Alex's bikeThis was my solution to a request to build a frame for a guy who's needs were quite diverse. Alex needed a versatile bike that he could use for commuting, off road cycling and leisure cycling - but his main requirement was to build a frame that could accommodate his specific physical attributes, namely limited range in the hips and a height of 4' 2".
After much thought and consideration on various frame designs and wheel sizes, together with several consultations with Alex at the workshop, the decision was made to build a frame with a steep sloping top tube built into a mountain bike configuration. The use of a 24" wheel maintained proportion and also made available a good range of tyre choice. This attention to detail in understanding Alex's specific needs produced a custom fit bike that met all his requirements.
If you're not roughly the same size or shape as an average person, finding a bike can be a very tricky business. In my case I'm only a little over 4 foot tall due to a congenital condition, and despite being very interested in cycling it was very hard to get one suitable for me. There are lots of shops which will sell you children's bikes, but these aren't a great option for two reasons - firstly, it's quite likely that for a variety of reasons a children's bike simply won't fit correctly - and secondly, children's bikes are generally, to be honest, pretty rubbish.
I used to have a bike which was modified by a family friend, which had done its job fairly well for many years. I think I was actually very lucky to have this, because I think a lot of people in a similar position to me have simply assumed that bikes don't fit them, and given up. So I was initially quite upset when it was stolen last year. Because I live in Cambridge having a bike is almost essential, so I set about finding a good one. I decided to take advantage of my bad luck, and make sure that this time I had a bike which was really nice, and a pleasure to ride. So, I started trying to find a custom bike builder.