Swallow Bespoke

Swallow frames

Using the finest modern materials, traditional hand-building skills and 30 years of experience, Peter Bird and Robert Wade will create a bespoke bicycle or tandem frame exclusively for you. There will not be another one like it: a frame that will fit you and respond to your riding style like no other. The design and style can be modern or traditional, it can be whatever you want, and that's the key thing, it's your choice.

We will of course guide, advise and inspire you, and you will have a bicycle that is unique to you. The only thing that each Swallow frame shares apart from exacting quality and workmanship is a solid silver head badge and a hallmarked solid silver number plate. Your frame number is unique as it shows the exact date your frame was finished prior to painting and initialed by who made it.

Swallow bespoke handbuilt bicycle frame Reynolds 953 solid silver number-plate philosophy

Limited edition comes as standard with a Swallow frame: every Swallow frame has only been built as a one-off personal bespoke frame. We have never built a stock Swallow frame, so you can be sure that your frame is as individual as you are. It will reflect your nuances and style, forming an integral part of your riding experience as if it were part of your own body. But it will retain its own personality, willing you to go further or faster, when you are digging deep in your reserves on a long climb or miles from home.

While each frame is a one-off, we have created identical twins. One client, a Saville Row tailor, liked his frame so much that 5 years later he had another made exactly the same so that he could ride one at home and the other in New York for when he was working there. While another had two identical frames built at the same time, one to ride in London, keeping the other to ride at his Spanish mountain villa.

Prices start from £1500 for a lugged Reynolds 853 frame and fork which will build into a fixed/single speed for around £2400 using GB or Cinelli, Miche, Mavic, and Campagnolo components. Add some polished stainless parts to the frame and some gears to the component mix, then the frame price will be around £1600 and the complete bike around £2900.

You can of course specify the components as you wish, but we thought it worth pointing out that investing in a bespoke hand-built frame may not be as expensive as you initially thought. A good frame is for life (especially Reynolds 953 or Columbus XCr as stainless steel obviously will not rust), components can be changed when you want or as they wear out.

Our Philosophy:

To build the best frame for you, your riding style and your needs. We don't blind you with science and tech talk.  We listen to what you say and offer guidance so that you can make informed decisions and choices. We make sure that you are measured and fitted correctly, so no matter what your size or intended use, we will make sure that your bike is correct for you.

We choose from the best modern materials and use a range of techniques to build your frame whether you choose a frame for touring, track, mountain biking, racing, Audax, sportives or just pootling around on. We'll ensure that it's correct for you.

We don't like to restrict you, so you can choose such things as lug designs, or lug-less, fork crowns, braze-ons, or endless options colours for paint or colour schemes or which stainless parts you would like polished. We can also fit S&S Torque couplings to make travelling easier with bikes and tandems.

Please contact us to discuss your frame and to obtain a more detailed quote. There are some further details on in the FAQ section below.

A Bike Radar "first look" at one of our Reynolds 953 frames can be seen here.

Ordering:

Peter and Robert plan to build a limited each a year so please contact us for an estimated delivery date, although we are working on a 10-12 month delivery at the moment

A deposit is payable on ordering and is non-refundable if the order is cancelled. You can however, defer your delivery to a later date if need be. Full terms & conditions can be down loaded here.

The process:

We much prefer to deal face-to-face with you as that helps us all to understand what can be achieved and what is possible for your frame and of course to measure you on our sizer.  We can of course, communicate with you via phone, email, letter and Skype if need be. Please bear in mind that as much as we like to ensure the ordering process is enjoyable for you and that you are excited about ordering a bespoked frame, we can only do one thing at a time. If we are talking to customers on the phone, we cannot make frames. So we prefer email communication in the early stages of the order and then email and phone once we get closer to the build to discuss exact details.  That way, if it's your frame we actually working on, you know we are building it rather than talking to new customers on the phone.

Read more on how we work and design here.

Further details on ordering and sizing.

 

FAQ - Swallow Bespoke Frames

What's the current lead time for a frame? Our lead time is around 10 - 12 months.  We try to be honest about this and if we can deliver earlier, then you will be very happy.

How does the order process work? A £300 deposit secures your place on the waiting list and this also covers initial consultation and measuring fit session.  At any point between paying the deposit and about 8 weeks before we start building the frame you can come and be measured or complete our measuring forms. A 50% deposit for the frame is required at least 8 weeks for the start of the build and then once the frame is under way a 50% deposit is required for the bike equipment if we are building a full bike for you.  The final balance is payable on collection.  Please request a full copy of our Terms & Conditions for further details.

I already have had a Bike Fit from someone else: do I need one from you too? Yes this is all part of our service. Bear in mind that the Bike Fit you may have had would have been to fit you to a particular bike and not to have a frame built for you.  We have over 30 years of experience fitting bikes and building frames for people and are quite surprised, as our clients' are too, by some of the incorrect Bike Fitting information they have been given.  Please see our Bike fitting page for more details.

I understand that with a Bespoke frame I can have anything I want. Yes, within reason.  This is all part of the fun and the reason people choose a bespoke frame and bike.  It's all about you, how you ride and how you want your bike to look. We don't make "pigeon holed" models like Sportive; Touring; Light Touring, Audax etc., we just make a bike that exactly suits what you want to do on it.  All possibilities of design, tubing, frame parts and styling are fully discussed with you.

So I can have any colour and design? Pretty much so.  We'll work our hardest to achieve what you want.

Can I have a frame with no decals on it? No, our name is part and parcel of the design. It takes around 2 full working weeks for Peter or Robert to complete your frame/bike and we're proud to put our name on it.  Unless a client requests a bigger decals or more than one, our name is actually quite a discreet decal.  We can also make decals very subtle such as a similar colour as the paint and we have even a done a gloss black decal on a black satin frame.   We can leave off frame tubing decals if you want - we are a renowned and respected builder so would never use anything other than quality tubing.

Can I have my frame chromed? It's not advisable as very caustic chemicals are used in the process that are not good for lightweight frame tubing and the environment.  If you want a high quality polished metal or satin finish, consider having any of the stainless tubing from Reynolds and Columbus.  We can then polish and/or bead blast for some very interesting finishes and designs.

You used to make some pretty amazing tandems: can you make me a bespoke steel tandem? We would love to. However, at the moment there is no high quality suitable tubing available yet.  The main issue is lack of suitable fork blades and chain stays.  Also we prefer to use continuous length top and lateral tubes - again not available yet.  We are working with Reynolds and are hoping to possibly have something suitable in 853 or 631 or other high quality tubing.  Do let us know if you are interested.

Frame Building Courses

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sizing-room

Sizing and Fitting

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Ride Before you Buy

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