PEDAL POWER: The British Makers Leading the Cycling Revolution


Bikes are booming. Not just competitive cycling, where Britain has a long history of scooping gold medals all over the world, but recreationally too – whether that’s riding to work, at the weekend, on holiday. In the capital alone, 610,000 bike journeys are made daily. Standards have changed too. Bikes have become highly personal, attuned to every aspect of the user’s lifestyle, and off the shelf varieties just don’t cut it anymore. The Essential Journal test drove the best in British bikes to discover which craftsmen are worth a ride.

Temples Cyclestemple 3

WHO: Founded by a lifelong bike enthusiast and mechanical engineer 

WHAT: Simple, timeless designs in retro colours made using modern techniques

WHY: Each bicycle is built to order, one at a time, in their workshop just outside Bristol

HOW: A specially curated selection of accessories finishes each vintage-inspired design

Brompton BicycleBrompton2016_22

WHO: Britain’s leading bike manufacturer, crafting bikes in London since 1975

WHAT: Each bike is custom made, letting you build and personalise the ideal one

WHY: This commuter favourite folds up to a third of its size and weighs on average 11kg

HOW: Each bike is hand-brazed by a skilled craftsman making it incredibly resilient and unique

Condor BicyclesCONDOR 2016 Leggero AERO White 50155

WHO: Since 1948 this British bike brand has specialised in cycles for play and performance

WHAT: Condor offer the complete service, from a personal bike fitting to puncture repairs afterwards

WHY: Champion cyclists Tom Simpson and Bradley Wiggins are keen riders

HOW: Responsive metal and carbon fibre bikes handmade in Italy