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Urban Shift

Today we dropped into the local university to see Charlie Camsell’s presentation of his Cargo Bike concept.

As Charlie describes……………
“This is Urban Shift: an electrically assisted cargo bicycle tailored to rival the family car on short term trips such as school, work and shopping.
Capable of holding up to 3 child passengers (seat in the front bay, and space for child seats on the rear and behind the handlebars), the bike has been made to be as accessible as possible for the mainstream market, regardless of physical ability. Other features such as the completely unique cargo bay and rarely seen steering technique really help to make the project feel like my own. A fantastic way to end this chapter of my life on.”

We enjoy working with student with their fresh perspective on a problem and knowledge of the latest technology We think thise concept has a number of mertis and we wich Charlie well for his future career.
A great evening out…….. and did we mention there was an open bar?

Urban Shift by Charlie Camsell


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Fresh from The Oven

This week we serviced two of our E-box bikes which run regular trips between Bradford-on-Avon and Bath. These stalwart workhorses pull a cargo of delicious bread rolls and artisan loaves from “The Oven“‘s kitchens into Bath market where they are sold.
The bikes are working hard, but working well. These two builds are fitted with the Shimano STEPs 6000 system with integrated Di2 shifter. The lightweight weatherproof cargo box is ideal to keep the bread in top condition and husband and wife riders both enjoy using them.

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Our New Website

Well it’s here..we are still updating it and refining its content and functionality.

We are well aware than the products are not well represented here yet..kind of a basic failing you might say….well rest assured that new pics showing the new range are on their way, each picture showing another wonderful feature of our RodfordBuilt cargobikes.

Prices and images to follow..


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Up on the Downs

Traffic free cycling is a great thing.
So today we  applaud cyclesunday for organising a great family fun cycle ride in our local town of Bristol.
The Bristol downs is a fantastic wide open recreation space and without the cars a perfect circuit for gentle cycling, scooting and walking. Throw in some hot dogs, some music and some sun and you have a pleasant afternoon in the park.

For us it was a chance to showcase our Rodford family bikes and catch up with our friends on the Bristol cycling scene; Good to see Jakes bikes there with his Bristol bikes and Dr. Bike helping with maintenance. Interesting mobility and tandem bikes on show too.

Thanks to everyone that spoke to us about our bikes and tried them out and provided feedback.

Rodford short box bike on a test ride

Good bikes, good weather, good times (and good ice creams).

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Hot from the oven

We are cock-a-hoop to be sending out another delivery bike this week. This is one of our finest builds, a long chassis Sherpa box bike, with E-assist, integrated lighting and a lightweight commercial box. This bike will be delivering bread for the artisan bakery “The Oven” based in Bath in the U.K.
This is the first bike to be finished in our new Rodford colour of “Grey black” and we like it. It is classy yet durable, understated but fashionable.

The Oven Delivery Bike by Rodford

The cargo box is a leading design weighing in at just 6kgs but with a capacity of 250,000 cubic centimetres. We have fitted a soft canvas top so it can be loaded beyond the top edge and the box is water tight to keep the bread rolls crispy in all weathers. For power the 250W Shimano STEPs system provides 50nm of torque to help the bike climb those Bath hills and Shimano Deore hydraulic discs control the bike when going back down.
Call us to discuss your delivery bike requirements.

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Bath Uni Student Miles, Boxes clever.

As well as locally souring materials and labour for our bikes, we have recently been working with a local University on some box designs for our 600 series box bike. The brief was to look at the aspect of carrying children safely and to maximise storage with passengers on board. Also to consider materials, weight, manufacturing costs and production techniques to design a box that is both functional and affordable.

Pictured below is a box developed by Master’s student Miles Ingram. Miles produced an Aluminium frame with wooden panels and devised some specific innovations to reduce rattles and increase comfort. He also included lockable storage and a rain cover, requirements which were highlighted by his market research to be desirable.

It’s always good to have a fresh pair of eyes look at a ‘challenge’, Miles has come up with some fresh ideas and certainly confirmed to us that a good versatile cargo box is a desirable thing but difficult to achieve. Miles design is innovative and will help develop our box designs for the future. for sure.    

We look forward to more collaborations with academic institutions in the future. In the meantime good luck to Miles with his future career.

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Bespoked 2017

Once again this year we were proud to be part of Bespoked the handbuilt bicycle show, a showcase of world-class, hand-made bikes from all over the world……and little local ‘Rodford Built’ with our own sturdy handbuilt style. Highlights from the show included Feather cycles, always quality, August bicycles with their handsome city bike and Sven bikes who craft some of the finest looking touring and city bikes (and a cargobike last year). Bespoked is always a chance to catch up with old friends and so it was nice to see our friends at Boneshaker, the very super Ted James and Darron (and many others)
A personal highlight was a chance meeting of the mighty Mr Schmitt and his masterful SON dynamo hubs, (selfie time).

We were showcasing our range of box bikes featuring two load decks lengths, various box options and electric assist. Below is a studio photo of our short model ready for adventure in our standard grey paint finish with orange accents. Contact us to talk about cargo or transport bikes, custom build requirements or a test ride.

Photo courtesy of Ben Broomfield Photography.
Photo courtesy of Ben Broomfield Photography.
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Food Bicycle.

Great to be able to finally talk about our latest collaboration. We have been working with Fareshare (food redistribution) and Boston Tea Party (Cafe chain). Fareshares wonderful initiative to fight hunger and reduce food waste now has a Rodfordbuilt cargobike to help with their Bristol Logistics. Thanks to Boston tea Party for facilitating the purchase. A great partnership. (can recommend, (no bias))

We work with good people….with bikes built for life…..

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Boxbikes, …..actual boxbikes…with some bits on….

Today, 13th Jan 2017 we began to build up our production model boxbike, it will be ready to be test riden in a few weeks, pics of the built up bikes will be posted with a final spec very soon. Sneak peeks can be found on instagram and our facebook page..
There will be 6 week lead times and a choice of standard colours plus the option of your custom colour for an additional fee…10 speed Zee and Alfine options. Possibly a drum braked 8 speed version too…Short and long versions 400mm and 600mm respectively. Versatile load bay…box, deck and a flight box style too for delivery bikes.     

These are hand-built bikes, designed here, assembled and welded here…Ecoated and painted locally and put together and ridden here…you can soon visit and take a test ride.

This is a UK Cargobike to challenge the established brands…fresh and versatile. It’s good, and it can only get better,  

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A happy new year starts with 2 layers for protection and longevity.

We have some frames at our powder coaters, its a chance to test the system and work through issues with production. Its a good start to the new year,  we want our bicycles to last, to be handed down the generations…we want them to look good for a long time…which is why we wanted the best covering that money can buy. Not just a good thick layer of luscious powder coat but a good covering, inside and out, of an electro-deposited undercoat. 

So what’s the difference….and why do both..?


Among the vast array of industrial metal finishing options are two comparable processes known as electro-phoretic deposition (colloquially known as electro-coating or e-coating) and powder coating. These two processes are similar, as they both involve the application of a coating to a substrate for purposes such as enhancing corrosion protection, increasing wear resistance and promoting adhesion.


E-coating is more similar to electroplating than powder coating. With e-coating, the substrate is immersed in a bath that may consist of paint, epoxy or other water-based solution. An electric current is then used to attract the particles that are suspended in the liquid solution and deposit them onto the surface of the substrate. The electro-deposition continues until the desired level of coating thickness is achieved, which can be regulated by increasing or decreasing the voltage level. The coated substrate is then cured in an oven to promote cross-linking.


While e-coating is considered to be a “wet” process, powder coating involves the application of a dry powder consisting of a precise combination of epoxy resins and various curing agents. A spray gun is used to electro-statically apply the particles onto the surface of the substrate. The fact that the particles are electrically charged is what causes them to adhere to the surface. Curing is also used as the finishing step in the powder coating process. Curing causes the particles to melt and also serves as the catalyst for a chemical reaction that produces the desired finish.


Because of the e-coating’s application, it is typically the better option when coating parts that contain hard-to-reach areas. That’s because the immersion of an object into a liquid promotes a more even and thorough distribution of the coating than can normally be achieved with a spray gun. The powder coating application process also tends to produce a thicker coating.

In contrast, the e-coating process provides greater ease of regulation of the thickness level — it’s much easier to produce a thinner coating with e-coating than with powder coating. These two advantages are particularly important in the auto industry, where an e-coating is typically applied as a primer coat prior to painting for increased corrosion protection.

Why do both?

there is a cost implication…which is a big consideration when trying to built a bike that will be as affordable to as many people as possible; but if your spending a fair chunk of money, then a little bit more to keep it looking good and rust free is a good investment.

We have thought this over long and hard, Rodford Built is a solid proposition, our bikes will give good service and your workhorse of a bike should maintain its good looks for many years, this will help resale and ultimately will be a boon. We could make the bike cheaper…we want it to be as affordable as we can, but some things are worth paying for. We think all bikes should be being E-coated, prior to being powder coated.

The Ecoat room...this picture was taken during the Christmas shut down....
The Ecoat room…this picture was taken during the Christmas shut down….


The process typically involves a number of stages including a cleaning stage followed by a phosphate conversion coating which enhances the corrosion resistance of the metal and also provides an improved base for the subsequent coating. After the metal is properly prepared the electro-painting process can take place. This is then followed by oven curing.

The complete process stages are as follows:

Alkali Cleaner
Water rinse
Refiner rinse
Zinc phosphate pre-treatment
Water rinse
De-mineralised water rinse
3 stage ultra-filtration rinse

A lot of work for a Frame that will last you many years.

This where the process starts,  after the manual loading of the parts onto a frame...the rest of the process is automated. 
This where the process starts,  after the manual loading of the parts onto a frame…the rest of the process is automated.