Framebuilders of the week
getting to know the people that make the bikes
This feature offers the opportunity to learn more about exhibitors’ individual style and inspirations, as well as giving an insight into their behind the scenes preparation for Bespoked 2016.
Every week we will ask a different framebuilders the same five questions and along with photos of them, their workshops and the bikes they make display them on these pages.
Previous framebuilders of the week
Advanced Velo Design - Karl Sparenberg, Ahearne Cycles - Joseph Ahearne, August Bicycles - Gavin Buxton, Craddock - Richard Craddock ,Dear Susan Bicycles, Derailleur England, Donhou Bicycles - Tom Donhou, Field Cycles - Harry Harrison , Grim Bicycles -Rollo Lunn, Caren Hartley - Hartley Cycles, Jaegher Airlight, Llewellyn Custom Bicycles, Mawis - Mathias Scherer, Malcolm Custom, Quirk Cycles - Rob Quirk, Reilly Cycleworks - Mark Reilly, Satoma Cycles ,Shand Cycles - Steven Shand, Strawberry Bicycles- Andy Newlands , Sturdy Cycles, Sven Cycles - Darron Coppin, Sword Cycles - Tim Leicester, Sturdy Cycles, Takhion + Tsubasa, Winter Bicycles , Wittson Custom
Steve Bodiley and Rob Bushill
Maker - Steve Bodiley and Rob Bushill
Designer - Steve Bodiley and Rob Bushill
Where - Bristol
Rodford loves what bicycles can do for local mobility. So we build transport bikes. Bikes designed to make life easier for businesses, families and savvy individuals.
So from moving stuff around a factory, delivering produce, helping with shopping or getting your family to school......Rodford Built transport bikes can help with that.
We are Steve Bodiley and Rob Bushill, two people with the backing of some great local engineers and craftsmen working to bring a bit of British flair to local transportation and helping bicycles to become a more common sight on our British paths and roadways.
The Dairy Rodford Elm Cottage, Westerleigh Road, Rodford, Bristol BS37 8QF
Email - Rob@rodfordbuilt.co.uk
Phone - 01454 319960
Rob on our left and Steve on our right with the bike they made for the Constructors Challenge last year
1. Do you remember your first bike?
Rob: I had a hand-me-down metallic green Raleigh RSW16, 3 speed Sturmey Archer gears and a hub dynamo. Loved it. BMX were the big thing, I kinda stood out. I went everywhere on that bike, it got nicked from the back of St George's hospital in Newbury park when I was visiting a mate. I then inherited a Roberts frame with campag and skinny wheels , that was a game changer, my world got bigger, i took bikes for granted, an extension of myself.
Steve: I don’t know the make, but it was a small red framed bike with blue mudguards, white balloon tyres and a rod brake on the front wheel. I loved it. I remember the first time I got my balance on it too and all of a sudden I could travel the world………
Steve's first bike
2. How did you get into Framebuilding?
Rob: I build frames because I love cargo bikes and what they can do...we don’t want to buy 50 of our frames at a time from Taiwan so it’s a necessity to build and a privilege to be able to get ideas into a physical form. I also believe quite strongly that if Britain is to be great again, the greatness will begin in the small workshops and work up. Hence why we aim to build all of Rodford Built frames in Bristol and certainly keep the builds in the UK. We like local, that’s why we take payments in the Bristol pound and collaborate with people and businesses as local as possible. If we want a better world, we need to start with our own.
Steve: I have a history of tinkering in the shed. I built a bicycle sidecar to give my son a lift to nursery. Later I made a BMX sidecar and people liked it; so I set about making and selling them on. When I met Rob we discovered a common interest in practical bikes, transport bikes, racks, luggage and bikes that earn your respect for their rugged reliability.
Rodford Built Flyer
3. How would you define your style as a framebuilder?
Rob: solid, simple, strong, functional, sexy
Steve: Like Rob said. No lightweight exotic materials, just mild steel and chromoly; MIG/TIG welded to produce a robust handsome frame you’ll want to ride. Our bikes are all about practicality.
Steve milling tubes
4. Who or what has inspired you along the way?
Rob: the folk at Metrofiets, Cetma Cargo, Tom Labonty in the US, all pioneers of boxbike building. Also Brompton for their story and a few local people in Bristol that are helping make it happen for us. (My mum and dad (of course) and Steve for his ‘can do’ attitude)
Steve: I like classic frames, twin top tubes and hub gears. The Schwinn bikes of the 1960’s look great with their motorcycle derived styling. And there’s Rob of course for his positive perspective and bike knowledge.
Rodford at Bespoked 2011 - Winner of Best Utility Bicycle
5. What can we expect to see from you at Bespoked 2016?
Steve: Two bikes for sure. A city bike and a box bike. Both are our own designs and we’ve tried to address some of the issues we see with other bikes we’ve tried. If there’s room we’ll bring some cake.
Rob: what Steve said (although we might manage to incorporate 80 litres of local beer into one of our bicycles).
Steve: Rob’s always in charge of refreshments.
Steve forming chainstays
6. Where is your favourite place to ride?
Steve: I ride regularly on my commute. I enjoy it because it’s quiet, and much of the route is away from traffic. I’m not a serious rider, but I enjoy the time to think on things…. I ride in all weathers, looking ridiculous in my balaclava and hi-vis but you’ll find me smiling through the rain ‘cause I want to be there.
Rob: I ride locally, I use a bike for shopping and delivering parcels to the post office, taking dogs for a walk. I wish there were more car free routes, I’m very much a functional bike rider and a believer in the creative commute (unfortunately my commute is very short).· Amsterdam is wonderful to ride in... I hear from customers about cycle paths in Europe that are as wide as a road, smooth and stretch for miles and go from city to city, place to place...…that would be my favorite place to ride. For riding experiences, I'd have to say, the ride back from the builders merchants with a few bags of cement on the front of my Rodford, the wind at my back and a couple of roundabouts up ahead almost car free...perhaps the bluetooth speaker kicking out some Royal Blood, ah ha, that was a good one, riding a 50 kilo bike can be a blast (and a challenge). Ok, answering the question...locally...I love riding locally...it’s just a shame that the car has taken over our paths, ‘roads weren't built for cars’ you know (Reid 2015, a good book)
Bikes for work- Mark's Bread Bike
7. If you weren’t building bikes for a living what would you be?
Steve : I’m not sure precisely, but I would like it to be something practical. I enjoy making things and the sense of achievement turning materials into parts and parts into products. I enjoy CAD design too, but I wouldn’t want to be stuck at the desk all day; bike building gives me the best of both.
Rob: I’m not sure we fit into the traditional ‘framebuilder’ mould, the craftsmanship on show at Bespoke is just lovely to see. We want to bring a different style of bike to the fore, so we build utilitarian bicycles, that are designed to be made in numbers (by hand in the UK) and improve the function of a bicycle for transport. But if I weren’t building bikes at all …. I would travel the world visiting the cargobike shops, cargobike factories and breweries of the world, I would start in Velo Cult in Portland and work my way back home (slowly).
Rodford at Bespoked 2011