Shand gears up to make bikes in Scotland

A BICYCLE firm from Livingston is drawing on Scotland’s rich natural heritage to launch its first range of production frames.

Shand Cycles has been making bespoke bikes since it was founded by Steven Shand in 2003 but is now launching two production bikes – the “Stoater” and the “Stooshie” – which it will market based on Scotland’s reputation for rugged mountains and roads.

Instead of outsourcing production to the Far East, the company will build the frames in West Lothian and will offer accessories for the bikes from other UK suppliers, such as Hope and Reynolds. The firm will build about 300 frames each year initially, but will take on further staff if demand is high.

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Shand director Russell Stout said the firm wanted to create a small number of quality bikes rather than going for mass production in Asia. The frames will sell for about £1,200 each.

Stout said there was still a strong interest in Scottish bikes following the popularity of Rattrays’ “Flying Scot” model in the 1960s. He added: “The obvious thing would have been to produce the bikes in Taiwan but that didn’t feel right because we want to appeal to riders who want a higher-quality product made in Scotland. A lot of people have fond memories of bikes like the Flying Scot.”

The company is also gearing up to launch a third model – the “Skinnymalinky” – at the end of the month.

Scottish Enterprise estimates that the bike market is worth £2.47 billion a year to the UK economy and last month launched a scheme to help businesses north of the Border to grow their share of sales in the sector.