This year, during the 2014 Tour de France, I had the pleasure of visiting Mike Pearson of London’s Munin Bikeworks. Mike is a recent graduate of The Bicycle Academy, England’s centre of learning for aspiring framebuilders. With only a few frames under his belt, Mike is one of a number dedicated to upholding the great British tradition of the handmade bicycle.
In his own words:
“Some people say that running mudguards ruins the aesthetics of a bike. Challenge accepted.
“Built for my personal use, I wanted a fast and smooth bike for group riding and lightweight touring when the British weather was less than perfect. Which is most of the time, if we’re honest.
“Making the mudguards an integral part of the design was important to the overall look, and partly dictated the paint scheme. The colors reflect what you would hope to see in a day of winter riding. The dark, a touch of early frost on the fields, blue sky.
“It’s fillet-brazed from Columbus Zona with a Columbus Hiver fork. The stainless steel rear dropouts come from Llewellyn, with the clamping surfaces polished and masked during spraying.
“This prevents the ugly scoring of the paint finish you can get from the clamping process. Wheels are H Plus Son running on Hope hubs, built by August Wheelworks.
“I could have called this the Phoenix. The very first frame I built was designed to do a similar job, but it was stolen after only 100 miles of use. This one runs on similar lines, but better. I feel it reflects how my confidence as a builder has grown over the last 12 months.”
Having a bike stolen is a traumatic experience. But, like a phoenix, the ashes are there to be risen from. And Mike is doing a fine job of resurrecting inspiration from the flames. See more on the Munin Bikeworks website and Instagram.