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Norwich bicycle framebuilder wins national competition

PUBLISHED: 06:30 29 June 2011

Tom Donhou in his Norwich workshop.; Photo: Bill Smith

Tom Donhou in his Norwich workshop.; Photo: Bill Smith

Archant © 2011

A Norwich bicycle framebuilder has won a national competition - despite being in business for only a year.

Tom Donhou, 30, from Waterloo Road, won best in show at the Bespoked Bristol event earlier in the month.

Despite having made just 14 bikes, his Donhou town bike stole the show.

Tom said: “I am delighted to have won. I wasn’t sure what to expect.

“The show marked a year for me. The past year has been non stop, I have been trying to teach myself every little thing.”

Bicycles have always been in Tom’s blood and his uncle used to manufacture bikes in Rackheath.

“I only build in steel. Every bike is a one-off design. It’s the same as going to Saville Row for a suit, ” he said.

Tom builds all Donhou bikes in a workshop in Pitt Street.

One of the judges at the Bespoked Bristol event, Tim March, said: “Without doubt the Donhou bike was the show stealer – the attention to detail, unique ideas and minimalist lines set it apart from all-comers. A bike that just begged to be ridden as soon as I laid eyes on it, handmade and heavenly.”

Tom said: “The bike which won the show was a customer’s bike and he hasn’t seen it before. He was pretty stoked when he found out. He didn’t know he had won because he works offshore.”

The inspiration came for Tom start his own business during an 8,000 mile ride from Mongolia to Singapore across the Gobi Desert and through China and South East Asia.

He said: “I had a lot of time to think. I realised I could combine my two passions. Business has been booming. I am doing what I want to be doing. I want to build more and more frames.”

Have you won a national competition? Call reporter Lucy Wright on 01603 772495 or email lucy.wright@archant.co.uk

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