Why we do it like we do

Why do we fit disc brakes?
A fully loaded cargo bike descending a hill contains a fair amount of energy, energy you need to loose quickly if you are to stop. Disc brakes offer the most efficient way of turning motion into heat and also offer the quickest recovery rate of any brake system. This is why we recommend discs for our E-bikes. They also do not wear the rim adding longevity to our strong wheels.

Do we fit roller brakes?
Yes, on special request, For rugged durability and a maintenance free life, roller brakes are unbeatable. Not common in the UK they come from Holland where a bike is used for transport. They are very effective in all weathers and are particularly good for those not wanting the maintenance overhead of disc brakes.

Why do you like to fit a dynamo hub?
Once again, if your bike is for transport you’ll want lights to be there when you need them. Dynamo lights are always available on tap. Being integrated there is less concern of theft and battery free running and LED lamp technology means they will never let you down. Even on our Ebikes, we sometimes spec a dynamo front hub for piece of mind and for added light capacity.

Why we like to fit hub gears?
We favour hub gears for their durability and reduced maintenance regime. Derailleur gears can be more efficient and certainly lighter and we do use them on our faster urban bikes, but hub gears can give a practical range of easy pedaling ratios for the non-racing, urban cyclist. a massive advantage of hub gears is being able to change gear whilst stopped. in addition, after the initial cost difference (hub gears are more expensive up front) thereis  very little maintenance cost going forward.

Why we use a solid steering bar on the box bikes?
The box bike steering bar is a critical component. The ability to balance your bike and avoid shimmy are both linked to the design of the steering bar. The steering needs to be progressive and predictable and the strength of the bar directly relates to bike control.

Why we have a twin spar chassis on our box bike?
Single spar box bikes are OK. They are light and comfortable, relatively simple to built but require a box or at least a deck fitted to the spar to be of any practical use. However there is a length penalty caused by having the front wheel and chassis in line. The twin spar chassis allows a longer deck for the same wheel base, improves rigidity and allows a steeper front to the chassis for a more practical box design.

Why does your boxbike have a splitable chassis?

Longevity…a word that we hear a lot of when people are thinking about spending a fair crack of cash on something that they think might only be needed for a few years. We build our bikes for life, and lives change, personal transport might become a business tool, kids arrive, kids gain Independence and thier own bikes, you might want to upgrade to Ebike or detune to pedal power…convert from family wagon to nippy grocery hauler.  Rodford Built bikes are #builtforlife , lives change, our bikes do too.

Can you really ride with no hands on the handlebars?
Yes you can, and this is a symptom of the steering geometry and neutral handling that has been designed into the bike. The steering is neither light nor heavy and shimmy is practically eliminated at regular riding speeds.

Can I adjust the handlebar height?
Yes. The standard bar height is designed for the majority of riders and to give clearance over the cargo area, but you can change the height and the bars too if you wish.

Why is the centre stand like that?
An effective centre stand can make the difference between a handy, easy to use machine and a clumsy, unsafe bike. Through several design iterations we have settled on a spring return, two legged stand. This stand can be deployed and retracted whilst you are over the bike allowing you to maintain control. The spring return is simple and rattle free; and when deployed the leg transfers the bike weight directly to the road, by-passing the pivot to reduce wear and tear on the assembly.

Why do you sell direct?
Selling direct allows us to work closely with our customers to ensure they get the bike the want and the right bike for their needs.
It also allows us to follow up with servicing and spares as needed. We ship nationwide, and are looking at ways to help you test ride before you buy.

What’s better about steel over than an Aluminium frame?
Aluminium is lightweight which we like, but it is expensive and requires very careful design to avoid fractures. Fractures can occur through too much flex resulting in fatigue failures. Steel on the other hand will happily flex without affecting the life of the chassis. It is also more easy to repair. we only say this because the original Longjohns from Denmark are cropping up and even though they can be 30, 50 years old, they are being stripped back and brought back into service; that’s our ambition, a family heirloom.

How much does the box bike weight?
The final bike weight will depend mostly on what components are fitted. The chassis weight of our largest box bike including forks, centre stand and steering bar is 13kgs. This is comparable to the leading cargo bikes including aluminium ones.

Will you be building other bikes?
Yes, we have some game changing uses for our boxbike , uses that might change the way some folk think we have other models on the drawing board and the workshop table. We know what you ask for, and we will bring you and small utility bike and a short longtail…a midtail+ if you like.

Is the bike actually built in the UK?
Yes. definitely, Without disclosing our supply chain entirely; our steel parts are designed on CAD by us in Bristol, manufactured by a company in Yate, (actually made in the midlands), Frame painting is in Bristol, chassis assembly and welding is done on-site. Apart from making our bikes “British”, this also allows us to monitor quality and make changes much more easily. Our components are mainly from Shimano but we always look to design accessories and parts so that local (small) producers can conceivably produce them for us. We also work with local University students with input on bike projects, they are our future you know. Made in Britain is a choice that builds on our industrial history and helps our younger ones build a better future

Can I order my bike with special custom parts and paint?
If you must Ha! we might do you a deal.
We use a local painter who can do custom colours, but there is a cost premium for the low quantity and an extra wait, which depends on the availability of the chosen colour. Talk to us….we handbuild bikes.