UK tubing manufacturer Reynolds announced last week they would launch a brand new stainless steel general purpose tubeset in the new year.
We thought the arrival of Reynolds 921 was as good a reason as any to pull a gallery together of some beautiful British handmade bikes all rendered in Reynolds' famed tubes. Phil Taylor, a frame builder by trade, but arguably better known as the organiser of the Bespoked handmade bike show, picked some of his personal favourites and gives us a critique of their artistic and engineering merit.
"I like Reynolds tubing because the bikes I had as a kid growing up all had Reynolds," Taylor told BikeRadar. Now I get to make bikes using the same tubing and, as a British frame builder, I like to use UK products where possible."
So feast your eyes on the classy work below.
Jason Rourke built this for his famous bike-building dad, Brian Rourke
Taylor says: "This bike is ridden by cycling legend Brian Rourke and was made by his son, Jason, who's a framebuilder at the family firm. The Rourke signature wrap over seatstays are made of top of the range Reynolds 953 – as is the rest of the bike. Because it's stainless, it can be polished rather than painted. Jason built a similar frame a couple of years ago for the BBC documentary It's All About the Bike, for Rob Penn."
Demon Frameworks' Tom Warmerdam is a master fillet brazer
Taylor says: "This is the work of multi-award winning builder Tom Warmerdam of Demon Frameworks. The signature Hermes lugs on head tube are made from scratch by Tom for every frame he makes, as are the CNC'd rear dropouts with the Demon logo. The rest of the frame is meticulously fillet brazed, the tubing is Reynolds 953 stainless steel."
Ted James' extraordinary-looking Reynolds 953-tubed mountain bike
Taylor says: "This is an engineering work of art, by Ted James, with every tube being manipulated in some way. Ted added fluting to the down tube, which will increase the stiffness and strength (by cold working) of the tube. He also curved all the 953 tubing before it had been heat treated to allow bending."
Tom Donhau built this frame to reflect a photographer's love of his Leica camera
Taylor says: "This bicycle was a special commission by a photographer who wanted a bike to look like his Leica camera. Tom Donhou [he of the 100mph bike fame] is renowned for his beautiful fillet brazing, which he's left bare for all to see on this Reynolds 953 masterpiece."
Who needs a derailleur when you can have a pinion gearbox?
Taylor says: "This bike made by Matt Bowns at 18Bikes, shows just how versatile steel can be. Matt has incorporated a pinion gearbox into this Reynolds 853 mountain bike. The tubing is specifically made stronger in areas to avoid the need for a gusset between down tube and head tube. The head tube is tapered from 1 1/8in to 1 1/2in so a modern fork can be fitted."
This vintage 1950 Holdsworth is constructed of Reynolds 501 tubing
Taylor says: "This 1950s Holdsworth hails from a time when every town had a frame builder and every club rider's bike was made by a frame builder. Most used standard materials, so to set themselves apart, builders would hand carve lugs and pay special attention to the finish. This Reynolds 501 frame was painted by Argos in Bristol."