Building the Bob Jackson

I turned 30 last year. Pretty old I know and yeah I’m definitely getting on a bit now so I promised myself I’d get a proper road bike. I looked around at the big boys in the bike world but just couldn’t find exactly what I was after. All the carbon components and super-light frames were a big attraction but I wanted a bit more of something from my bike. It took me a while to figure it out what it was but the quality I wanted most of all in my bike was the feeling of craftsmanship. That meant a custom build.

The frame

My first choice was titanium. I’m not sure why but the word kind of makes it sound like some amazing wonder material and well, it was used to get man on the moon. There are lots of benefits to it but the cost is high and I wanted my frame painted blue so I chose another of my favourite materials, steel.

I love steel. Steel frames have a long history in cycling and can be repaired easier than other materials which is great, I want this bike to last a long long time and steel frames last for donkeys years.

There are a lot of frame builders in the UK though sadly many went out of business a long time ago a few still remain. One of my favourites being Bob Jackson. They know a thing or two about building bikes having started out before WW2. Have a read about their history. They famously built the curly Hetchins frames which had curly chain stays and a curved seat stay.

OK, I knew who I wanted to build my frame but which one did I need? Plenty of thinking happened, did I want an all rounder, something fast and racy or a comfy commuter? The Audax frame is superb and it does everything well so it was a tough decision not to go for that. In the end I decided this bike has to be about bringing together traditional bike building materials with modern components to create a fast and racy feel. With that in mind I chose the Olympus Road frame.

Being impatient I went for an off the peg frame rather than waiting for an expensive 853 build (though maybe on another bike!). Well, it has turned up and I love it. Here’s a few photos of it for you to enjoy. Now I need to choose the other components so expect more words and photos as the build takes place.

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  • Mike Dunning

    I particularly like the colour of your frame. Is it Blue 003 Metallic? If not what shade of blue is it ? I’m having a touring frame made by a Bob Jackson and would like the same colour.



  • Dan

    Hi Mike, it’s a Metallic Blue ‘S’ – second row of the metallic paint chart on their site. Please send a photo through of your bike when it’s complete, we’d love to see it. Would be great to have a touring bike too!


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