with interchangeable rear dropouts, different wheel axle widths can be used. Price TBC.
Trillion by Liberty Zeta
Then comes the Zeta, a sportive/endurance road bike made from high-end Reynolds 853 steel tubing — the same used by Genesis to make its highly-regarded Volare frameset. It comes with disc brake mounts only and pricing is TBC.
Trillion by Liberty 22
It’s not all steel though — there’s also a titanium road bike planned called the 22.
It’ll be made from oversized tubes and race-bred geometry, and again comes with disc brakes only, designed for electronic drivetrains like Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 or SRAM Red eTap. Pricing is TBC.
Trillion by Liberty Prime
Finally, for the mountain bikers, there’s a steel hardtail called the Prime, again made from Reynolds 853 tubing and featuring a slack head angle, up to 160mm travel forks up front, boost front and rear axles, and clearance for 3″ tyres. Pricing is TBC.
All bikes will feature internal cable routing, according to Bryan, and all the above models will be on display at the London Bike Show 2017.
Liberty Trillion says that it plans to release a UCI-approved carbon road frame later this year or early next year, but there’s no more info on that yet.
Pricing and availability
As indicated above, pricing info is scarce at the moment, though Bryan says that these will be handbuilt bikes that don’t break a customer’s bank account.
Liberty Trillion Cycles will be selling them via its website, using an online builder system. The customer starts with the frameset and can then build the bike according to their budget and desires. Each one comes with a limited lifetime warranty.
“After a lot of market research, we have found that this is what everyone seems to want,” says Bryan, adding that it “helps us to control the margins easier and maintain the value for the customers.”
Liberty Trillion Cycles sounds like an ambitious new British bike brand with some serious muscle behind it — this is one that’s worth watching.
Check out their stand at the London Bike Show to see more.