The United Kingdom is one of the world’s most spectacular locations in which to ride a bike, and also one of the most accessible. Stanforth Bikes’ Skyelander could be the perfect vehicle to explore both it and the rest of the world, upon.
That statement is not referring to the UK’s urban areas, although the Skylelander will perform most ably there also, but rather to the hills, dales, and other regions that make use of its relatively easy bridleways, green lanes, and Rights Of Way laws.
If ever there was a Land Rover Defender of bicycles, a Stanforth would be it. Simon Stanforth was inspired to design his bikes by his touring experiences in the UK and abroad, but the Skyelander in particular by his adventures in the Inner Hebrides.
It’s available as a frameset for either 700c or 650b wheels, built from Reynolds most robust tubes: 631 or 853. Install a Brooks saddle and bar tape, strap on a set of Carradice bags, and you’ve got a vehicle that will carry you for a lifetime’s worth of touring.
The Skyelander can accept front and rear racks, and tires up to 35mm with mudguards, or 45mm without mudguards. A triple set of bottle cages can be fitted, enough to hydrate you between public houses. The frame can be fillet brazed upon request.
Every model in the Stanforth catalog is designed primarily as an ‘all-terrain long distance touring bike’, and is made by hand by some of the country’s most experienced builders, including the venerable Lee Cooper.
Huge thanks to Jim Holland for the photos.