On the front page of the Sven Cycles website is the image of their award granted by the 2014 UK Handmade Bicycle Show, Bespoked Bristol, for Best Touring Bike. It’s a well-deserved trophy, and Darron Sven Coppin, along with Andrew ‘Mog’ Mogford, have been continually producing equally excellent daily riders, like this new 650b Roadster.
Sven Cycles don’t just make award-winning tourers; their Instagram feed is awash with every style of bike, from superb fillet brazed road racers and ‘foraging bikes’ to mixtes. It’s a testament to Darron’s versatility as a craftsman, the skills of which, together with an appreciation for fine engineering, was passed down to him from his father, a jeweller and vintage car enthusiast.
The latest Sven Cycle is designed for daily use, incorporating many features that are built to be installed and forgotten about, due to their structural integrity. It’s based around a Gates Carbon Drive belt system, a silent, grease-free drivetrain that lasts longer than a chain and is virtually maintenance-free. The frame breaks at the rear drive-side dropout, beautifully finished with red paint in the scallops.
Supernova lights are integrated into the front rack, powered by a dynamo disc-specific hub, which also powers The Plug USB charger by Tout Terrain, incorporated into the stem cap. Just the thing for charging your phone on the way to work, or your GPS unit while touring through Mongolia. The stem and touring bars were custom-made by Sven Cycles, affording multiple hand positions.
Sven Cycles are proudly made in the UK and, appropriately, this frame is constructed from Reynolds 631 — a good choice for long distance riding, BMX and ATB frames. A Brooks Cambium, with a matching Isle of Wight Saddle Bag, is just as hard-wearing. Both are guaranteed to stand up to thousands of kilometres and years of use.
Shimano’s Di2 Alfine range becomes more advanced every year, thanks to a profound interest in eBike technology. It’s silent, and only needs charging every few months, even with regular use. Darron matched this unit up to an XTR shifter, a big upgrade, but one that greatly improves reliability and shifting efficiency. Carbon fibre fenders by Swarf Cycles add a modern touch.