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  • Back to Blog  

    Top Ten British Cycling Brands

       Words by Harry Archer

       on 23/04/2018 16:33:57

    Bicycles and Britain : An Introduction

    Classic raleigh burner best ogf british

    Britain has had a long and loving relationship with bicycles since the invention of the Penny Farthing way back in the mid 19th century. Although replaced by the car as the primary mode of transport, cycling has become a way of life to many and a fun, practical, healthy and cheap way to get yourself around, whether that be commuting into work through the busy streets of London, conquering the steep,winding hills of Cumbria or shredding the dirt in Snowdonia. In the UK, approximately 42% of people aged five+ (c. 25 million people) own a bicycle, while another 1% has regular access one. In England, an estimated 4% of commuting trips are cycled each year. These figures make for interesting reading, especially when you factor in recent Traffic Counts that suggest that the number of miles cycled in 2016 - 3.5 billion - was around 23% above the figure ten years before, one of the highest recorded figures since 1987 and 6.3% more than the miles cycled in 2015.

    The increased popularity and subsequent growth of the cycling market was no doubt assisted by government led initiatives such as The Cycle to Work Scheme that worked to increase the number of cyclists on the road with the added benefit of generating an extra £72million in economic benefits for the UK, due to the positive effect on peoples health and the boosting of bike companies' bank accounts. Furthermore, the growth of the market saw cyclists of all levels combining to contribute a ‘gross cycling product’ of c£3bn to the British economy in 2010 - a number that has continued to increase over recent years. If cycle use continues to increase at a steady rate, to around 10% by 2025 and 25% by 2050, the cumulative benefits would be worth £248bn between present day and 2050 for England. This all sounds very impressive, but when compared to our European neighbours, the UK, Along with Luxembourg and Spain, has one of the lowest percentage (4%) of daily cyclists of all current EU countries (In comparison, 43% of residents in the Netherlands cycled daily. For detailed figures click here).

    whyte hero

    Clearly, although showing signs of promise, the UK still has a long way to go to become the cycling paradise we all dream of. The vast majority of cycles sold are imported, mainly from the Far East with only about 83,000 cycles a year manufactured on British soil. But all is not lost, there are some fantastic British bike companies producing excellent, high quality and world-renowned bicycles,componentry and accessories. These brands are proud of their British heritage and represent the best of what Britain has to offer the world of cycling. At Rutland Cycling, we are always looking to support the cycling industry - especially in our own green and pleasant land. All the great British brands below are stocked in our stores and online and have proved to be very popular, becoming mainstays in many of our bestselling ranges. So, read on and get yourself acquainted with our 'Top Ten British Cycling Companies'.

    Endura

    Founded in Scotland in 1993, Endura are renowned for their no-nonsense commitment to advancing the performance and function of cycle clothing for every rider. The Scottish are no strangers to dodgy weather and inventing things - therefore it's perhaps no surprise that Endura produce a wide variety of high quality and market-leading products that have earned the brand almost iconic status globally - resetting the benchmark of function and durability within the industry. Their philosophy of 'disruptive innovation' has carried the brand from Scottish local hero to global market leader, with Endura consistently selected as a clothing partner by the world’s top teams and riders whether they ride road, MTB,triathlon or all three! This partnership with leading experts in other fields such as aerodynamics and bike fitting ensures Endura clothing is constantly on the cutting of clothing technology.

    On road, a close partnership with Movistar Team, the UCI Number 1 ranked World Tour team again for 2016, has driven a new level of R & D and production methods including The Endura Drag2Zero aero triathlon program and 'Real world rider testing' that utilises high tech, scientific lab sessions to gain significant improvements in aerodynamics, temperature regulation and comfort in all conditions. This level of performance product isn’t reserved exclusively for the pro’s though - The 'Trickle-down' is evident throughout the Endura range, with several products in the Pro SL collection having evolved directly from Movistar Team “specials” and The Movistar Team replica kit sharing exactly the same spec as that supplied to the team. It's also a key goal of Endura to improve the range of quality female-specific clothing, as evidenced by the consistent support of women's WorldTour racing, allowing Endura to bring the best of men's kit to the Women's peloton.

    endura bestofUK

    The brand is currently championed by Scottish MTB/all-round legend and internet sensation Danny MacAskill - A long-term wearer of the kit for many years and an individual that shares a common heritage and values with Endura, giving the brand a respected and well known ambassador and further cementing Scotland’s status as a centre of excellence in all things biking.

    View All Endura Products >>>

    Frog Bikes

    Frog are a small British company based in South Wales and dedicated to making cycling fun and accessible for children. Designing super-light and user-friendly bikes, Frog aim to make learning to ride a bike easier and more enjoyable for children, igniting a passion for cycling that will (hopefully!) last long into a child's adult life. Many kids' bikes on the market weigh nearly as much as the child, with grip-shift gears Schwarzenegger would struggle to budge and poor-quality components that make riding on anything other than flat tarmac a bit of an ordeal - not ideal if you're trying to enthuse your mini-Wiggins about the joys of two-wheeling.  All new Frog bikes are tested by the two young children of founder's Jerry and Shelley to ensure to fulfil all the requirements of a high quality kid's bike, a successful formula so far, with the family run and owned business winning the FSB & Worldpay family business of the year award for the south-east region and the Wales Manufacturer of the Year award in 2017!

    frog-bike-pink_thumb UKBESST

    Frog bikes are built around a light but strong aluminium frame and hand-picked components that offer a high performance without compromising the low-weight philosophy. A unique crank design makes the bike super-easy to pedal as it reduces the Q-factor (the space between the pedals) which allows the child to push more directly down when cycling, converting more of their energy into motion. Frog are working hard on further developments and improvements they can make to their bikes, supported by ongoing scientific research at Brunel University, ensuring Frog bikes continue to lead the way in terms of innovation and comfort for children's bikes. With the recent introduction of the new 'Push The Limits' range of MTB and hybrid bikes aimed at 8-14 year olds, the future looks bright for Frog. Want to find the right Frog for the young cyclist in your life? Read our 'Frog Sizing Guide' to find the size you need.

    Browse Our Extensive Range Of Frog Bikes >>>

    Genesis Bikes

    The first 'Genesis' bike was actually produced under the Ridgeback brand as the Day One model in 2001. Due to its snowballing popularity, Genesis became a label in its own right in 2006. 12 years later and the range has expanded beyond commuter bikes to include road, mountain, cyclo-cross, gravel, kids and fat bikes with Genesis bikes becoming well known for renowned for their use of steel tubing and ethos for function over form. They also support a UCI Professional cycling team Madison Genesis.

    road_bikes_genesis-zero-z1 UK

    At Genesis, the philosophy is simple – bring to life the sorts of bikes they themselves enjoy riding - luckily they have good taste, with Genesis growing increasingly popular for their maverik and ambitious approach to bicycle design and innovation.Although not the biggest brand out there, Their size allows them to be brave and take some calculated risks ; namely to push through bikes that bigger companies might deem too fringe or oddball to ever grace their tight-knit ranges. If the Genesis designers enjoy riding it and think there’ll be enough folks out there that will too, then its fair game in their eyes!

    Genesis are sticklers for detail, going to the nth degree to try and wring out every last bit of performance whilst keeping things accessible. This is a somewhat refreshing approach in a modern market where larger brands seem to pretty much mirror each other year on year to avoid losing their place at the top of the cycling food chain. Depending on what’s best for a given bike and intended usage you’ll find carbon, Titanium, steel and Aluminium all used across the range to good effect, with most bikes featuring ‘built-in’ practicalities that will enable you to use them daily across many different scenarios - a quality that is becoming highly important with the innovation of all-road, cross and gravel bikes within the wider cycling community. Arguably Genesis were one of the trailblazers in this area, introducing the highly-regarded Croix De Fer range in 2009 that featured steel drop bars, disc brakes , wider tyre clearance and eyelets for mudguards. The Croix De Fer was the bike used by Vin Cox to set the Guinness World Record for the fastest circumnavigation of the globe by bicycle in 2010, so it certainly proved its adventurous credentials and cemented the Croix De Fer reputation as a brilliantly designed British-designed bicycle.

    genesis-tour-de-fer-20-2018-touring-bike-green-BESTUK
    genesis-core-20-2018

    View All Genesis Bikes >>>

    Whyte Bikes

    Established in 1999 by designers previously working with 90s powerhouse Marin, A Whyte bike is designed to work at its best whenever you need it to, whatever the weather.

    A proudly British company, many of the models within the Whyte range have distinctly British-influenced names (Cambridge, Glencoe etc.) Whyte do the majority of their relentless development riding to work on the same trails and in the same - often grim - conditions as you. That’s why the bearings behind their anodised suspension caps are far tougher than those you’ll find elsewhere. They’re even lifetime warrantied so in the unlikely event you do manage to wear them out Whyte will send you a free replacement set as a prize for your dirt dedication. To further combat the British weather, Whyte have developed a unique weather proof clamping system for the seat posts of many bikes in their range. Internal cable routing is carefully sealed to stop water getting inside the frame and their unique BBX and DOX features make the normal nightmare of servicing internal cable routing or adding a stealth dropper post blissfully simple.

    whyte-wessex BESTUK

    The 10/10 and 5/5 review scores Whyte bikes have been getting are partly down to another set of numbers, The ones that make up Whyte’s unique geometry and ride character. Whether it’s their Alp taming, EWS thoroughbred G170 series bikes, the entry level 600 series trail hardtails, versatile S-150 or the mould-breaking, award-winning Wessex road bikes - every Whyte is designed to create a unique chemistry with its rider to all them to ride faster and further in more comfort and in total confidence. For Whyte engineers it's all about creating 'Total user freedom'. This is why their cross and gravel frames have dropper post routing as well as mudguard and rack mounts because they believe that road bike looks and commuting practicality shouldn’t stop you getting rad on a weekend. For 2018 Whyte have evolved the geometry and parts featured on their frames even further, adding even more control and keeping you further ahead of the competition than ever. You can read in depth guide of Whyte's awesome 2018 MTB range by clicking here

    Whyte Bikes : The Full Range >>>

    Hope Technology

    Established in 1989, Hope Technology has spent almost 30 years pushing the industry forward through designing, testing and manufacturing virtually all products in-house at their factory in Barnoldswick, United Kingdom. The brand was one of the first to bring cycle-specific disc brakes to the mainstream market in the early 1990s. As time went on Hope diversified into the manufacturing of high-quality hubs that became extremely popular during the MTB renaissance of the 90s, famously producing some of the anodized, bright and wild colour variations seen on frames during the same decade. The introduction of hydraulic disc brakes saw Hope become very popular and successful in the Downhill racing scene, with the brakes superior stopping ability and modulation allowing riders to go faster and have more control than ever before over their descent.

    Hope Tech HQ UK
    Hope Original Disc
    Guy Martins Bike 110mph Hope

    Currently Hope produce an array of cycling parts and accessories including hubs,bearings,lights,brakes,pedals and shifters whilst also working to give back to the wider MTB community in the UK, as seen via the development, funding and building of the red-graded "Hope Line" descent at the company's local trail centre, Gisburn Forest. Hope technology can also be seen at the top of the 'special build' category of cycle parts - Developing the drivetrain, cranks, chainrings and bottom bracket of Guy Martin's adapted Rourke frame that he rode to smash the British outright speed record on a bicycle at 110mph!

    Browse All Hope Products >>>

    Pashley Bikes

    Founded by William ‘Rath’ Pashley in Birmingham, 1926, Pashley are dedicated to hand-building high-quality bicycles and tricycles. Pashley is the longest-established British bicycle manufacturer and one of only three remaining solely UK based. Their bicycles are not only unique in their design and quality, but also in their connection to a well-established heritage of craftsmanship ad innovation at their factory in Stratford-upon-Avon. It is this British heritage that remains one of the strongest driving forces behind Pashley’s operations today and the company is committed to the tradition of UK production and craftsmanship. As well as being a dedicated British manufacturer, Pashley are also directly supplied and supported by almost one hundred other British companies, thereby encouraging the ongoing resurgence of industry here in the heart of England. Demand for Pashley bicycles has increased considerably in recent years as people are more frequently seeking out bespoke, hand built frames - However, Pashley are determined to not sacrifice quality for quantity, continuing to focus on a small-scale, hands-on approach to production and employing a close-knit team of experienced craftsmen who hand-build each cycle individually, ensuring an unparalleled level of quality and longevity in a bicycle that will provide years of performance, pleasure and reliability.

    pashley 2

    Pashley is focused on evolution rather than revolution, therefore seeking to innovate whilst remaining true to their valued historical identity. They're always keen to innovate on their existing bike ranges by combining the traditional aspects of the company with quirky and fun new designs. This can be seen in the launch of the Britannia, a traditional bicycle intended to celebrate the company's British identity, as well as the Tube Rider, a rather more relaxed and unique take on a cruiser-style cycle. Pashley is focused on evolution rather than revolution, and we therefore seek to innovate whilst remaining true to their valued historical identity. The recent development of 'The Pashley Collection' offers a unique and growing range of accessories and attire designed to complement their bicycles and customers, and to support British producers wherever possible.

    pashley 101

    It is this combination of a strong British heritage, an impeccable quality of hands-on manufacturing and a constant urge to innovate that has enabled Pashley to be a truly unique in the cycling industry. Their motto of ‘different by design... distinctive by nature’ certainly rings true and highlights the ethos that forms the basis of the companies identity.

    Check Out The 2018 Pashley Range >>>

    Exposure Lights

    Exposure Lights are an integral park of parent company Ultimate Sports Engineering (USE), which was founded in 1990. To this day the brand is driven by the obsession of creating the ultimate in innovative sports products, with Exposure lighting technology supported by the design and production of Cycling components (USE) and Marine Lighting (Exposure Marine). The company's HQ is located in Bury, nestled in the heart of the South Downs National Park - providing the perfect backdrop for product testing and development. Exposure lights are proud of their British heritage and have established themselves as an excellent source of innovation for products that work brilliantly to combat the dodgy British weather. Most recently the introduction of ReAKT and DayBright technology has revolutionised urban riding and day-time visibility whilst Exposure's work on beam spread has seen their lights become the go to option for both MTB and Road riders.

    exposure-strada-900-rutland-cycling

    Bike light ranges such as the Joystick and Blaze continue to hold their place at the top-end of lighting products for bicycles. Exposure also produce dynamo hubs,helmet lights,battery/USB rechargeable options and a variety of other lighting options that work together to offer one of the most extensive and successful lighting ranges available to cyclists in the UK and globally. Want to know more about bike lights? Read our in-depth 'Bicycle Light Buying Guide'.

    Shop All Exposure Lights >>>

    Brompton Folding Bikes

    Famously founded In London in 1976 by then-gardener Andrew Ritchie and named after the Brompton Oratory, a landmark visible from Ritchie's bedroom workshop where the first ever Brompton prototypes were created. After five years seeking a license for design, Ritchie began manufacturing the bicycle design himself. Growth was slow through the 1980s as financial backing was secured and the design perfect. By early 1988, mass-production Brompton bicycles were once again in circulation, growing steadily until 2002 when the business really took off, going from 6,000 bikes produced per annum to more than 40,000 in 2013. The growth continue to this day, with Brompton now synonymous with the folding bike category - almost monopolising the market for such products within the UK. 2018 also saw the introduction of the electric Brompton bike, showing once again the companies commitment to keeping up with the current market trends and continual innovation.

    Brompton UKBEST

    The Brompton was conceived as a product that increases people’s sense of independence and freedom in urban spaces, and this concept is still clearly at the heart of the design process. With a variety of customisation and spec options, The Brompton is a unique and personal transport solution, allowing people to rethink, vary and adapt their journeys at will as their Brompton sets them free from the constraints imposed by the combustion engine, city planners, the weather, public transport administrators, bike thieves and countless other complexities of modern-age travel.

    Currently, Brompton is the largest volume bicycle manufacturer in Britain, producing approximately 45,000 bicycles each year. Each bike is hand brazed by skilled craftsman at their London factory. This makes every bike incredibly durable and made especially unique by each individual brazer is having their own ‘signature’ which they stamp on the parts of the bike that they work on. London is a city of icons and a Brompton bike is definitely one of them - it's as London as a double decker bus, the Underground ,Big Ben and The London Eye – innovative, excellent, enduring and oozing in British charm.

    Brompton Bikes At Rutland Cycling >>>

    Brompton with brooks saddle

    Brooks Saddles

    Brooks have been making quality saddles and products for their customers ever since the company was founded in Birmingham by John Boultbee Brooks in 1866. Today Brooks remain committed to John's legacy. His early blueprints and inspirational pursuit of innovation led to a wealth of quality, durable and beautiful products and Brooks seek to preserve that spirit by combining the very best of modern technology with the timeless Brooks aesthetic. Even after so many years , the Brooks brand still delivers the finest saddles and cycling accessories to customers across the UK and beyond.

    brooks-saddles-b72-brown-rutland-cycling UKBEST

    In 2002 Brooks was bought by Italian saddle manufacturer Selle Royal, who own the company to the present day. However, much of the design and production work is still done in the UK and the brand has strived to retain its British identity. Continually innovating to keep pace with the ever changing landscape of the bicycling market, Brooks currently offer a variety of traditional and modern styled saddles with carbon and plastic options supporting the renowned leather-based range. Furthermore, the company also produce bespoke cleaning kits and accessories and work closely with other British brands such as Brompton.

    Browse All Brooks Saddles & Accessories >>>

    Raleigh

    Where would a list of British brands be without a shout out to the Nottinghamshire born, industry stalwart that is Raleigh bikes. Founded in 1887, Raleigh is one of the oldest cycle manufacturers in the world - chances are you rode a Raleigh as a kid, or still do, pretty much everyone has had one at some point and the company is responsible for some legends of the two-wheeled world including the Burner, Grifter and Chopper, as well as cutting-edge bikes like TI-Raleigh Tour-de-France-winning 753 steel frames. Their bike design HQ and wheel building is still done at the Head office in Nottingham - a tradition that is intended to continue for many years to come despite Raleigh now being part of the Accell Group, a European-based company who own a collection of Bicycle and Accessory brands throughout Europe and North America.

    Raleigh E bike UK

    Regularly at the forefront of innovation within the industry, Raleigh was the first UK cycle maker to mass produce suspension mountain bikes and to market electrically assisted bicycles in the 1990s. More recently, 2010 saw Raleigh re-enter the world of professional cycling with the re-launch of Team Raleigh. The international squad of riders picked up notable wins in the Welsh National Road Race Championship, British National Hill Climb Championship and the Tour Doon Hame. Since then the brand has continued to improve and now offers a huge range of road,MTB,hybrid and children's bikes as well as electrically assisted models and an extensive collection of accessories and clothing. The future is bright for this ever changing British bicycle company.. who knows what’s next!

    View All Raleigh Bikes & Accessories >>>

    Raleigh chopper UK best classic

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