We first spotted the work of SaiTong Man at this year’s Cycle Show in Birmingham. He's the individual behind Cambridge firm Satoma Cycles. The frame Man had on display showed exceptional attention to detail – sat on a floor dominated by mass-produced bikes, it was impossible to ignore.
Man’s story is quite remarkable. He was formerly a successful video games designer, but decided to step away from the screens and pursue his passion for hand-crafted work. Man also used to produce hand-built wooden furniture, but has now dropped that craft in favour of frame building.
Man recently got in touch with BikeRadar to present his latest build, an elegant bike inspired by Charles Rennie Mackintosh. He made the vintage-style bike for his fiancée Carol, to replace a much-loved commuter that was stolen a few years ago.
Man and his fiance share an appreciation of Mackintosh's art and architecture. The bike's frame is a mixte type, where a traditional top tube is replaced with two long and thin tubes that stretch from the head tube to the rear axle. The mixte design also leaves space between the top tubes for ornate detailing – a signature part of many Satoma frames. In the case of this bike, it makes room for a Mackintosh-inspired art piece.
"It is my intention that customers who want a mixte like this from me can have whatever artwork they choose in the frame," explains Man.
The mixte design leaves space between the top tubes for ornate detailing
This latest frame and fork took 10 days to complete, it's made from a mixture of Reynolds 631, 525 and 4130 chromoly tubes, each of which were curved using a ring roller in Man’s house.
The frame is completely fillet brazed and then filed smooth, a one-and-a-half day job in itself. All the stainless parts are silver soldered in place and then hand polished. Details such as custom 4130 dropouts and stainless steel polished bullet caps finish off the Satoma beautifully.
Such a frame should never be dressed in lacklustre componentry, and Man’s choice of Velo Orange and Brooks bits does the Satoma proud.
The exquisite detailing continues even where few will see it
Satoma Cycles was only formed earlier this year, so only a handful of Man’s bikes are currently around. His intentions are to produce 20 to 30 bikes a year, and he’s already hinting at something very exciting for next year's Bespoked handmade bicycle show. If you’re considering a Satoma, you can contact Man through the Satoma Cycles website.
Flick through our gallery to see more of SaiTong Man’s latest creation.