In 2009 a company was formed by Andy Jones called Sledhead Bobbers, which would later be know as Sledhead Custom Cycles. Andy, who had taken inspiration from the Zero Engineering style, started to build bikes for friends and family out of his garden shed, little did he know that very quickly his creations would become desirable from all corners of the globe!
A recent relocation has seen the newly named company (Sledhead Custom Cycles) relocate to a small town just north of Cardiff. Upon entering the store you are welcomed with the sound of V-twins burbling to life from the back of the shop and the whiff of exhaust in the air. Pep is the man behind the desk who does the bulk of the networking for the business. A former Harley Davidson employee, Pep started working for the growing business in May 2015 and he joined at an exciting time. The welcome is warm from everyone there and as a company that prides themselves on customer service this would be expected.
The name change was a decision bought forward to demonstrate that the business was not limited to bobbers. With seven full time employees the shop is a hive of activity, all manner of work is undertaken, from basic services to restorations, MOTs to complete bespoke builds. Sledheads has built a reputation for quality, not only in one off builds, but also as a reliable and friendly location to have basic work done to your pride and joy. This has spread to the point that they now have customers coming from as far as Newcastle for work doing to their cruisers. Gone are the days of unfriendly staff in bike shops, the value of quality customer service simply cannot be under-estimated!
As for their custom builds, there is demand from rock stars to royalty from all around the world with orders even coming from the USA which was quite a surprise to us (given that the custom scene is so well established in the USA already). Pep said that an American client had seen one of their bikes and tried to get a local builder to build a replica of their bike in the USA, however the quote had been nearly triple the cost of an original Sledhead Custom! This goes to show that despite their rapid increase in fame, Sledhead prices had remained affordable and clear, with one off builds starting from £10,750.
The shop is set up to complete nearly all of the tasks involved with the build, the only task out-sourced is the paintwork. The company currently produces on average two custom builds a month and the waiting list is around 6 months long.
Organisation and structure seems to be a big part of the business and almost certainly a significant factor in the progression of their business. The ethos is for everything to be 100% perfect. The final step for each of the new builds is to undergo three individual quality tests by the same three employees, the final test is conducted by Andy himself. The risk, Pep says, is that as the business grows the personal edge can be lost and this is a trap that Sledhead are not willing to fall into.
The shop is a friendly environment, a place that would welcome you even if you are just in the area and want to have a look around. The shop is packed with bikes as well as general merchandise including Blitwell helmets and Lucas Oils for the discerning customer!
For more information on Sledhead Custom Cycles visit their website here.