When Matt, Pete, Toby and Rebecca set the 2021 Pan Celtic route, they did not hold back. An ultra endurance race over 1,300 miles is never going to be easy, but cramming in over 100,000 feet of climb and throwing in some weather that was more winter than July, and it sure was testing. A bit of a metaphor for getting Windover Bikes up and running as it turns out.
Windover was conceived at the beginning of 2020. I left Enigma Bicycleworks with the backing and full support of the team there (many thanks Jim, Christine and co) to conceive of a bike brand that aimed to make the very best and most durable steel adventure bikes out there, and to do so at a cost that was not excessive through adopting small batch manufacture. The pandemic quickly derailed carefully laid plans, but the silver lining of a protracted set-up was the chance to test and fine tune our geometry and manufacturing.
Fast forward to July 2021 and sitting at the start line in monsoon-like weather at the start of the Pan Celtic race aboard our third prototype gravel frame after putting in thousands of miles on the first two. Eight arduous days later, cycling 17 hours a day and creeping into cow sheds for a few hours rest each night, I knew we had nailed our inaugural gravel model -the ????. Responsive, yet compliant; comfortable over many hours in the saddle; capable over all terrain and steady down terrifying mountain descents; the design and choice of tubing was bang on. The nerve damage I suffered during the 2019 Pan Celtic race did not materialise, testament to the overall package.
As we’ve yet to establish full productive capacity at our Worthing workshop, we have collaborated with like minded builders in the Czech Republic to build the gravel model on our behalf and can now proudly launch the much delayed Windover Bikes. We’ll do our best to bring progressive, interesting adventure bikes to the market, working closely with British manufacturers where possible (thanks especially to Reynolds, DCR Wheels, Hope and Rideworks) to deliver something truly special. This commitment took a fortuitous turn when Sam Watson also recently departed Enigma Bicycleworks to work in other areas of the bicycle trade. He’s now leading the frameworks side of Windover Bikes in his own time. With incredible support from Enigma, Sam was the first formal frame building apprentice in the UK, but after 8 years it was time for a change and he’s now co-owner of Windover.
In the pipeline, we have an incredible drop bar mountain bike that we’ve also had to make our own forks for as there was nothing suitable on the market, a prototype CX bike and others yet to be unveiled. We’re not short of ideas ….. But for now, we are so delighted to launch with our fantastic gravel model, the xxxx. Take a look and don’t hesitate to give us a shout if you’d like to visit us or learn more about what we’re up to.
Cheers, Chris (Co-Owner of Windover Bikes)