Monday 7th November 2022
Reynolds – Autumn 2022 Newsletter
Welcome to our Autumn 2022 Newsletter! Have you managed to enjoy riding in the sunshine as well as making bikes? We have enjoyed the Commonwealth Games road races on our doorstep in Warwick as well as the glorious English summer, and it’s not often you get to say that. We have a lot of exciting things to tell you about this autumn.
EUROBIKE 2022 – Frankfurt
We rather enjoyed Eurobike this year. It was good to meet many customers in the flesh – some long-established and some new. It was productive for us and we came away with a good understanding of people’s plans and new projects. We also had a bit of time to take advantage of the demo bikes and try out a few of the different e-bike solutions that are on the market.
One key observation for us was the big automotive companies – Bosch, Mahle, and Valeo are moving into urban mobility. With the projected decline of internal combustion engines, they will soon have a lot of spare capacity and technology to repurpose. Importantly, they are now assuming that bikes have a source of electricity on board to power all this technology. Smartphones, smart cars, and now smart bikes? It was noticeable how many companies were producing very similar bikes, with little to differentiate them. One thing we know is that the bikes you folks produce are anything but bland. They are bold and distinctive!
Bespoked 2022 – London
Who doesn’t love Bespoked? Well, we certainly do. It’s the chance to meet old friends, mingle with the new builders, and see the latest trends. Reynolds had a generous stand this year, with two frames and three complete bikes, plus the displays of tubes and 3D printed parts.
Our main objectives were to share our latest bending capability and our 3D-printed parts. We loved seeing several Reynolds frames bikes on the stands – some a surprise, some planned. We also got some good coverage on the GMBN video of the show!
Our choice of bikes for the show was deliberately eclectic – Radical All Mountain Surveyor, Pinfold Cycle Speedway, and Vulcan Cycleworks shop bike. At a show where there were so many stand-out paint schemes, this was full of frame builder geekiness in a very unassuming finish.
Our frames were equally eye-catching with a Donard-built 931 stainless steel number featuring our 3D printed dropouts and a revisiting of the ISEN frame from last year’s show with the stunning Caren Hartley paintwork.
Are we allowed to have a show favourite? It’s a tough call between Salitter’s 29er and the Enigma Echelon R. Which of your children do you love the most?
Philly Bike Expo 2022 – Philadelphia
Hot on the heels of Bespoked was Philly which we attended at the end of October with Andy Newlands, our US distributor. Same vibe, but on a different continent. Except that the world of cycling in the USA is a much broader church. Do you want a lugged framed bike with down tube shifters? There were at least 3 builders who would make you one. Hardcore mountain bikes forged in the mountains of Colorado looked punchy. Add in funky cruisers, tandems, and a whole lot of slick Titanium and we were goggle-eyed.
Spotting Reynolds bikes was harder, but like Bespoked, the SRAM Inclusivity stand featured a 29er Hardtail with Reynolds tubing. It’s something of a theme this year. As is the appearance of Titanium, which was on the Merlin Bikes stand in Philly.
Saturday saw our General Manager up on stage presenting the Environmental Impact report under the guise of ‘Is Steel the Greenest?’ It was well received and one of the audience went as far as to say it was inspiring. That is not why we did it but it is nice to hear!
Our favourite idea from the show – Junkyard Cross; Cyclocross round a scrapyard. It sounds bonkers, and probably is bonkers. But, we love it!
Show favourites? Chapman Cycles and Arko Bici. Both make bikes with the painstaking attention to detail that only a master of the art can display.
One of our development priorities over the summer has been enhancing our bending capability. There have been a lot of requests for highly formed chain and seat stays to get round chunky MTB and gravel tyres. We have successfully trialed 3D printed tools and forms, and have now designed an adjustable bending jig to work with the new press and printed tooling. This can do some much tighter radii than we have been able to achieve previously and with a consistency and ease of set-up that is way beyond what we were achieving.
We have successfully and relatively easily made triple bend chainstays with the new jig and tooling. The capability is focused on dimpling as well as bending, for both seat and chain stays. We were stoked to have some samples to look at on the stands at Bespoked and Philly in both steel and Titanium.
Environmental Impact Report
We hope you have all had time to read and digest the environmental impact report. As we have previously said, this is the start of a journey, not just a report to stick on the website and give ourselves a pat on the back. Our latest stainless steel shipments have all come by sea, not air, so we are already implementing what we said we would (and the stainless steel CO2 number is dropping like a stone as a result.)
If you or your customers have any questions please contact Martin. He is the font of all knowledge on the report. One element of perspective, just so that we don’t get too angst-ridden – if I drive my car from home to Cannock Chase to go mountain biking (100-mile round trip), it produces the CO2 equivalent to more than 2 steel frames!
Following on from the launch of the Environmental Impact Report, Martin has been on the “Bikes and Big Ideas” podcast to discuss its findings. To check it out, click here.
In 2023 Reynolds will be 125 years old! To help us celebrate we have a few things in the planning stage. More news will follow on that front. However, to kick things off we have a special shield to share with you that will be appearing on a variety of things next year. There will be some retro stuff, celebrating the glory
years of 531, but as ever we will be looking forward as much as backwards.
We are interested to hear of anything you might like to do to share the celebrations – a limited edition, some merchandise or maybe an exhibition, show or ride you are going to? There may be a 125-mile ride involved at some point too!
We have created two Reynolds beer mats which feature photos from Starling and Fairlight highlighting the modern face of Reynolds, combined with some retro adverts on the back. If you have some photos we can use for future editions of the beer mat please let us know. We’d like to see the unconventional – maybe BMX, CX, bikes in epic landscapes, and bikes in vibrant urban environments. Anything exciting will be considered. And let us know if you want a beer mat or two. All the best bike designs start out on the back of a beer mat!
Ride to Work Day
For the UK ride to work day in July, we managed to coordinate everyone riding into the office on the same day. We took some photos along the way just to capture the moment. The team photo shows several vintages of Reynolds’ jersey! The photo at the start of the newsletter was on Keith’s commute and the one at the foot of the next page was Martin’s canalside journey to work.