The Cycle Building Page.

I have been going to do this page for ages, just for me really.

I have photos of bikes I have constructed over the years including a series of recumbent's for my good friend Geoff Bird.

I am still dabbling in this industry ?

Well son Lee has his Custom,cycle manufacturing and build company,

And I am always there to help him out when needed.

So the Page will be a Scrapbook of interesting projects.

that I will build on weekly.

so here is a good insight what will be on this page.

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Yamaguchi from Jon Chew on Vimeo.

 

This is a film about Koichi Yamaguchi's Cycle building school.

 

Koichi was part of the famous  Japanese custom frame builders, before moving to the USA where he now has his own  Custom cycle building company, his machines are renound for there quirkiness of design and are much sought after.

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This is a little look around the 2016 be spoked bike show in Bristol.

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This years show is about to happen and Lee has some stunning Machines on his stand this year.

And one that will get your brain working.

 

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This is Meteorworks® last years show bike.

 

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Here is a Start of the 2017 Meteorworks®  show bike.

 

And Now In show Footage for you,

 

Photos Courtesy Lee Prescott Meteor Works Ltd ©

 

The New Carbon-Steel "Chimera".

 

 

And the New Velo Atelier Steel Gravel bike for a female customer.

 

 

You know with finish as good as this every "Foster Otter" is going to be a Bike you need to own!.

 

 

 

 

 

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Pashley 26 MHz trials bike.

 

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In the early Nineties Lee started work at Pashley Cycles in Stratford upon Avon as a frame designer.

 and ended up not only designing the Trials and BMX bikes but running the works team in competitions.

The first prototype Pashley 26 MHz trials frame , I bronze welded together in the factory  Holiday shutdown two weeks,

The frame looked and performed good with the reversed teardrop front triangle tube.

All production frames were Tig welded, and the factory said thank you to me by giving me one of the production frames, that Lee still has in his collection.

And the machine has now become a "Classic Trials Bike"and prices for them have started to rise for the second hand bikes.

Photos later

 

You can see by the short video that they were always up to the job, ask the Tounge brothers.

I will scan a page later with story.

 

Scan.Courtesy MBUK.

Scan Courtesy MBUK , 1999.

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This Wakey video goes to show Pashley still have a very wide market and some classic bikes.

 

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HiddenNation

 
Lee Prescott Design.
RIDE MAGAZINE INTERVIEW

Hidden Nation's Lee Prescott Interview and picture by Graeme Hardie

After establishing himself as one of the countries finest frame designers/builders in the race industry, Lee Prescott has gone out on his own and started Hidden Nation.

Lee,s frames and parts are some of the best I've ever seen and the design research and engineering that goes on in the background is second to none. Although many readers of this magazine will not of heard of the name Hidden Nation, the company is set to instantly become the benchmark for quality frames.The first frame that Lees released, the AKIRA, has been ridden for some months now by Rikki Gunner and featured in a Pro Bike check in this very magazine a couple of issues back. The frame is significantly lighter at 5lb 13oz than the competition, but is equally strong, if not stronger than many premium American frames on the market right now.

If you happen to visit any trails in London, then you are likely to see Rikki Gunner or Jon Robinson riding their AKIRA frames. From the impression I have Hidden Nation is hoping to bring design integrity back into BMX, and the sort of quality product that you just don't seem to get anymore without paying silly money.

Hidden Nation has already established a series of dealers in the UK, and has recently signed up La Finca Distribution to cover mainland Europe. In a few weeks Lee will be making his way to Las Vegas for the Interbike show, so if he can stay out of the strip bars and casinos, then he'll be spreading the word in the US, and judging by the amount of interest the frames have generated so far, he should do pretty well.

The most important thing about Hidden Nation though is that it is a British company, and in an industry that's almost completely dominated by Americans, its good to see something that truly is what I consider to be an amazing product coming from our shores.

RIDE - To start this interview, please can you start at the beginning and talk about how you got into design and manufacture. 

LP- I guess my interest in bikes started when I was real young as my old man used to do motor bike trials and he was into building frames for that, so I've been around building stuff ever since I was walking and I just didn't really get on with motor bikes, so I really got into bikes, when I was about 11. That kinda set me on my course, because I've always wanted since to be a designer and make bikes. So I did the right A levels and that sort of shit so I could go to Uni and study design. At the end of that I designed and built a couple of bikes for an exhibition. When I left Uni I wanted to turn my brain off for a bit so I went to Cornwall for a while and worked in a hotel cleaning rooms for 6 months. I was just bumming around for a while and by some mad coincidence a guy that was an investor in Pashley saw my exhibition at university and thought I could fill a gap at Pashley. I really got into BMX whilst I was living in Cornwall coz British weather being as it is, you cant surf much in the summer so I spent the whole summer riding an old PK Ripper, so I just got into it through that and then I was at Pashley.

Ride - So how long did you spend designing bike frames at Pashley before you decided to leave and start Hidden Nation.

 LP - I worked at Pashley for 6 years. When I first got there I remember thinking here's a company that's actually building bikes in the UK, and that this would be a brilliant place to learn the trade. I was doing work bikes and stuff for the first year, but was constantly looking for ways to start doing more high end frame building. When the chance to start the TVSeries range of products came up I jumped at the chance. It was an amazing opportunity for me, to learn how to create products that people wanted, and taught me a lot about the importance of all of the marketing side of things, with the Brand and the Team. I made a lot of friends during my time at Pashley that are still really important to me today.

Ride - Who are some of the people who's custom bikes you've made in the past through LP - All the guys who were on the Pashley team, so Kye and Toby's( Forte.) race and dirt frames and all of Dylan Claytons frames. Little Eddie Carr always used to ride a full on custom bike and I made a few one offs for Kez (Edgworth).

Scott Edgworth rode one of my bikes for years when he left Schwinn.

With him being a good friend I always tried to sort him out if he needed a bike so I used to build him frames and stuff.

In a way he was one of the first people that had a truly one off custom as he didn't fit on a standard geometry frame, so we built him a one off frame with a 21" top tube and shorter back end.

He still says to this day that it was one of the best bikes hes ever ridden. That geometry that I created for him there is what I've used for the Hidden Nation Akira frame.

Ride - What made you start up Hidden Nation after you left Pashley 2 years ago,

 LP - I left Pashley because I'd been there that long, that I wasn't learning anything any more. So I thought right - I need to move on and progress.

For the first year after I left I did freelance design work for all different people, like Land Rover, and others out,

 

 

The Land-Rover MTB with Lee Prescott designed suspension©.

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of the cycle industry as I didn't want to make a conflict of interest with Pashley by leaving and straight away doing a bike company and I didn't want there to be any bad blood between us.

The Whole idea behind Hidden Nation was that I was getting really sick of lots of stuff on the market that had just been brand engineered where people had just been picking stuff out of the Taiwan bike guide and just banging their logo on it and telling people that this is great new bike design, when actually its just Taiwan catalogue item #367 with their logo on.

I really wanted to put the design element back into BMX as the industry was getting a little bit staid and all the bikes started looking the same and there wasn't any new technology coming into it etc.

Im a bit of a nerd when it comes to frame design.

I love working on tube profiles and all of the other fine details that you never even see, but I know they are there and that they make a better frame.

Just don't ask me about gussets, if you want a short answer.

Ride - You use Reynolds tubing don't you rather than the usual 4130 steel.

 LP - Ever since I started making frames I've always been into using steel, I've never really been interested in using aluminium or anything else like that. So within the industry, I've kinda made it my speciality of designing with steel. With Pashley, I'd built mountain bikes and roads bikes, Work bikes etc. So with Reynolds being a local company it just became that I ended up with really good contacts at Reynolds and I really liked their product. I think that we were one of the first people to ever use Reynolds air hardening tubing in a BMX frame. Of all the steel companies in the world they have by far the best material. No one else has anything that even comes close to their 853 tubing.

Not even the new Sankyo stuff or the OX Platinum. The Reynolds 853 may not have the fancy profiles that Columbus or Deddaciia has, but the material just blows the others out the water for what it does.

Ride - So the Reynolds tubes you use is similar to the Material Standard use on their top end frames,

LP - Yeah, it's the same sort of stuff, Reynolds quality control etc is so much better than anyone else's, plus it nice that I can work with a local British Company especially as British manufacturing is going down the pan as well.

Because of that you get a really good relationship with them as well.

So for example if I need something special, I can ring Terry up and say this is what I need and it's not in your catalogue, and he will just be like " We could make something by mixing this Die and this part etc for you and do it" .

Ride - What about other bike parts now that you've got the Akira frame out.

LP - There's loads of stuff that I have ideas for but I cant keep up in terms of money at this early stage, but I've got the new stem, which is a new design that makes it quite a bit lighter, but doesn't loose any of the strength. The seat post that attacks the problem of slipping guts and alignment etc. I've got a chainring which is just about to come out, which is another step towards parts that wont bend.

It's got thicker teeth and is machined a lot more accurately, so you don't get dead spots. What else, in the not too different future we'll have hubs which hopefully will almost revolutionise things a bit as they're a totally different design to anything that's available at the moment. Ive got the seat which is about to come out real soon.

That came about from a lot of discussions about seats being a nightmare to design.

 

Photo Courtesy "Otterman"

Ride - What's your vision for the future with Hidden Nation.

LP - We got the Azrael frame coming out in the next couple of months which brings the same sort of technology from the Akira frame into a street/park bike. As we move on into the future, I'd like to be able to offer some more sizes and a couple more frames as I have some more designs I'd like to do.

There's a whole bunch more components I'd like to be able to get out.

But generally, the whole direction, As people recognise the brand and start to understand what I'm trying to do, hopefully I'll be able to get a little more creative on stuff.

When you're a brand new company, you almost have to tow the party line a little bit, so that people recognise that you're not just another dodgy mountain bike company.

As people start to recognise the brand a little bit, then I can start to do some more adventurous stuff like the hubs etc.

That's not a product I could have done straight away as people would just turn their noses up at it.

People understand how BMX is and sometimes the whole fashion thing works to the detriment of progression.

A few years back a load of mountain bike companies appeared on the scene, and although I know they got into it for the wrong reasons, there were probably two or three bikes that were quite interesting, but no one would use them as they were from mountain bike companies.

But you look at bikes now three years later, and just because S&M or someone have done something with say a Euro BB or a Hiddenset then it's alright, I guess that's just how it works.

Ride - Do you want to mention the team and how it works.

LP - The main thing with the team is that I've been really lucky and I've just been able to hook up the people that are my friends and just happen to be amazing riders, although there's a couple that I'm still after, but hopefully I'll be able to sort out over the next couple of months.

Ride - Do you want to thank anyone that helped HN get started.

LP - Where do I start. All the guys and girls at 4130 and you for the chance to rant on about sticking metal tubes together. All of my friends who put up with me being so flaky on them, when I disappear into my own world for months on end when I'm working. The Hidden Nation Team, Dylan, Rikki, Rye, Alex and Jon and also Kye, Toby and Eddy for all the good times at Pashley. Kung for putting up with me pestering him about photographic stuff and Adi for sorting out the graphics on the Akira. I guess Terry at Reynolds, as he's been super cool along with Sam and Steve at Profile. Kez, Chico, Gunner, Muzza and Jetlag.

I guess the biggest thanks would be to Scott Edgworth, as he's really given me the most support over the years and really got me to pull my finger out and actually get on with it.

COURTESY OF RIDEMAGAZINE No. 80

 
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More Later.