Guest Post: Milk Bikes Part Four

We are very close to the Handbuilt Show and Milk are almost ready, well kind of! Really chuffed they’ve found time to share the build of this with us and great to see something close to a finished bike. So without delay here is the fourth instalment.

Milk Bikes - Series 1 - Build 4

Milk Bikes Series 1 – The Build

Milk Bikes - Series 1 - Build 5
Milk Bikes - Series 1 - Build 1

The last week has been emotional. It always is when there’s an impending deadline that’s this important. We needed to get the Series 1 prototype built before the photo shoot in Chelmsford at the weekend.

The colours and graphics that Rebecca J Kaye put together for this project are beautiful and bold, and seeing them in paint on the frame for the first time was scary, but so exciting. Finally seeing and being able to pick up and feel the weight of something that has always been an A4 printout or another hand-drawn sketch is a fantastic feeling.

Milk Bikes - Series 1 - Build 2
That feeling didn’t last too long as the frameset was just the starting point; the skeleton of this project, and something to attach all the other bits to.

In the end it took three good days of spanners, Allen keys, drills, sweat, polishing, coffee, swearing, cutting, hoovering thread (a bit more swearing), head-scratching and, finally, tears of joy (figuratively speaking – I didn’t actually cry, close though). There were a few close calls with a couple of key bits arriving just on time; the Royal Mail Special Delivery guy did his thing on Saturday and the bike was at least ride-worthy (ish) by the time we needed to take some snaps.

Milk Bikes - Series 1 - Build 3

It was great to see the bike come to life as each component was fitted. It didn’t all go to plan though, these things never do. There were some parts that didn’t fit. At times it felt like there were more bits going back into boxes than going on the bike! But then the next milestone was reached, the bike looked good and the mood improved. One such milestone that really stands out for me was fitting the porter rack with the polished milk bottle brackets. Oh, and the little stainless bullets that hold the wooden belt-guard on, that was a good one too. Jon from Fresh Fabrications did an awesome job with those; they work really well the walnut belt-guard by Simon at Woodguards.

Milk Bikes - Series 1 - Build 6

Sunday morning was pretty good. The bike was finally together. Crucially, the rain stopped when we needed and we managed to find some great spots to take photos. A few people stopped to have a look at the bike when we were shooting in the middle of town. There was a lot of love for it which is cool; it means that we’re not totally nuts and may well have done a good job with this bike, our first Milk Bikes Series bike. If you can, come down to the Bespoked Handmade Show and let us know what you think.

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