Modern 650b Roadster; classic Randonneur soul.
Neil Foddering collects vintage bikes, but once he’d tried Darron’s 650b Roadster, he stopped looking back and was looking forward to a more comfortable ride.
Neil Foddering, a keen cyclist from Dorset, was thrilled when he discovered Sven Cycles were based just a couple of miles from his home. He initially came here to collect something for a friend, and ended up commissioning a bespoke Roadster 650b.
It was all a bit of a happy accident. Neil came to the workshop, and when he showed an interest in Darron’s 650b Roadster, Darron told him to take it for a ride. Neil was blown away by the bike’s comfort and responsiveness.
This was the first of many and frequent visits by Neil to Sven Cycles, watching us build beautiful steel-framed machines to our customers' very specific desires. From ultra-light racing bikes and roadsters, to mountain bikes and tourers, and just about anything else which took the customer's fancy, we were able to craft it. We even made a pair of single speed road bikes for two guys who rode them in the French Alps!
Neil is a collector of top-quality lightweight bicycles from the 1930s, 40s and 50s, and at that time, his hack machine was a Bates, which he found very uncomfortable over longer distances. It wasn’t long before he asked Darron to build him a Roadster. Darron knew exactly where to find his inspiration: The Randonneur.
French Randonneur bicycles were racing, touring bikes, first built in the1940s and 50s. Custom made in aluminium and with big tyres for fast riding over gravel and chalk roads, these bikes were well ahead of their time in both form and function.
Starting with the 650b tyres, Darron added a thoroughly modern frame and forks, and a mixture of some very classic components. The result was a beautifully light, very sporty, agile bike, inspired by all the rich bike history that Neil loved.
Neil is thrilled. He loves his bike so much that he’s now ordered another. (Who knows, maybe he’ll start collecting Sven cycles now.) He never rides his old bikes anymore, he says he likes the feel of his new bike — a modern bike with the soul and history of a vintage one.