Ian Bailey takes a trip to Stanton Bikes’ Peak District HQ to talk about steel bikes, the future of British framebuilding and following your dreams.
Words ian bailey Photography Andy Heading
The British bike manufacturing industry has a tumultuous history; once the world leader in both output and innovation, it has fallen on hard times since the mid-to-latter end of the 20th century. Fluctuations in bicycle popularity have influenced the birth and demise of many companies, while others have had to reshape business models and look abroad to survive. Reasons are multiple, but in simplified terms, an increasingly global economy, where foreign production has become more cost-effective and logistically possible, has rendered most UK factories obsolete. Faced with stark survival prospects and unable to compete, the vast majority of manufacturers have left our shores. In turn, benefiting from a new bulk of experience, factories in the Far East have become capable of producing industry-leading standards of workmanship, combining quality with competitive pricing.
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