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This feature offers the opportunity to learn more about exhibitors’ individual style and inspirations, as well as giving an insight into their behind the scenes preparation for Bespoked 2014.

Every week we will ask a couple of different framebuilders the same five questions and along with photos of them, their workshops and the bikes they make display them on these pages.

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Richard Craddock at work

1. What defines your style as a framebuilder?

My approach to making frames is to base every detail on sound principals of composites engineering. This process begins with the tubes where I specify the fibre type, areal weight, and epoxy type. These materials are made into tubes using my specification for the number, sequence and angle of each lamina. I use round tubes as they resist the torsion and bending forces caused by pedalling more effectively than flat aero tubes. I also don't see the aero advantage of a flatter down tube once you put a bottle on it.

The joints are designed and made in the same way. I wrap them by hand using pieces of pre-preg carbon fibre and their look is simply a product of their function.

Even the style of the cable stops follows this approach. There weren't any suitable ones available to buy so I made my own. They are bonded to the tube so that I don't have to weaken it by drilling holes for rivets, and they have a large footprint to spread the load applied during heavy braking. The cable routing is external because this method is lighter than internal routing. It's also quicker and easier for the rider to replace the cables.

The frames are of course made to measure so that they fit each rider perfectly.

These details add up to a high level of structural performance and that's the style of a Craddock frame.

The finished article

2. Who, or what, has inspired you?

I'm a road racer at heart and I could never find a carbon frame that really fitted me well. This has been my motivation to make custom carbon frames.

I also draw inspiration from a wide range of engineering and manufacturing sectors. I've always been fascinated by how things are made so I visit factories and study processes. There is often something that can be learned and implemented in framebuilding.

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Tubes mitred and in the fixture

3. Are you preparing anything special for Bespoked 2014?

My custom carbon road frames are the first to be commercially produced in Britain, and this year's show will be their first appearance, so it's a special occasion for me and I hope it will be interesting to the visitors.

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Vacuum bagging the head tube (this compresses the layers during heat cure)

4. Where is your favourite place to ride?

Through-and-off flat out on my local chaingang. I enjoy it and I also consider it part of my job to be fit and ride hard in order to properly test my frames.

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The finished head tube

5. If you weren’t a framebuilder, what would you be?

I'd still like to work with composites as the engineering scope is enormous. Maybe I could make carbon fibre boats or gliders, but I'd need a larger workshop.

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Richard Craddock

Craddock

Bromsgrove, UK

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Maker - Richard Craddock

Designer - Richard Craddock

Craddock

Where - Bromsgrove

Number Made PA -

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Craddock custom carbon fibre frames are made to measure in the UK. The geometry and laminate are tailored to suit each rider for the best possible fit and feel. All frames are made in-house at the Craddock composites production facility in Worcestershire which is equipped for machining, fixturing, moulding, laminating and curing. The laminate specifications for the tubes and joints are the product of an extensive R&D and testing process, making frames that are built for an excellent ride. The extensive UK composites industry enables Craddock to source specialist materials from companies supplying the F1, aerospace and marine sectors.

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Web - http://www.craddockcycles.co.uk

Email - richard@craddockcyles.co.uk

Phone - +44 (0)7530 530782

Framebuilders of the week
getting to know the people that make the bikes

 

Previous framebuilders of the week

Advanced Velo Design - Karl Sparenberg

Ahearne Cycles - Joseph Ahearne

Craddock - Richard Craddock

Donhou Bicycles - Tom Donhou

Grim Bicycles -Rollo Lunn

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Previous framebuilders of the week

Mawis - Mathias Scherer

Malcolm Custom

Satoma Cycles

Shand Cycles - Steven Shand

Strawberry Bicycles- Andy Newlands

Sven Cycles - Darron Coppin

Sword Cycles - Tim Leicester

Wittson Custom
 

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