Author Topic: Bob Jackson to close  (Read 4027 times)

Bob Jackson to close
« on: October 17, 2020, 08:33:51 am »
I just heard that bob Jackson is closing for good.   Covid, an aging workforce and declining orders, they’re basically retiring

http://www.bobjacksoncycles.co.uk/

https://bikeretrogrouch.blogspot.com/2020/10/sad-news-bob-jackson-cycles-closing.html?m=1&fbclid=IwAR2tiHlC5axFuijW1hk2Q7LRxy4srIbyFb8G4t5Q9XbtxkOSrc9uq-o3yUk

Re: Bob Jackson to close
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2020, 08:51:12 am »
There seem to be plenty of other custom builders still, like Shand for instance. Perhaps the younger frame builders want a bigger slice of the monetary pie, so set up on their own, rather than go and work for another business. And of course custom frames can be got from larger businesses like Argos.
We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

Re: Bob Jackson to close
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2020, 10:05:52 am »
We were in the process of ordering a new custom frame from JD tandems. That's quite saddening and annoying. I'll ask Ruth what sort of other solutions they have on hand.

Re: Bob Jackson to close
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2020, 10:55:54 am »
I'd be happy to jack in my job and train as a framebuilder, but I'm nowhere near Leeds.  I could have 30 more years in me if I kept going as long as Ron Cooper did.

Argos are snowed under with work right now.  They don't get many framebuilding orders - it's mostly refurbs - but that could change.  An Argos frame is better built than a BJ - I think Garry silver solders throughout - but the prices are scary and the decals aren't as stylish.

I imagine BJ could sell the brand to another builder (for the love of $DEITY, not PlanetX) for good money.
And Darkness and Decay and the Coronavirus held illimitable dominion over all.

Karla

  • car(e) free
    • Lost Byway - around the world by bike
Re: Bob Jackson to close
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2020, 11:20:19 am »
I've heard a few too many stories of poor service from BJ.  I looked at a custom build a few years ago when I was in the area and if I'd gone down that route in the end, it would have been with Woodrup.

[Edit: or else with Poetry in Motion Cycles in York.  I've had Dylan do me some jobs before and they've all been fine so I trust his workmanship.  The other York-based framebuilder of note is Ricky Feather, but he's usually booked up into the next century.  ]

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Bob Jackson to close
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2020, 11:39:20 am »
I'd be happy to jack in my job and train as a framebuilder, but I'm nowhere near Leeds.  I could have 30 more years in me if I kept going as long as Ron Cooper did.
You could do a course with Swallow, for instance, and set up yourself as a Swindon's answer to what BJ and Argos don't have capacity for. But what seems to be on the up now is smaller builders with their own distinctive styles, like Pi Manson and Quirk. Or the other quirky outfits seen at Bespoked. Their prices are correspondingly high but, judging by Pi at least, there isn't actually a huge amount of money in it.
Faster than a walk, slower than a train, often slightly higher than a person. (David Byrne)

Re: Bob Jackson to close
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2020, 01:41:37 pm »
If I was 20 years younger I would move to Leeds like a shot to learn a trade like that.

I don't recall reading in the Road CC article about Covid or declining sales being a reason for closing.

I think it will be a big blow to John and Ruth, real shame.

Tim Hall

  • Victoria is my queen
Re: Bob Jackson to close
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2020, 02:27:08 pm »
Pilgrim Cycles, at the foot of Box Hill, get frames from Bob Jackson too which they badge up for their own range.
There are two ways you can get exercise out of a bicycle: you can
"overhaul" it, or you can ride it.  (Jerome K Jerome)

Re: Bob Jackson to close
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2020, 03:01:44 pm »
They did quite a lot for other shops, and I think they did Woodrup’s paint too. Woodrup’s builder worked at Bob Jackson in the past as well.

It’s a shame, but retirement is fair enough if they want it. You would have thought the brand was worth continuing though.

Re: Bob Jackson to close
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2020, 03:26:02 pm »
Pilgrim Cycles, at the foot of Box Hill, get frames from Bob Jackson too which they badge up for their own range.
... and also build their own. I've seen a frame tacked-up in a jig when I've been in there.

ETA - just realised this thread is in the tandem section. Not sure they have built a tandem yet.

Re: Bob Jackson to close
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2020, 04:39:11 pm »
They did indeed make tandem frames, I had one about 20 years ago. My wife hated stoking and preferred to ride her solo, so I sold it.

They also did the frame painting for the 'flying gate' frames, Trevor Jarvis always preferred their paint jobs for his precious creations.

Most people tip-toe through life hoping the make it safely to death.
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Re: Bob Jackson to close
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2020, 05:13:13 pm »
I've heard a few too many stories of poor service from BJ.

I've heard a few too, they seemed to be customer service rather than the product though, and I kind of understand that for a small group of older guys focused on the product and now set against the bigger and more internet savvy companies.

I used them for resprays a couple of times and was very happy with the results, it wasn't a quick service but that was fine by me.
I know there are quite a few new builders around now but afaik none of them build tandems.  I'm really sorry to hear of this.  I'm glad we got ours a few months ago.  Just back from another great run on it around the stirling mosses.


Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Bob Jackson to close
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2020, 05:33:28 pm »
Ah, hadn't noticed this was specifically referring to tandems and their builders!
Faster than a walk, slower than a train, often slightly higher than a person. (David Byrne)

Re: Bob Jackson to close
« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2020, 06:01:28 pm »
Not really cudzoz'   I just put it here as they were mentioned a few times in recent threads

Re: Bob Jackson to close
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2020, 08:57:57 pm »
I had four really good resprays done by them.  They really messed up a fork job (steerer swap), though, leaving the dropouts about 90mm apart.  It had to go back and be redone.  They forgot the decals that time and I never trusted it not to kill me one day.
And Darkness and Decay and the Coronavirus held illimitable dominion over all.

Re: Bob Jackson to close
« Reply #15 on: October 18, 2020, 11:36:47 am »
Very sad news indeed.

It isn't just JD Tandems that could be affected by Bob Jackson closing, a few years ago when chatting with them I learnt that all Thorn frames equipped with S&S couplers have the modification done be them.

I’ve never had a BJ bike but I have used them for frame resprays /mods, though more recently I’ve gone to Kinetics in Glasgow for that sort of thing.

Re: Bob Jackson to close
« Reply #16 on: October 20, 2020, 10:31:24 pm »
Pleased I was able to take delivery of my BJ tandem three weeks ago from John & Ruth. Wonderful machine.
FWIW, we purchased it because Covid has removed our main hobby (dancing) and also we had funds earmarked for foreign holiday which we didn't take due to Covid. So in our case, Covid generated a new tandem.
Very pleased to buy British.
I don't know where you would get a British made tandem with couplers. I asked Steven Shand a few years ago, he wasn't interested.

Re: Bob Jackson to close
« Reply #17 on: October 20, 2020, 10:38:58 pm »
Pleased I was able to take delivery of my BJ tandem three weeks ago from John & Ruth. Wonderful machine.
FWIW, we purchased it because Covid has removed our main hobby (dancing) and also we had funds earmarked for foreign holiday which we didn't take due to Covid. So in our case, Covid generated a new tandem.
Very pleased to buy British.
I don't know where you would get a British made tandem with couplers. I asked Steven Shand a few years ago, he wasn't interested.

I think that it is still possible to get a bespoke tandem made by Locks of Sandwich, Roberts & Longstaff, probably others too.

Thorn, Orbit and Circe are all UK based of course and although they bring their fames in from the far east they are still desgined and built to those companies desgins and standards.

Re: Bob Jackson to close
« Reply #18 on: October 20, 2020, 11:07:09 pm »
Pleased I was able to take delivery of my BJ tandem three weeks ago from John & Ruth. Wonderful machine.
FWIW, we purchased it because Covid has removed our main hobby (dancing) and also we had funds earmarked for foreign holiday which we didn't take due to Covid. So in our case, Covid generated a new tandem.
Very pleased to buy British.
I don't know where you would get a British made tandem with couplers. I asked Steven Shand a few years ago, he wasn't interested.

I think that it is still possible to get a bespoke tandem made by Locks of Sandwich, Roberts & Longstaff, probably others too.

Thorn, Orbit and Circe are all UK based of course and although they bring their fames in from the far east they are still desgined and built to those companies desgins and standards.
Sadly Chas Roberts retired several years ago.
Longstaff don't currently do tandems - I checked earlier this year.
Don't know of Locks of Sandwich.
Had one Thorn,  enjoyed it, but sadly 120mm too short on the rear, and made of pretty heavy steel.
Circe - aren't they small wheels and flat bars  - not for me thanks.
My BJ is actually branded Orbit as well, and is an Orbit Sapphire Pro, made by BJ. Very pleased to have purchased it.

Re: Bob Jackson to close
« Reply #19 on: October 21, 2020, 04:45:58 pm »
I thought Locks stopped making tandems almost a decade ago. I'd like to wrong though.
California Dreaming

Re: Bob Jackson to close
« Reply #20 on: October 21, 2020, 06:53:00 pm »
Pleased I was able to take delivery of my BJ tandem three weeks ago from John & Ruth. Wonderful machine.
FWIW, we purchased it because Covid has removed our main hobby (dancing) and also we had funds earmarked for foreign holiday which we didn't take due to Covid. So in our case, Covid generated a new tandem.
Very pleased to buy British.
I don't know where you would get a British made tandem with couplers. I asked Steven Shand a few years ago, he wasn't interested.

I think that it is still possible to get a bespoke tandem made by Locks of Sandwich, Roberts & Longstaff, probably others too.

Thorn, Orbit and Circe are all UK based of course and although they bring their fames in from the far east they are still desgined and built to those companies desgins and standards.
Sadly Chas Roberts retired several years ago.
Longstaff don't currently do tandems - I checked earlier this year.
Don't know of Locks of Sandwich.
Had one Thorn,  enjoyed it, but sadly 120mm too short on the rear, and made of pretty heavy steel.
Circe - aren't they small wheels and flat bars  - not for me thanks.
My BJ is actually branded Orbit as well, and is an Orbit Sapphire Pro, made by BJ. Very pleased to have purchased it.
George Longstaff regrettably died a few years ago, and the business closed.
Jason Rourke ( son of Brian) has the jigs and such like and is a very well respected builder. I’ve never heard of him doing a tandem though.
If you want a proper, traditionally built, tandem I can’t think of anyone other than Mercian just now.

Re: Bob Jackson to close
« Reply #21 on: October 21, 2020, 07:16:53 pm »
Do Swallow/Bicycles by Design (in Ironbridge) still make tandems?

IanN

  • Voon
Re: Bob Jackson to close
« Reply #22 on: October 21, 2020, 07:25:14 pm »
They get some very shiny and fast ones made (in Czech rep, possibly), but not built in house any more - I think

DaveJ

  • Happy days
Re: Bob Jackson to close
« Reply #23 on: October 21, 2020, 09:53:35 pm »
Geoff Roberts is still building tandems.

Re: Bob Jackson to close
« Reply #24 on: October 21, 2020, 10:19:58 pm »
Geoff Booker ( Trykit ) builds tandem trikes .
Four wheels move the body, two wheels move the soul  three wheels Nurses !!!