Stanforth Bikes and Q&A
Simon (Stanforth) has always been around bikes. His great great great grandfather was a bike builder in Bristol, his great great grandfather cycled in the 1908 Olympics, and his Dad and Uncle were the owners of Saracen Cycles for 25 years. Simon's always been passionate about bikes, bike design and bike touring. He's toured most of Europe, Scandinavia, Vietnam and New Zealand.
In 2014 Stanforth Bikes launched the Kibo, designed for loaded around the world expeditions. In 2017 the Skyelander; a classic 700c steel tourer.
Getting the steel frames made by top framebuilders has been an absolute essential for Simon. "If there's any frame that should be made by a top notch framebuilder it's a touring bike. A frame that you can rely on when crossing continents or cycling the world."
Why steel bikes?
I’ve had a number of aluminium, carbon and steel bikes over the years and nothing beats the ride of steel. At Stanforth Bikes we specialise in touring bikes so steel makes sense for a number of other reasons beyond the ride feel - easier to customise, fixability in remote places etc
What got you into making bikes?
A few things over the years but the biggest factor was being around bikes when my Dad and Uncle owned Saracen Cycles, working in the factory there in my teens etc. Since then it’s been a love of bike touring as well as bike design so it felt like a natural step
What touring have you done yourself?
Toured the UK, most of Europe, France, Spain, Netherlands, Vietnam
Any favourite places?
Scottish Highlands and Ho Chi Minh trail in Vietnam
What was the bike you lusted after as a kid?
When I was young it was probably the Raleigh Supertough Burner BMX, I had one that looked like it but that was the one I really wanted! Apart from that I was very lucky as I tested a lot of the prototype Saracens out in my teens
What ride haven’t you done that you want to?
Many - the Pamir Highway is number one. Closely followed by cycling through Bolivia as well as around Japan - they’re my top must do’s