Bespoked - a celebration of handmade bicycles & those who make them.
FRAMEBUILDER OF THE WEEK
Getting to know the people that make the bikes
Kevin Sayles of Woodrup Cycles
Kevin Sayles of Woodrup Cycles, has been building bicycles since his 16th birthday, which he celebrated a mere 46 years ago! Now in his second innings at Woodrup’s Kevin still has a passion for carving lugs which is evident in his exquisite work below.
Kevin Sayles in the workshop
Do you remember your first bike?
It was a Uppadine from Doncaster, I had it built up as a fixed gear bike, and started club riding in 1969 with the Featherstone RC. Ironically the setting up table I use daily was Uppadine’s setting up table.
Handcarved Reynolds 953 Stainless
How did you get into building bikes?
I became a cyclist fundamentally because I love bikes, so it seemed natural to pursue a career in making bikes, and because my first ‘proper’ lightweight racing bike was a Maurice Woodrup track bike I initially sought to become an apprentice framebuilder with Woodrup when I left school in 1970, however no vacancies at that time but following a few months working at a Joinery company I was offered a job at Bob Jackson, so on my 16thBirthday started my career in framebuilding. Six years later I finally joined Woodrup cycles as a framebuilder.
How would you define your style as a framebuilder?
One that feels if you’re going to do a job it needs to be done right, even in the so called bike boom in the 70s I refused to rush and took time to ensure the frames were still as good and accurate as they ought to be. I’ve always had a flair for styling certain elements, such as lug cutting etc.
Who or what has inspired you along the way?
There was a picture of Vittorio Adorni about to start the Cynar time trial in 1968 resplendent in his world championship jersey, but it’s his Masi built Faema team bike that caught my eye and aged 13 decided I have to build bikes!
Richard Robinson's Chimera
What can we expect to see from you at Bespoked 2018?
A selection of custom frames reflecting the current trend in steel frames.
Where is your favourite place to ride?
It would be in the Dolomites......but as regular place it has to be in Yorkshire, Coverdale takes some beating. I also like Somerset for the variety it offers.
And finally, if you weren’t building bikes for a living what would you be doing?
I’d love to be involved in the making of hand made cars in some way, Caterham for example.
All our frames are made from steel and we can design and build you anything from a very traditional touring bike, modern hub-gear belt drive do-it-all bike, hardtail Mountain Bike or modern 953 Stainless Steel race bike.
Each Woodrup frame is individually hand crafted to our customers own specification, design and finish.
Maker - Kevin Sayles
Designer - Tony Woodrup & Kevin Sayles
Where - Leeds
345-347 Kirkstall Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS4 2HD