Ordinary Bike Replica
“It’s all about the details”
In order to produce a bike that looks and rides period everything is made from scratch in house here in the UK. We reproduce saddles, pedals, spokes, hubs, tubes, handle, etc.. even remake hollow crescent wheel rims as used on original bikes. We use TIG welding for tube manufacture and oxy acetylene brazed and soldered joints to lugged components a lot depends on the project, but every effort is made to make an accurate replica. It’s all about the details so Richards of England even go to the effort of manufacturing spoke adjusters as used on early machines.
How it all started
Christian has always been a keen cyclist riding vintage bikes from an early age. His interest in engineering all started as a child working on projects with his Grandad a retired engineer. When getting into vintage cars and motor bikes things naturally progressed making unobtainable parts and modifications. While building and restoring custom motorcycles he made his own components such as pistons and clutch houses from scratch.
Why Penny Farthings?
While looking for an unusual project the penny farthing idea came about this was something he always wanted. A year later the first bike was complete everything made from scratch, even a 48” handmade pneumatic tire. This interest quickly progressed to a quest to produce a bike that has the look and feel of an early bike.
Look at the bicycle and it’s first 10 years of production evolution happened crude machines turned into elegant ordinary bicycles as manufacturing and design improved. Evolution happend here at Richards of England, starting out with the very crude attempt at a penny farthing using only basic tools many man hours of technique and tool development allow machines such as the Singer British Challenge to now be reproduced here in Yorkshire.
Christian Richards can be seen riding his prototype when it all first started, it’s on the BBC website after been shown on the BBC Look North show.
Media Coverage from the early days: