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  • I worked as a Saturday boy in Pearsons and made good friends with the old mechanic there- a certain Cliff Shrubb who had become bored of his own company brazing frames in a shed. In 2002 I persuaded him to build me a track frame for which he charged me almost nothing as long as I told no one the cost nor asked for the specs of the tubes.

    Custom geometry with slightly oversized tubing, sloping top tube and a new-to-road bikes 1" threadless steerer. Cliff was a true master when it came to brazing and so I had it clear laquered to show off his craft. It got its debut at the 2003 Good Friday Meeting with pretty basic bits and borrowed nice wheels.

    A couple of years later my friend Scott got Cliff to make him something similar. We thought we looked very cool on matching bikes in matching kit for madisons!

    During the national madison champs in 2006 I crashed, denting the top tube. Cliff filled the dent and I had the front of the bike sprayed in a pearlescent white. The bike got gradually upgraded over the years but eventually I realised that it wasn't as fast as the modern carbon bikes that were coming through. 14 year itch?!

    Cliff had died by 2016, however he had taught Richard Hallett to build frames in the meantime, so there was only one person I was going to to get a replacement faster, more modern bike made by! The arrival of the Hallett didn't mean the end of the Shrubb though. I will never get rid of it and it is literally irreplaceable. It still gets raced occasionally 20 years after that Saturday boy bribed his old friend with Eccles cakes to build him a frame. RIP Cliff.


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