Parcours x 1816

It was great to catch up with Parcours partner brand, 1816, recently to find out more about what they do, how 1816 bikes are created and why they partner with Parcours. Find out more about their amazing bespoke bikes below...

Tell us a bit more about 1816 and how the business came about? 

Tink: A little by accident tbh... there's 3 of us in the business each bringing our own expertise to the team. Jonty and I had studied design together at University and always cycled together whether that's been downhill MTB, road, CX or enduro and more recently some eMTB. We were discussing bikes on his wedding evening(!!) in the bar and had both said we couldn't find the bike we wanted to buy. We didn't know what we were riding was called gravel at that time but knew the kind of frame we were after. With our working backgrounds in product development we set a challenge of making ourselves a couple of frames. These turned out pretty well and we got on with riding them at UK gravel events!
I knew Stuart through one of his other cycling and running apparel brands that used to organise a monthly 10km run local to my old office and he knew we were riding this new gravel bike and asked to borrow it for an event he'd been invited on. At the end of the ride he wanted to not only buy the bike, but to get involved and create a brand together calling on our backgrounds, tastes and particular areas of expertise. 

What is the process of creating one of your bespoke bikes?

Tink: No 2 bikes have left the 1816 workshop the same - we may list standard specs on the website but have almost always incorporated custom specs or bespoke paint details to each build. We're a tiny brand and the majority of our projects come about by word-of-mouth, or by riders seeing one of our existing bikes on an event or ride from the local cafe. This means we discuss with each customer and explore spec, paint and build options to produce a one-of-one bike for that customer. We have a distinct 1816 style, a thirst for combining the right parts and producing a genuinely great bike to ride whilst remaining competitive against the big brands. 

Could you talk us through the range of bikes you have on offer and the bespoke adjustments people can make? 

Tink: Our frames are designed for fast-gravel and clean aesthetics. Component offerings fit this philosophy too and function, performance, quality and style all come into the mix with producing a spec. Bespoke adjustments can be anything from a particular choice of component, upgrade options on components, or custom paint - whether its a small detail such as a name or flag, to a full frame artwork; we give it the 1816 treatment and work directly with customers to create their ride. 
We have 4 standard proposals built around component specs we have tried and tested and all our colourways call on our automotive and motorsport backgrounds or interests. The current standard colours are the iconic Audi Nardo Grey and Porsche Aga Blue. Bespoke colourways also use traditional automotive colours and combined with our detail pattern styling produce a recognisably-1816 machine. The clean aesthetic of each bike hides a lot of detail in the artwork.  

What made you decide to offer Parcours wheels on your builds?

Tink: We had been using a well-known brand for the majority of our wheels but were having too many warranty issues and disappointing bearing lifetimes which just didn't seem to be giving us or the customer value for money. I had already been using the Parcours Strade wheelset on my own road bike after a recommendation; loved the ride, the support and the engineering and development which goes into a Parcours wheelset whilst being a small, local brand that was a breath of fresh air to deal with. With the Ronde, Alta and later-on Classified build options available, these are now our go-to wheelsets for all builds; standard or bespoke. 

Do you enjoy riding and using the Parcours Alta wheelset in your builds?

Tink: Absolutely - we ride when we're not in the workshop so are continually trying components and incorporating what we learn and prefer across our own bikes and suggestions for our customer builds. I've already mentioned I own a Parcours Strade wheelset on the road and my main gravel bike uses a Parcours Ronde wheelset (with ceramic bearing upgrade and non-standard decals) whilst we also have Alta wheelsets in the fleet. There's upgrade options and bespoke elements available from Parcours that we can incorporate to our bespoke program. 


Where would your dream ride with your 1816 bike be? 

Tink: Tricky question! We all live close to some incredible terrain and awesome trails but exploring the world is in our blood. I'm very lucky with the work that I have to be able to travel with my bike; aside from 1816, I work as a Ride Captain for a cycling events company completing multi-day stage rides in Europe, South Africa and further afield and also have a freelance day-job in the movie industry which sends me to some interesting locations; I try to always have a bike with me. My next big ride plan is the length of New Zealand on gravel later this year. Its the best place on earth! 

Want to find out more about 1816's bikes, check out the website here...

Photo credit: Simon Gill