London’s longest surviving frame-builder to close after 75 years in the trade

Roberts Cycles, which has been building bikes in South London under its own brand since the sixties, is to close down its Croydon workshop and showroom. Chas Roberts, son of Charlie Roberts who founded the business in the cellar of his South London home, is taking a ‘sabbatical’ after more than 35 years at the helm.

Afficionados of the exotic hand-built frames will have a chance to bid for bikes built for bike shows in a showroom closing sale that starts imminently. Included are road bikes, mountain bikes and bikes with couplings that make them collapsible for travel.

The Roberts family has been involved in bike-making continuously for more than 75 years and the firm’s history is intertwined with other great South London names like Claud Butler and Holdsworth, where Charlie Roberts was works manager before starting out on his own. Roberts built frames for world champion Tony Doyle and British mountain bike champions Tim Gould and Dave Baker.

The firm recently won a framebuilder’s award at the Bespoked bicycle show. Roberts frames were virtually all made to order for individual customers and included such curiosities as a bike for Britain’s biggest man, a bicycle operated by both hands and legs and Britain’s lightest collapsible racing bike.