Don't forget this year's UK hand built bike show on April the 15th; we'll be there in Bristol (our home town) showcasing one or two bikes and a range of accessories. Please stop by for a chat, we'd be interested to hear what you think to our latest designs and get your feedback. Last year we were runner up in the constructor's challenge but this year we're in the main exhibition at the Brunel Engine Sheds. See you there.....
It ain't fun but it's gotta be done...
The first Electric sockets are in our new unit. The floor will be sealed and painted soon, then workbenches and the equipment for manufacture. It won't be long before we are in, and Rodford Built bikes can be created in earnest.
Roll on 2016, a year for the Transport bike built in Rodford!.
The future is Rodford Built
The little details are coming along, bashed and machined, this is a sneek preview of our headbadge which will adorn our polished and complete production machines. We think it a good start and symbolic of the difference these machines can make to our urban landscapes if enough good folk see the practical and financial benefits of transport cycles to their lives and businesses.
We took control of our new workshop this week, it still has no electric, the floor is not painted and it looks a little bare of machinery but is a nice big space and we are itching to get in.. We are still building in our old workshop for the time being but it not ideal. Whilst our boxbike builds are diaried in, we are working on our little city bike, This will form the basis of our friendly city runabout, our factory transport bike and some aspects of the design will also be used in our longtail child carrying bicycle.
Christmas is coming, have a good one and we hope to have some more news and maybe even pictures of the bicycles that you can buy...not in time for this christmas, but perhaps you have a birthday coming up..we will soon be taking pre-orders. (well more pre orders..thanks Nigel. .Rodford 0010 has your name on it..)
making 20 inch disc forks has proved a wonderful, sometimes perplexing journey...along the way we played with 3d printing for prototyping which was fun and invaluable. We now have the steel parts milled ready for building our first batch of forks......although the development never stops but there comes a time when you have to commit just to get the bike built. It's currently a four year old dream that been becoming a reality in the last two years, we started designing the 'Sherpa' boxbike in late 2014, winning a runner up award at the 2015 Bespoke handbuilt bicycle show with a bread delivery bike commissioned by Marks Bread. A bike that has been faithfully delivering Bread to Bristols finer eateries ever since. The production version is nearly there...nearly......(and a city bike...and a longtail...and more)
Another factor in our journey is our new workshop, which we were supposed to move into today, looks like that milestone has slipped again... hopefully later this week...its a wonderful voyage of discovery we are on....we are excited about the next year. Like a swan, there is lots of activity under the water, that should soon be translated into forward motion.
We wanted tight curves, it has taken a long time to find them, but today we bent our first tighter seat stay assembly....Closer tolerances to the tyre and a neater rear end.
Some say we should get out more...we like staying in.....bending tubes just reached a new high :-)
A Rodford bike is more than the sum of its parts.
Which is good, because to our eyes, the parts are very exciting...
Still progressing, some parts have arrived, more material on their way. New workshop unit getting cleared ready for our inhabitation.
Still riding and making sure its the bike we would chose to ride...and we have quite a selection (and it is!!! increasing so..).
Along side speakers from Phoenix Balloons and their solar balloon, Airbus with their quieter, more efficient engines, even the possibility of electric planes and the Bristol Freight Consolidation Centre who have reduced delivery vehicle trips into Bristol by a thousand, incredible stuff.
Then came Mark Newman from Marks bread, Southvilles own Artisan bread baker, spoke on how his Rodford Built Electric Boxbike has helped his business deliver to his local wholesale customers, negating the need for a van and actually making his deliveries more efficient.
A great event and wonderful to have our product on the big screen in front of a progressive and influential audience.
thanks to @GoGreenBristol for the pic
Blimey, it's September...Dark nights are drawing in, the workshop is getting nippy and our cargobike is inching nearer to its first production run.
This week in Rodford world we have a good customer of ours Mark Newman of Marks bread in Southville talking at tomorrows 'Go Green Travel breakfast' hosted by http://gogreenbusiness.co.uk/ He will be sharing how his determination to use a bicycle has overcome hickups of rider insurance, storage and limited carry capacity to become a vital business tool to beat the citys traffic, providing a consistant way to reliably deliver his wholesale baked goods around town. His bespoke bread delivery bike made by Rodford Built has given him the vehicle to achieve that. Our first delivered customer machine has been a game changer for his business. We are really pleased to work with such good people and be part of the growth of a better city.
We have another order for a Rodford bread delivery bike, this time from Bath. He needed a transport solution quickly, so to give some time we supplied a Carry freedom trailer to him to enable him to function without his van whilst his bike is being built. Its taking time, we are tweeking the bike design to reflect his own carrying requirements, it seems that there is no one way to carry bread.
With production in mind we are having talks with a local laser cutter this week to talk about assisting with cutting and shaping aspects of the frame. Steve and i are both passionate about building the bike as locally as possible, why else would we call our brand 'Rodford Built' so we hope that we can convince this Yate based business to work in the numbers we need to get started. we are also passionate about getting the price point as affordable as we can. Cash is always an issue and building bikes is not cheap, we hope that by using local businesses and being clever with design we can bring people powered urban mobility to more people than ever.
So it's great news for Marks Bread to be invited by Go green to talk about their journey to deliver by bike. Its exciting that we have another bread delivery bike to build, frustrating that it's taking so long to pull all the little facets together. We hope the yate based Laser guys can help make the 17 parts (and counting) we need to help us built the first production run (and at a good cost) . We will keep you posted...until then, just enjoy the ride..
We are currently investing in some more equipment to make our design smoother and production easier. We have another order from a Baker for a delivery bike and we are finalising requirements for that build.
It's not easy to build a bike, anyone that says it is, hasn't done it....which makes other small makers of cargobikes in the UK like Porterlight even more impressive. It's good to have choice because we all have different needs and tastes. It's just great to have more home grown cargobikes available. Great to have innovation, it's what made Britain Great.
God bless the cargobike and all those that ride on them!
So shows have come and gone, some deadlines too...
Steve and i are regrouping after the bespoke show, family commitments, illness and ongoing time consuming tweaking but the design of our production boxbike is coming along.
We are trying to balance a purchase price with a quality frame and components, trying to reduce costs so that everything gets the handbuilt touch but with a every-person availability.
It's tough but we are getting close to a design that we can make in small numbers at an 'affordable' price. (all relative i know). That's our aim...you have to aim high! We want a British cargobike that can do the job, made here, ridden here and making your life better. cargobikes can do that...just wait and see..
While you wait.for a next update....it won't be long......just enjoy the sun.
Rob and Steve
This weekend Rodford exhibited in the Arnolfini gallery as part of the Bespoke handmade bicycle show. The constructors challenge was for bicycles built for a specific purpose.
We are working with Marks bread of Bristols Southville to improve his delivery by bike capability. The Behemoth front box is for the bulky but lightweight bread cargo and will be covered by a flexible rainproof cover. The improvements to his existing setup (workcycles FR8 and carry freedom trailer will include, disc braking, electric assist (sunstar so3) and larger, more adaptable carrying capacity (there is also a rear rack to fit).
His existing bike has been fitted already with a Nuvinci N360 infinitely variable gearbox and that gearbox also features on the new delivery bike and is ideally suited to the delivery bike role.
The bikes built by us at Rodford are very much built by hand, the initial designs for our bikes begin life drawn out on envelopes and tea ring stained A4 paper. This is not to say that we don't employ some modern techniques to check out engineering hunches and intuitive thinkings. Since we began, we have been feeding figures and each small detail of the frame into a CAD drawing and making some stress calculations using computer wizardary.
The XL single spar bread delivery bike we are building for Southvilles ‘Marks Bread’ is a one off, so before we built our constructors challenge entry we put the changes we were making to our ‘standard’ frame in to our CAD and applied some forces to simulate the cargo and a rider weights, and identified reactive (support) forces at both axles.
Then the computer did the maths to show us deformations and stress distributions across the frame.
The results were good. We already knew that introducing some more material in the form of our step over cross bar was shown to take some strain from the bottom bracket and this new analysis showed us that the additional spar bracing at the front end was keeping things stiff and flex in check. In addition to this our frame is looking pretty light - made from Spitfire grade chromolly steel (that's a supermarine Spitfire not a British Leyland one) which has resulted in a frame that is light but strong.
Of course none of this clever stuff is a substitute for a "build and test", but it is a great tool to double check our design and indicates we're on the right track. Meanwhile our prototype frames are in the process of being ridden around and generally abused by us to confirm the theory.
Oh and always remember : Sigma = F/A
We have begun building the spine of our 'Marks bread' delivery bike.
This cargobike is born out of our family bike project and conceived after a stiff talking too by Phil, the creator of Bristols great Handbuilt bicycle show. The constructors challenge "has your name written all over it" he said, he was right of course but we weren't quite ready.
It didn't take long for us to rise to the challenge, we picked up the phone and spoke to long time delivery bike user 'Marks bread' from Bristol's southville. Mark was enthusiastic as ever about his bike delivery service, knowing that it has benefits for his business, his customers and the environment generally and after careful deliberation, he agreed to work alongside us to design and build a new delivery bike for his business.
.This bike is a variation of our family Cargobike that will be available in the summer.
Its a challenge for sure, but we are enjoying it, physical work has begun on the frame and we look forward to showing you the fruit of our labours at the Arnofini in.April.
Rob & Steve
It's not long now until the inaugural Constructors challenge at the Bespoked Handbuilt bicycle show. It kicks off on the 17th of April 2015 at the Arnofini gallery in Bristol.
Following in our tradition of working with local Bristol businesses, we are working with Artisan baker Mark of Marks Bread in Bristol to further improve their bread delivery system and it is this bread delivery bicycle that will be our entry in the Constructors challenge. .
For the last few years Mark has been using a Dutch built American designed bicycle for the shops deliveries, In combination with a bicycle trailer his team cycle thier produce to customers around Bristol. Marks new Rodford Built Baker bike will make his deliveries quicker and provide him with more cargo space so he can deliver more efficiently his handmade breads and pastries.
Delivering goods by bike reduces congestion, does not pollute the air, can be cost effective, quicker and a happier way to deliver things in a busy city.
Marks cares about his bread, it is great to work with him to make a bicycle to help his business.
This bicycle will be a variant of our production Boxbike, available in May.
We launched in April,
Product development is ongoing. These things take time you know..