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Made in Yorkshire - Arthur Caygill Cycles

What did you do when you were 11 years old? Well, Richmond North Yorkshire veteran cyclist and frame builder Arthur took to his bike and cycled from Richmond to Blackpool. He says that it seemed a great idea at the time and that he spent time on the sunny beach before realising that he still had to pedal back across the Lancashire countryside and the Yorkshire Dales to get home! Having cycled some 120 miles the young Arthur felt peckish and so raided a garden of vegetables, only to get caught by the puzzled home owner who thought that he was a runaway! This kindly guy fed Arthur a good meal and then ensured that the intrepid young cyclist was returned safely home. 

We talked about the adventurous 'Rough Stuffers' of the 1950s, who took their steel framed tourers up and over the hills off road years before the mtb developments of the 1970s. Riders such Arthur and his mates, and indeed my old mum enjoyed these adventurers and used them to cement friendships and to develop their life long love of cycling. And as we chat it's clear that this is still what it's all about. Adventurous days across from Swaledale that drop down across wild moorlands. 

Arthur still rides some great distances across the North of England, but spends most of his time in the family shop and framebuilders premises at Richmond, where he has built up a great reputation over the years. Many a road cyclist has had their own made to measure frame assembled on the jig in the back. All grades of steel are used, dependant on what the customer needs. We talked about the current trend of paying to be measured for a frame. Here at Caygill Cycles it's all part of the service - no charge; and whilst I was there, a young family popped in with a Christmas bike and delighted child, for Arthur to then spend 20 minutes of his time fitting and adjusting the frame for her.

Long lines of frames hang delicately from the ceiling, enticing you to look and feel. Carbon frames; steel with carbon forks, or just old fashioned steel are the options, in all manner of disciplines: singlespeed, cyclocross, tourer, audax, pure thoroughbred racer in 953 and as light as a bag of sugar.

Chatting to Steve in the workshop, warm mug of coffee in hand, compliments of Arthur's wife, surrounded by tubes of shiny silver steel, tools and frames, he tells me about the pleasure that he derives from creating a new frame. Working on the old jig, the parts are cut and assembled in the old fashioned way. The steel can at times blunt a file with it's strength, but Steve's artisan precision and careful eye brings to life these wonderfully simple machines. This is a labour of love, and as he tells me about customers and working through the development of a bike, his eyes light up and display the pride and passion that he puts into every single frame. He believes that these are products for life and that yes, you could go along and buy that off the shelf bike made in Asia, but these frames are special - they belong to you. And better still,  they are as affordable as the off the shelf machines that you'll replace in a few short years.

This is a frame jig - take note!

So next time that you're dreaming of riding the route of the peleton through the Yorkshire Dales, pop in and have a chat to Arthur and the team and get yourself measured up for a frame to last a lifetime, and whilst you're there, have a chat about cycling the way it used to be and ought to be and still is for the purists who ride these silken steel frames.  Built the old fashioned way and made in Yorkshire!

  click the logo to visit the Caygill Cycles website