The Lark 45 is a 4X, built and ridden by Will Norgan in the Mega Avalanche in 2010, made from T45 chromolly tubing and featuring Hammoons own design disc brake tab and BB30 bottom bracket, its a fine example of the sort of frame Will builds for his customers, however Will is not exclusively about mountain bikes, he will build whatever the customer wants, adding his opinions and design touches as required to help give the customer a frame to be proud of.
For example; Will has a friend whose build requires something smaller than the norm. She wanted a road bike for commuting and pleasure rides – that was the brief that Will got and he came up with this lovely 650C wheeled road bike.
The basic brief gave Will the opportunity to try out a few ideas he had for shaping tubes, producing a fork to suit 650C and try out some design flare to his standard H headtube badge, Will also added some extra touches for aesthetic and practical reasons, the buterflies beneath the down tube prevent cable rub on the paint work.
The shaped tube idea spread into Will track/fixie/commuter road bike that he’s just built for himself, adding his own drop out design that will be multi functional and allow for all rear hub sizes. It has just gone into final production after prototyping several versions.
And the name Hammoon? Well, it’s the name of a small village near to where Will lives and seemed like a nice name for a bike company – simple as that!
Matthew Sowter is one of the frame builders at Enigma and when he wanted to make a bike for his girlfriend, he took the chance to try a few things out.
First thing was to see if it was possible to make a 29er for a non 6 footer. Using Columbus Life tubing he chose the angles and tube sizes specifically to give a comfortable ride with the ability to handle a more aggressive approach should the need arise, a Fox 100mm fork was shortened to give 80mm of travel to help keep the front end down.
Incorporating internal cable routing and including the outer cables up on the top tube through some lovely looking inlays to help both aesthetically and in low maintenance, the internal routing on the seat stay is bare to ease derailleur movement. Matthew hand finished the headset to give a specific matt finish and finally to top it all off a paint job to be proud of, a pearlescent grey colour with fine red stripes along the tubes.
The bike had only come back from the paint shop a few days before the show and Matthew’s girlfriend has still not seen her surprise!
Justin Burls is unashamedly a roadie and triathlete and more than happy to admit that mountain biking is not his thing. However, and despite this shocking admission, Justin has turned out one of the nicest titanium hardtails I’ve ever seen, and yes it’s fully blinged out, yes it’s incredibly light and no, it’s not hand made in the UK.
That said, it is designed in the UK (the ethos of the show is hand made in the UK but Phil and Tessa Taylor take a pragmatic view towards the show’s title) by Justin and his friend Andy (whose personal bike this is) and fabricated in Russia.
For anyone who has been around the MTB scene for a few years Russia and Titanium may be two words that don’t always go together as there have been a number of Russian made frames in the past that, how should we say, had trouble staying together.
There’s no worry of that sort with Burls, Justin’s wife is Russian and hence Justin has a personal relationship with the guys who build his frames. They’re all ex-aerospace and submarine craftsmen who have extensive experience with fabricating from titanium.
The frame shows this wealth of experience off to best effect, weld beads as neat as any of the boutique US manufacturers can produce, you’d be proud to own one of these frames.
Delta 7 Arantix
Okay, this one isn’t a UK made frame either, but this handmade American frame uses a carbon fibre and Kevlar ‘IsoTruss’ lattice to create a frame that the makers say is incredibly stiff and resistant to damage. A medium frame weighs a claimed 2.6lbs and comes with no rider weight limitation and a lifetime warranty. With only 200 frames made per year it is guaranteed to be a very exclusive ride – and at £3,895 for the frame you’re unlikely to see one down at the trail centre carpark any time soon. They’re being brought into the UK by Dorset based Synergy Action.
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