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Inspiral Cycles

Auckland Cycle Works - the story so far

Auckland Cycle Works 1898:
Subsidiary of the Lingford Gardiner Company, iron foundry and engine works, Railway Street, Bishop Auckland, County Durham, England. Manufacturer of fine bicycles including the Rational Umpire full-suspension safety bicycle.

Auckland Cycle Works 2023: Company founded to build mountain bikes with the patent pending KOLARP suspension system. Originating from within Inspiral Cycles, Bishop Auckland, County Durham, England. Situated just 200m from the original Auckland Cycle Works, we exist to develop mountain bikes that perform better.

Auckland old map

October 2020 - The Auckland Cycle Works project started as a "what if" experiment.

June 2022 - Alicia at tells the story of how Auckland Cycle Works started:

October 2022 - Gary and Fiona exhibited the Auckland Cycle Works Marra and Reiver at the Bespoked Handmade Bicycle Show 2022 at Lee Valley Velopark. We're massively proud to be the first winners of the Mike Burrows award for invention and innovation.

Bespoked blog - Auckland Cycle Works

October 2022 - Jessie at Bikerumor writes even more on the history, development and tech:

Mike Burrows award
November 2022 - Guy Kesteven gets the world exclusive first proper ride review on the Auckland Cycle Works Marra first prototype. "This thing is dramatic", "Like a Forbidden Druid on crack", "The most amazingly carefully metered and damped suspension stroke".

April 2023 - Gary let some words fall out of his brain. Petor at BESPOKED was kind enough to put them on their blog:

pencil sketch Marra
June 2023 - Gary raced the 2023 Trans BC enduro race on the Marra V1 prototype – Auckland Cycle Works scored an honorable mention for the best home-made bike that survived the whole event with zero mechanicals. No chain drops. No adjustments necessary. The Trans BC Enduro was 6 big days, a total of 118 miles and 28660ft (8735m) of climbing – blind enduro racing down the most relentless gnarly janky BC tech at Vedder, Seymour, Fromme, Squamish, Pemberton and Whistler. Gary says that Marra allowed him to plough through the rough stuff, stay efficient and smooth on the climbs even when they got techy, and the incredible braking performance and chassis stability kept him safe when he overcooked it – which happened often!

Gary with Marra V1 at Whistler - Trans BC 2023

October 2023 - The Bespoked show at Dresden was amazing. The new Marra V2 prototype was only completed a few hours before the shipping deadline!

December 2023 - dedicated a whole page of actual printed media to Auckland Cycle Works!

Bikemag Germany two page spread


20th May 2024 – We learned that long yokes are bad for your shock. Designing this out gives us the opportunity to play with the leverage ratios – so we’ve made it more progressive.

I’ve been through over 50 different linkage design iterations, maintaining the feeling of endless supportive mid-stroke, but providing more bottom-out resistance. With this new linkage we have protected the shock from side-loads and improved the kinematics in line with all the testing we’ve done. This is a big step forwards, and also makes the bike compatible with 65mm or 75mm stroke shocks, changing the travel from 165mm to 190mm.

We now need to get this machined and welded and painted in time for Bespoked Manchester at the end of June. We’re not panicking yet!


Coming next: Bespoked Manchester, 28-30th June 2024. A bike show dedicated to people who do things differently. See you there.