OXFORD BIKE WORKS LIMITED

 
 

Small is definitely better when it comes to bike manufacturing……..

We focus on offering a quality product with quality components and accessories, avoiding the temptation to use technology to justify high prices, as is often the case with volume manufacturers. We offer our bikes with a 10 year* frame warranty and 2 year parts warranty, ensuring the cost of a bike is a fixed cost, not an ongoing one. Our  bikes come with decent kit as standard - pedals, racks and mudguards. The advertised prices on our websites are the prices you can expect to ride out of the shop, and onto a two week touring holiday. Of course we offer upgrades, no two riders want the same thing, but our basic model is good quality and can be ridden without additions.

    We fit components that are not necessarily top of the range, but ones that do not wear out quickly. We want you to forget about the bike once you’re on it, and just ride it, knowing it will take you from A to B with a minimum of fuss and drama. Some bike manufacturers offer over engineered, hi-tech solutions to problems you never anticipated. How many times have you experienced a problem where your brakes didn’t stop you soon enough? And yet volume manufacturers want to sell you disk brakes, simply because they look good. In reality, V brakes work perfectly well for a fraction of the cost, and can be easily fixed by the owner if you're a long way from a bike shop. They don't rub and don't get as easily damaged in transit. If you’re heavy on the brakes, disk pads will need replacing at the shop every 6 months, with V brakes you can do it yourself for pennies. Suspension is really not needed on bikes in most situations, and the extra weight and complexity it adds reduces the simplicity of cycling. And we believe this adds little to the cycling experience and means you have to carry extra weight for little or no benefit. Today it is perfectly possible to build a simple, effective, relatively light weight bike that will do almost anything you ask of it - from cycling to the pub, commuting to work, summer Sunday afternoon bike rides, mountain biking with friends, as well as full distance, loaded touring. Okay you wont be able to do extreme down hill riding, track racing or trials, but with a little thought as to how it is set up, you can have one bike that does nearly everything.
    Tyres are an important choice that depend strongly on how you ride and what surfaces you will be riding on.  We think current trends in long distance cycling towards thicker tyres should be avoided, as it adds to rotational weight and increases friction, which slows you down. We want our customers to spend less of their energy overcoming friction, and have higher average speeds than those who use thicker tyres. However, we can guide you through tyre choice.


Satisfaction on a bike

The key to a comfortable bike is getting the five points of contact exactly right. Your  bottom (saddle), hands (handlebars), and feet  (pedals) need to be in the right position to support your back and neck, and this requires the right component for the intended rider...... volume manufacturers cannot do this.

Once you’ve decided on the spec and the purpose and size of the bike you can choose the one of the three colour options. If none of these suits we will repaint one to your specified colour for a reasonable cost.

Once you’ve decided on colour and the components, we will contact you to arrange a bike fitting at our studio just outside Oxford. We're 50 minutes by rail from London Paddington, Bristol and Birmingham. If you are too far to do this we are quite happy to take your measurements over the phone and then build the bike. This usually takes two weeks. We then wrap and pack the finished article so that it arrives as you would like it. We can also offer a personalised delivery and fitting service, for those without the time to make the journey themselves.

Why Steel frames?

Steel is the preferred material for touring bikes as it has the necessary spring to soften your ride. Today’s steel is chrome-molybdenum alloy. It is relatively light and strong, easy to weld and resistant to corrosion. Aluminium gives too harsh a ride, and is prone to failure and fatigue. It may be lighter, but the +/- 300 grammes you save don’t outweigh the disadvantages of a harsh ride and relatively short lifespan. If carbon emissions matter to you, the manufacture of an aluminium frame uses 5 times as much energy as a steel frame.

Carbon frames can save you 200 grammes over an aluminium frame, but are very vulnerable to damage – the type of damage you are likely to sustain when touring. Those little transport knocks and bumps can turn into critical weaknesses and mean that at some point in the future you will cease to trust your frame completely. With steel, just use a paint touch up kit to keep your frame in perfect condition and corrosion free.

Titanium is quite popular as a touring frame material, combining light weight, flex and corrosion resistance. At Oxford Bike Works we believe it would be better to spend the extra cost of a titanium frame on upgrading equipment on the bike – or an extra week’s tour! To make titanium bike frames uses 20 times the energy needed to make a steel one, combined with the extra £800 cost we feel the benefits are limited, for a 500 gramme weight saving.

 


*At Oxford Bike Works we believe the best material is steel, and we offer a first owner a 10 year guarantee against structural corrosion and failure. We know our frames are well made, and we want to reassure you of this, as a new maker of touring bikes.

 

ABOUT US......

With our head-badge or logo we wanted to go back to the old tradition of showing the aspirations of the brand..... discovering places, crossing rivers, climbing mountains, and at home in the city.

If you wish to arrange a visit, or have any questions, call us on 01235 831992 or 07514 411619