Cogs are always turning in the Wired Workshop at Allez Allez.
The Wired Workshop can be found at Allez Allez cafe in Ongar High Street, Essex. Within the walls of the workshop, Darren and Andy work hard, fuelled by coffee, cake and imagination, to create custom bikes that are truly unique. The cycles they design and make aren’t what you might expect of a bespoke bike, made for professionals only, they specialise in extraordinary bikes for ordinary people.
It’s not just coincidence that the custom bike workshop is across the back patio from Allez Allez cafe. There can’t be many better ways to start creating your dream bespoke bike than in our friendly cafe, chatting about what you are after over a fresh roast coffee and cake! Darren will start by asking you questions about how you would like to use your bike. Rather than being driven by what you think a bike is capable of, he will encourage you to think big about what your ideal bike would be able to do. It might be a specific issue with cycling that you would like to fix - such as comfort on long rides, stability on roads or adapting to your body shape. Or it could be having one bike that can cover all of the uses you choose, matching up well to the demands of a commute and a leisure ride, for fitness and for off-road exploring. Plus, they like to make a bike look good too, because a boutique bike should look the part, not just work brilliantly. Contact us to book your initial consultation and start building the bike you never knew you could have.
Extraordinary bikes for ordinary people
If you buy off-the-shelf then a race bike won’t have the stability in thin tyres for a regular commute, a leisure bike may be too heavy for racing and ride comfort is likely to be compromised in all scenarios. This first conversation will inform the custom design and build, giving you one bike to cover three or four different jobs in your life.
Whether you are looking to make a lifestyle change, take part in a charity event, improve your fitness, take your current cycling up a level or achieve the edge in a sportive, you might be surprised what a custom bike can do. Darren would love to talk bikes with you, whatever kind of cyclist you are, please get in touch or drop by Allez Allez cafe in Ongar to share some excitement for new possibilities!
Yes, any bike can be upgraded to a point. If you have a great frame, you will really feel the difference with new tyres, wheels, group set, even the handlebars and saddle. Great parts added to a low-quality frame simply won’t work as well as cheaper parts on a quality frame. A custom bike allows you to build smarter overall, making sure every component works together to match your purpose.
You’ve planned your cycle route, you’ve packed up your lunch (from Allez Allez cafe if you’re in the area, nudge nudge!), and you head out for the day. As the miles rack up though, your enjoyment starts to reduce as you become tired and the bike starts to feel heavy. If you find yourself cursing your wheels and wishing it felt easier to get you up the next hill, you might well be wishing for a lighter bike. However, we promise that lighter is not always the answer. The solution to your problem will be bespoke to you and the answer won’t necessarily be readily available. Andy and Darren love a proper challenge and will adapt equipment and test new ideas to get it right.
If the weight of your bike is a real issue for you, you are probably into racing. Darren and Andy understand what makes a great racing bike and will look for what will really help you go faster or further, not just what the latest trend is. Through smart design, they recently created a steel bike that was lighter than a carbon bike. With a custom race bike you can ask for more than lightness too - comfort, ride position, handling can all be adapted to your exact needs. For example, if you’re entering endurance events, a more upright position for your back could help you go further, more than taking extra weight taken out of the bike might.
Racing bikes are great fun to make, Darren and Andy love the challenge and will always aim to build a better bike from parts than you could buy in a mainstream shop. A custom bike will allow you to put the emphasis of the budget where you need it most. After creating the right frame for you, the tyres, wheels and group set can be selected to work brilliantly together, optimising your performance.
What kind of bike is best for a beginner? What kind of bike is best for a sportive? Do I need a different bike for commuting? Can one bike do it all?
These questions might seem unrelated but the Allez Allez approach to custom bikes means that they will build to your needs, even if they are quite wide-ranging. A bike doesn’t have to be heavy to be strong, trendy materials aren’t necessarily the right ones for your purpose and a commuter bike doesn’t have to stick to weekdays. Darren loves to talk about how you will really use your bike, what your cycling priorities are and make sure that between him and Andy they design and build a custom bike that will get you out and about, enjoying a ride in the sun in the same way they do! Their personal experience is exactly what led them to create bespoke bikes and that helps them to devise flexible and innovative solutions to give you the bike you really need.
Comfort is a high priority and what one person finds comfortable won’t be the same for everyone. Many off-the-shelf bikes are built around the latest styles, driven by the technology seen in top global races like the Tour de France. The reality is that the vast majority of people will not be training or competing at that level and a bike made for those events will actually involve more compromise than benefit. The cycle industry has been built around races but if you want to enjoy your ride and get out more, comfort needs to be a higher concern. The latest bike models aren’t made for the average person and if you’re just getting on your wheels or upping your riding from leisure rides to a regular commute, you’re going to need to feel comfortable to ensure your bike gets maximum usage and doesn’t just end up locked in the shed.