Stephen wanted a fast road bike with a few extras to make year round cycling safe and comfortable.
His brief was for a modern road bike with minimal aesthetic so we decided to use one of the very limited edition Columbus CENTO tubesets with discs, Di2 ports and clean lines through integrating the headset and using a carbon bar stem cockpit.
Now Stephen is TALL! and his bike is a C-C 60cm. Stephen decided to give me carte blanche on the paint so I decided to do a split colour paint scheme to make the frame appear smaller, which I think worked a treat.
We then built up the bike with some handbuilt wheels using a SON dynamo hub to give hassle free running lights. We decided on a 1x11 GRX Di2 group for ease of maintainance and simplicity whilst retaining some robustness.
The cockpit was finished off with Black Inc finishing kit and a Gebiomized saddle.
Stephen wrote us this letter following a couple of months of ownership:
I hope you well and also keeping the business ticking over in these strange times. When I last saw you I said that I would provide a review/feedback following my recent investment as this may help others with their decision making.
Firstly, I am indebted to James Golding without whom I wouldn’t have discovered Velo Atelier or Meteor Works. I know that you and James go back a long way but his endorsement was impactful and the fact that you are based virtually on my doorstep made the decision to have a bike fit an easy one.
From the moment I walked into your studio I knew that I had made the right choice. Many cyclists will have had a a bike fit in a cycle shop where you are measured to fit something already in their showroom or from their stock list. This is generally acceptable but when you are, like me 6’6” it is likely that the outcome will be less than optimal. Consequently, now in my late 50’s I'm riding around our pot-hole strewn roads on an expensive Italian carbon framed monster that is very unforgiving and frankly quite uncomfortable.
Your first question to me was “what are you looking for?” Previously I would have been chasing a brand, style, group set or a particular set of wheels but things are now different - comfort, ease of use and practicalities are foremost in my mind.
The custom built bike that has resulted from that bike-fit and our subsequent discussions is nothing short of fabulous. I feel that I am at one with the bike, rather than sitting on it and it is so much more forgiving and comfortable than its predecessor. What I have is the cycling equivalent to a Jermyn Street shirt, a Saville Row suit or a last crafted pair of Northampton shoes - something that fits just perfectly and which glides along the lanes taking all the road imperfections in its stride.
My request was for an all-day rider and whilst the CV-19 restrictions have limited my ride distances I know that when we can travel further afield I will be able to spend more hours in the saddle than previously. I know that much of that will be determined by my fitness levels but when you have a bike that is this good you just want to be out on it more often.
A couple of things stand out as real game changers for me. I’ve been a big advocate of hand built wheels for a while now and yours are good, particularly when running wider tyres with tubeless, run flat technology. No more puncture repair anxiety for me - hopefully! The addition of dynamo lights gives me the peace of mind that I can be seen and hopefully kept safe in all weather conditions, so no worries about batteries running out half way through a long ride. Finally the Shinamo GRX single groupset is great - you really don’t need 22 gears when you have 11 set up as perfectly as these are!
Finally, a word about the frameset. I know I have been fortunate that Lee has built my frame using a very special and limited edition Columbus Steel tube-set. I don’t know much about these things but all I can say is that steel technology has moved on somewhat since the Reynolds 531 tubing that featured on my teenage years road bikes. The frame is light, forgiving and so comfortable - it just seems to soak up whatever the road can throw at it. As you are aware I left colour choice largely to you Lee and you have come up with a combination of colours, with a metal fleck gel coat that not only looks great but also helps to create a visual distraction from the size of the frame - very clever!
In terms of kit purchases my Meteor Works custom is without doubt the best decision I have made. When you consider that this hand-made, totally bespoke piece of engineering art can be bought for the same money as a mid-range branded road bike you realise what incredible value it is. It is also a pleasure to deal with a local cycling professional who is at the top of his game as well as being a thoroughly nice guy.