Sven are wild about The Forager bike they made for River Cottage.
This unique bike needed to be multi-functional and comfortable, as well as reflecting the environmental credentials of the River Cottage brand.
This utilitarian handmade bike was a collaboration between Darron Coppin of Sven Cycles, the campaigner, broadcaster and food writer Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, and his Executive Group Chef, Gill Miller.
The brief was to create a unique bicycle, designed and equipped for collecting and cooking a variety of wild food.
Inspiration was easy to find in the classic British, Series 1 Land Rover: functional utility and iconography at its British best. But The Forager also needed to be a comfortable ride over long distances, and reflect River Island’s environmentally friendly credentials. A brief we could really get our teeth into.
With the 150th Anniversary of Brooks in 2016, a classic sprung leather saddle was the only choice. Still made by hand in England, offering comfort and durability, it’s unmatched by any other saddle of its type. The front wheel, also made in England, is a revolutionary design by Loop Wheels. It helps to give the bike a smoother ride on rough ground and is easy to handle anywhere. Tubing was, of course, provided by legendary Reynolds Tubing. Then we fitted internal hub gears, for low maintenance, and running disk brakes, to ensure reliable braking in all conditions.
The dynamo hub was a great addition: it powers a USB charger and lights, ensuring self-sufficiency in generating its own power supply, day or night. Perfect for Hugh’s explorations of the British countryside. We had bespoke bags designed and made by Restrap in the UK. They try to make use of every part of the bike and get a good distribution of weight, making the bike a pleasure to ride.
Then we moved on to kitting The Forager out. It was great fun. We went for recycled or locally sourced products, and found some great ones: like, a chopping board made from old boat decking and utensils made from pine trees. Although everything was environmentally friendly it was also fully functional.
Here’s what Hugh had to say about the finished bike…