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We specialise in custom builds on classic frames here at Isambard’s. This Bates B.A.R. from the end of last year is one of our favourites to date…
The Bates name was established in 1926, when Horace T Bates set up shop in Plaistow. He began producing frames soon after, and very quickly established a reputation for fine work and innovative thinking. A Bates was a true speedman’s machine – and was favoured by racers and clubmen alike (albeit only those with sponsorship arrangements or deep pockets).
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Somewhere in the dim and still-fading annals of my adolescence, for a birthday which I supposed (about a decade prematurely, I now know) to signal the proximity of my adulthood, I was bought a bicycle which fundamentally changed everything I understood cycling to be about. Like many kids, I’d spent countless formative hours charging round the estate roads and up and down the big hill on the school fields. (Fields now bounded by a secure 10 foot fence. An agonising imponderable this – further liminal angst – who is bounded from what?) Doing myself injuries and discovering thrills. Pleasure and pain, mingling like blood with dirty water.