Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 22

Thread: Shand Cycles

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    376
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Shand Cycles

    I'm Steven Shand, one half of Shand Cycles based in Scotland, UK. I've been building frames commercially now for nearly ten years. From 2003 up until 2011, I was building one-off custom made to measure frames. A lot of mountain bikes (mostly off-road tourers, not race machines), some audax/sportive frames, a spattering of road and cross frames, but mostly what I call AllRoad frames. 'Cross frames for people who think they want a 'cross frame but really they don't.


    I don't think I ever built more than 20 frames in a year and since 2003, I was probably only building frames full time for about a year in total. I wanted to build full time but was finding it hard to find a way for it to work financially. Framebuilding in the UK as recently 3 or 4 years ago was a different beast to how it is now. There were hardly any one-man frame shops and the price the market seemed willing to pay was relatively low compared to what I was seeing across the pond. 5 years ago, guys were banging out made to measure frames for less than £500. It was impossible (or very difficult) for guys like me to charge what I thought my time was worth. This made paying the mortgage and putting food on the table very difficult. Having just started a small family, stuff like that was important.


    Things have changed dramatically in the last 2 or 3 years in the UK and it seems finally the bike buying public over here are starting to really appreciate the craft of frame building and more importantly (if we want to sustain a healthy framebuilding scene in the UK), are much more willing to put their hand in their pocket.


    Shand Cycles as it is now changed in the middle of last year. The business was restructured and importantly it stopped being just me. Shand is now half owned by Russell Stout who came into the bike business from a long career in design, having founded one of the top design agencies in the UK over 15 years ago, he felt he needed a change and so we joined forces and relaunched Shand.


    The focus shifted to making sure we could run a profitable and sustainable business and at the same time allowing us to build and sell high end bicycles the way we wanted, without compromise.


    We moved into much larger premises at the beginning of this year and launched our range of handbuilt production frames to a huge amount of interest from the public here in the UK and in mainland Europe and we continue to build bespoke, made-to-measure stuff too.


    At the core of our design ethos is the desire to "keep it simple". While we see other mainstream cycling brands adding more and more to their frame offerings, we stick to what we know, what works and continue to make those basic elements as refined as they can be. I like to think we maintain that principle right through the business, from how we lay out the shop, how we build, who we use as primary suppliers, all the way through to our paint schemes, logos and communication.


    Anyway, Richard kindly asked me to get involved with Smoked Out and I appreciate being able to join in. And since it's supposed to be a Q&A channel, I better stop typing or I'll end up answering all the questions.


    Please feel free to bombard me with anything you have to ask and I'll do my best to answer as much as I can as quickly as I can.


    Oh, and if you don't know us, you can see what we're all about here :
    Custom and production steel bike frames
    Steven Shand
    www.shandcycles.com
    Bicycle Manufacture - Scotland, UK

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Better to be ruined than to be silent atmo.
    Posts
    18,248
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Shand Cycles

    Hi Steven thanks for the text atmo. For the rest of you reading, Steven Shand has been one of the regulars of the online effbuilder circuit for as long as I can remember. I think I got wired in 1999 or 2000 and have read his posts all along. Some came in rapid-fire succession, some were how-to questions, and some came after long periods of silence. It's really nice to see that a fellow who was once new and eager to be part of the trade now has a bona fide commercial entity and his own piece of the pie.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Coquitlam, British Columbia
    Posts
    8,062
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Shand Cycles

    Quote Originally Posted by shand View Post
    Having just started a small family, stuff like that was important.
    Hi Steven, welcome to getting smoked out!
    Tell us a bit more about your family, background,
    and where you love riding and where you grew up,
    that kind of stuff.

    I love Scotland, beautiful place to travel,
    especially when it's not raining...

    -g
     

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    DC
    Posts
    19,852
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Shand Cycles

    Steven, I'm just starting to appreciate your work. Thanks for taking time to speak out on Smoked Out this is such and honor.

    I've got questions but will hold my peace a bit.

    Lovely and considerate work.

    stooshie-overview.jpg

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Greenpoint
    Posts
    4,115
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Shand Cycles

    Thanks for the introduction. I'm happy you've been able to turn frame building into a full time gig.

    As for the UK market, how have the changes come about from your POV? Have they come around to you, you to them, a little bit of both; and how so?

    Best,

    Chase
    Got some cash
    Bought some wheels
    Took it out
    'Cross the fields
    Lost Control
    Hit a wall
    But we're alright

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Quaix en Chartreuse, France
    Posts
    55
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Shand Cycles

    Hi Steven !
    From what I understood, you're now doing the paint internally ? Is it something that Russ brought to the team ?
    How do you split the work between you two ?

    Francois

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    376
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Shand Cycles

    Quote Originally Posted by GrantM View Post
    Hi Steven, welcome to getting smoked out!
    Tell us a bit more about your family, background,
    and where you love riding and where you grew up,
    that kind of stuff.

    I love Scotland, beautiful place to travel,
    especially when it's not raining...

    -g
    I grew up in a small town in the South of Scotland. Pretty normal middle class upbringing.
    I did an interview quite recently and the journalist was pretty disappointed that I wasn't riding around as an 8 year old dreaming of winning the Tour de France. The truth is, for me, as well as most kids, the bike was just a way of messing around with your mates. I was never into racing as a kid. Although I did do a couple of BMX races. Living in a rural town, I used the bike as a way of getting around, longer trips to find better places to fish mostly.

    I probably became aware of racing in about '85 or '86 (I was 15 or 16) but it was never something I aspired to. I enjoyed watching it and it probably motivated me to ride my bike more but I never raced until I left home and went to University. My first real taste of it was in about 1988 or '89 when some friends and I borrowed a van and we drove about 120 miles to watch a stage of the Kellogs Tour (a precursor to the Tour of Britain).

    Having a young family now (3 and 6) has meant it's harder and harder to get out on the bike as much as I'd like. My wife's a distance runner which means we're always trying to negotiate time away from the family to get the miles in. As a result my riding tends to be fitted in when I can which means it's usually early morning and solo. I'd like to start racing again and might get involved with 'the cross scene this year after not having raced for at least 4 years. We'll see.
    Steven Shand
    www.shandcycles.com
    Bicycle Manufacture - Scotland, UK

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Dirtville
    Posts
    12,168
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Shand Cycles

    beautiful website that's very organized and simple to navigate. i like the simplified offerings of frames.

    you should update your blog to include the velocipede salon smoke out.

    nice work steven.
     

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    376
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Shand Cycles

    Quote Originally Posted by chasea View Post
    As for the UK market, how have the changes come about from your POV? Have they come around to you, you to them, a little bit of both; and how so?
    Hi Chase,

    well I can only really talk about my view of the UK market. I've seen over the past 3-5 years a gradual shift in the customers perceptions of what they're buying when they order a handbuilt frame.
    For a long time in this country, if you wanted a quality bike, you went to a big bike shop, got measured for one of their models and came back a few days/weeks weeks later to pick it up. These were all handbuilt, normally in, the shop, a workshop upstairs or in the basement. Some shops would farm it out to local builders. At the high end of the market, almost all bikes were handmade. Not because the rider was buying into the handmade scene but because that's how bikes were built through the 50s and 60s. There was no huge import market then. The way most of those bikes were built then were not what we would consider handbuilt today. They were built fast and economically. It was a pretty competitive market and prices were low.

    There were quite a few bigger brands operating out of factories rather than shops but mostly these were producing utility cycles rather than frames for the discerning racing cyclist. Again the prices were low. As the demand for bicycles fell, the number of specialist shops with their own builders also dwindled. There are still a few (retail) shops in the UK that build frames and they (from my discussions) seem to be seeing something of an upturn in trade over the past couple of years.

    This seems like a longwinded non-answer to your question!

    Ok the point is that handbuilt frames have not historically been seen as a premium product here in the UK. The perception was (and still is, although it's getting better) that old retired guys in sheds are the UK framebuilders. Banging together frames with technology from the 1900s. I had one potential customer call me to ask for a frame and was genuinely confused that I was more expensive than a Chinese/Taiwanese frame since they had to pay to get that one here all the way from Asia and mine was just round the corner.

    To answer your question (eventually) I have had nothing to do with the changes in perception. Unless me banging on in forums about how unless people start to charge realistic prices for their work, there won't be a UK handbuilt community. The changes seem to have come from a lot more widespread coverage of events like NAHBS here in the UK. Also people are not just looking in magazines local to their country for bike stuff anymore. They type 'handbult steel frame' into google and get bombarded with images of incredibly beautiful frames from all over the world. For the bike buying public, the world is shrinking into a single marketplace.
    Steven Shand
    www.shandcycles.com
    Bicycle Manufacture - Scotland, UK

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    376
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Shand Cycles

    Quote Originally Posted by edelbikes View Post
    Hi Steven !
    From what I understood, you're now doing the paint internally ? Is it something that Russ brought to the team ?
    How do you split the work between you two ?

    Francois
    Francois,

    good to hear from you.

    Yes, you're correct we are now doing all our own paint in-house. This was a pretty big step for us but it was something I think we knew we were going to do at some point.

    It's made a huge difference for use both financially and in terms of control over the final product. Lots of people told us not to do it and it was something that was better outsourced but I was getting frustrated with the additional time (and expense) we needed to allocate for painting. There's nothing worse than being a on schedule delivering a frame to the customer, dropping the frame at the painter to find he's 2 weeks behind on his schedule.

    Yes, Russ has brought that skill into the business which has been really great in terms of getting things in place and operational quickly.

    The work splits between the 2 of us pretty easily actually. The frame designs and actual building is something I do. Russ handles the paint and finishing side of things. Away from the actual manufacturing, Russ handles most of the brand/media/promotion stuff we do. It all works pretty well without us having to try to hard to define roles.

    Cheers

    Steven
    Steven Shand
    www.shandcycles.com
    Bicycle Manufacture - Scotland, UK

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Kennesaw Ga 30144
    Posts
    3,459
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Shand Cycles

    steven, great to meet you..

    love your graphic logo --- the "hare.."

    chasing the hare & climbing the high wall by l ray --- drawing ronnie back to some fond memories in scotland, can't talk about "lassie come home.." here on velo..
    your gallery, highland cross ride, paint & work shop, tip the scales on the marketing high/top end..

    hope to meet you in person -- maybe mile high..

    ronnie with a smile
     

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    254
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Shand Cycles

    Hi Steven,

    I was actually thinking of asking you a question earlier in the week before your Smoked Out thread was started, and it also relates to your logo of the hare - just wondering what the story behind it is? In particular I was wondering if there was any relation between the hare and the whippet from Friday Night Lights #180, considering the historical relationship between the two? My wife and I have a whippet and just adopted an ex-racing greyhound, so I have become very sensitive to sighthound sightings!

    Cheers,

    Rob
     

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    376
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Shand Cycles

    Quote Originally Posted by ABiCi View Post
    Hi Steven,

    I was actually thinking of asking you a question earlier in the week before your Smoked Out thread was started, and it also relates to your logo of the hare - just wondering what the story behind it is? In particular I was wondering if there was any relation between the hare and the whippet from Friday Night Lights #180, considering the historical relationship between the two? My wife and I have a whippet and just adopted an ex-racing greyhound, so I have become very sensitive to sighthound sightings!
    Hi Rob,

    the story behind the hare was just that we wanted to find something visual that would work for the brand and also had some relationship the Scotland. I like the efficiency of the hare, I like the way it moves fast and stays hidden. The graphic itself lends itself to simplicity of speed with legs. Seeing a mountain hare race across a winter hillside in Scotland is an impressive site.

    But basically we just like the logo!

    Steven
    Steven Shand
    www.shandcycles.com
    Bicycle Manufacture - Scotland, UK

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    3
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Shand Cycles

    Hi Steven,
    Have you any plans to introduce a 'mountain' bike to your production frames range, or is that side of the business too diverse? Or do you think you have it covered with the Stoater?
     

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    376
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Shand Cycles

    Quote Originally Posted by firedfromthecircus View Post
    Hi Steven,
    Have you any plans to introduce a 'mountain' bike to your production frames range, or is that side of the business too diverse? Or do you think you have it covered with the Stoater?
    Hi fftc,

    we talk about doing this everyday. And I mean everyday. The problem we face is that you can buy a pretty good imported Reynolds 853 steel hardtail with sliding dropouts for less than £400 ($600) in the UK. We can't sell a frame for much less than £1000 and still make any money. With our current production bikes, we made sure we weren't running directly up against imports. Our best selling bike, the Stoater is also pretty unique. There are similar bikes but certainly nothing fillet brazed or handmade in the UK. We can charge a premium for this and the customers we have for that frame and our Skinnymalinky road frame see the value in the 'hand made' label.

    I remain to be convinced that the mountain biker looking for a new hardtail cares much about where it's made or even how it's put together.

    We'd love to do a mountain bike and in fact that's our roots really. There's a couple of things we can do. One is to be more competitive price wise and the other is to offer something a little different. If we do offer a mountain bike, it'll probably be tig welded. We do have a couple of ideas for 'interesting' and slightly off the wall mountain bikes which we'll probably get round to building in the next 2 or 3 months to test the water.

    We still do full custom mountain bikes but not as many as we used to.

    Cheers

    Steven
    Steven Shand
    www.shandcycles.com
    Bicycle Manufacture - Scotland, UK

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    3
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Shand Cycles

    I look forward to seeing the 'interesting' mtbs.

    Is there a magic number of frames you would need to sell to make the development of a new model worthwhile? I understand the £1000 price tag but I guess that wouldn't be an option if you could only sell one. Or would it? Would any of the bespoke mtb frames you have already built make a good base for a production frame?

    Cheers,
    Barry
     

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    376
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Shand Cycles

    Quote Originally Posted by firedfromthecircus View Post
    I look forward to seeing the 'interesting' mtbs.

    Is there a magic number of frames you would need to sell to make the development of a new model worthwhile? I understand the £1000 price tag but I guess that wouldn't be an option if you could only sell one. Or would it? Would any of the bespoke mtb frames you have already built make a good base for a production frame?

    Cheers,
    Barry
    There is no magic number of frames. Our 'production' process is very labour intensive. For our own brand we're not really concerned about churning out high volume, we're focussed on quality. There's no doubt that with some additional tooling and manpower we could get the costs down. If we cut some corners and do things a little differently then we could get the costs down enough to at least come close to the import pricing. However at that stage all we've done is diluted what we do well, so we can sit in the same saturated market as everyone else. I don't think that's really what we want to do at this stage. Certainly not for our brand at this time.

    However, when we moved into our bigger premises at the start if this year, it was always a plan to have some excess capacity to be able to offer small runs of production frames for third party builders/brands. Bringing paint in house was a part of that too. It'll be a while before we put a lot of effort into this side of the company but we're already committed to building a smallish run of production frames for a new brand launching in the UK next year.

    Speaking to people in the industry it seems like everyone feels with the labour costs increasing as they are in Asia, the price differential between import and domestic manufacture is only going to get smaller. When you factor in costs like shipping, QC, duty, warranty logistics as well as factoring the quicker turnaround on samples/prototypes and being able to be a little more dynamic by implementing a 'leaner' manufacturing methodology, then turning to domestic manufacturing begins to make a little more sense.

    Steven
    Steven Shand
    www.shandcycles.com
    Bicycle Manufacture - Scotland, UK

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    1,572
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Shand Cycles

    Quote Originally Posted by DarrenCT View Post
    beautiful website that's very organized and simple to navigate. i like the simplified offerings of frames.
    ^^This. Really well done; as a curious consumer, I find those sorts of things incredibly appealing.

    Plus I think your AllRoad has just kicked the Salsa Vaya off my wish list! :)
     

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    376
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Shand Cycles

    Sometimes we suck.

    I've badly neglected this smoked out thread despite nudges from Richard. I've been thinking a lot about our business recently. Where it's going, the shape it's in and how much things have changed even in the past year. It's fair to say we've probably dropped the ball a little on customer service and I've written about it here:

    sometimes we suck/
    Steven Shand
    www.shandcycles.com
    Bicycle Manufacture - Scotland, UK

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Better to be ruined than to be silent atmo.
    Posts
    18,248
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Shand Cycles

    That's a great read atmo.
    We're here for you if things go awry.
    Thanks.

Similar Threads

  1. Seven Cycles
    By swoop in forum VSalon Cycling Gallery
    Replies: 349
    Last Post: 3 Hours Ago, 10:13 AM
  2. Progetto Cycles
    By progetto in forum Smoked Out
    Replies: 24
    Last Post: 04-25-2015, 05:08 AM
  3. Huckleberry Cycles
    By bellman in forum Smoked Out
    Replies: 46
    Last Post: 10-25-2011, 05:49 PM
  4. Magnolia Cycles
    By magnoliacycles in forum Smoked Out
    Replies: 25
    Last Post: 04-11-2011, 05:57 PM
  5. Titus cycles RIP
    By steve garro in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 11-10-2010, 10:37 PM

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •