27th February, 2017 in Electric bike news
Temple Cycles was set up by Matt Mears just over 3 years ago, selling bicycles designed and built in the UK direct to consumers.
Mears started out by restoring vintage bikes to help pay his way through a Mechanical Engineering degree at the University Bristol. On finishing his studies, Mears moved from restoration to designing and developing his own range of bikes, combining his love of vintage aesthetics with the benefits of the more efficient components and improved materials on offer today.
In 2017, the growing young company have noted the “changing landscape of the UK economy,” the “growth in cycling” as well as the congestion on the UK’s roads and see the opportunities those factors present for companies wanting to manufacture in the UK.
While Mears acknowledges that continuing to reinvest the company’s profits back into new stock will provide a steady but healthy growth, his sights are set higher: production of 10,000 bikes a year, changing the way the UK thinks about cycling and venturing into the e-bike manufacturing market. To that end the company have raised £199,500 from 156 investors on Exeter-based Crowdcube.
Although still a fledgling company – the company has sold over 300 bikes in total, with revenue of £125k in 2016 (118% sales growth on its previous year) – Mears’ ambition is for Temple Cycles to be part of the revolution to ‘bring back cycle manufacturing to Britain’ and also has his sights set on designing and building electric bikes in the UK next.
Alex Wilson, of Temple Cycles, told Pedelecs: “Our frames are made by a Taiwanese manufacturer as bicycle frame manufacturing in the UK is a fair way off being able to produce high quality batch frames at a cost which is affordable to the everyday consumer. This is something we want to change and we are putting a large amount of money into research into batch producing frames in the UK.
“The rest of the build process for Temple occurs in our workshop in Bristol. We want to manufacture in the UK for all the main reasons everyone else does. We want to provide employment for the people in our city and help grow the country’s economy. On a business front, we also see the UK manufacturing benefits in quality control. If there would ever be a defective part or process, we would be able to spot the problem and fix it instantly, rather than liaising with a manufacturer the other side of the world, having to send a shipping container worth of frames back and wait for ages for all of this to happen!”
Temple Cycles cite their strengths as being: “experienced, but still very young: a team with fresh ideas and a fresh approach on the UK manufacturing problem. We come from an engineering background, with specialisms in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering and apply these engineering problem-solving approaches to the way we conduct business. The UK has such a rich history of innovation and the bike industry is experiencing an innovative overhaul with the advent of e-bikes. We want to take what we have learnt from the mechanical and aerospace engineering industries to push forward with new, revolutionary e-bike designs.”
Looking to Europe’s lead, Mears also wants to encourage more people to cycle every day in the UK: “We need to catch up with the rest of Europe and integrate cycling into our daily lives. Bikes are a great way of making short journeys, keeping active and reducing the congestion we have on the roads. Hopefully the UK as a nation will start to see bikes in the same way our European friends do: Not as a tool for performance, but a useful everyday object. This is something we try to promote here at Temple Cycles.”
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