Photograph above by: morganebigault.com @morganebigault
Drawn caricature (right): Adeline O'Moreau of Mercredi Bikes
Pride. Quality. Care… and a passion for cycling go into every set of wheels I make. Whether you know exactly what you want or need impartial advice in choosing the best combination of components to fulfil your needs, I am happy to help. I approach repairs and upgrades of your existing wheels in the same manner, aiming for as good or better than new performance.
I started working in my local bike shop in Medway, Kent, as a Saturday boy from about the age of 12. My father got into mountain biking relatively late after buying a Trek Antelope second hand. I joined him and together we found an MTB club and went from there. I remember my first good mountain bike, bought with the princely earnings from working at the shop and (mainly) my parents' money. It was a '95 Marin Eldridge Grade and although I remember every technical detail about it, my lasting memory is that it will probably be the coolest bike I will ever have owned.
Working in the shop gave me the opportunity to learn and work alongside people who, looking back, really knew their onions, and I soaked it all up... in some ways literally. I don't think my hands have been properly clean since about Spring 1995. One other benefit I gained was riding a huge range of bikes, equipment and wheels. Whilst reading reviews can inform you as to the best choices available, actually owning, riding and racing on those components gives you an insight into how things work or don't work and perform, that a written review cannot.
I started racing MTB from 13 years old until my late teens and did okay. For a few years I was a member of the Cannondale Junior Development Team and raced locally, regionally and nationally in Cross Country.
I left working in an actual bike shop at about the age of 20 as for a brief period I fell out of love with cycling(!) This period saw me find other sources of gainful employment but as I moved away from actually working on bikes as a profession, the love of the sport followed me until I got back on the bike a year or so later...
It wasn't long before I got into road riding and then racing and I remembered the love I have for working on bikes.
Cat's Whiskers Wheels