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All photos by Neutal WA
You may have stumbled across these images before: treasures from Flickr taken in the workshop of Aende during the 1980s. Aende is one of the more obscure brands of British framebuilding but has developed a cult status due to the story of its creator, Alan Braitwaite, and seems relevant today as we see the resurgence of handmade frame-craft in the UK.
Having trained as a bricklayer Braithwaite or “Pongo” to many cut his bike-building teeth at Carlton-Raleigh in his native Nottingham. He then built frames for A & C Sports, namely Paramount frames. This eventually led him to set up his own frame marque, Aende.
A decent time-trialler for his club North Notts Olympic Road Club, which he became president of, Pongo’s frames were regularly built for time-trialists. Top British testers such as Mick Bradshaw, Tom Mullins, Noel Lilley, Dave Beaumont and Mick Gadsby rode his TT frames by choice.
He also built various other types of rigs such as track frames (noted for their tight clearances and straight forks), touring steeds and low-pro beasts with materials such as Reynolds 653, 531, Columbus SL and SLX, Nervex lugs, Campagnolo drop outs and so on. These East Midlands machines are now well sought after.
He regularly had a three-month waiting list even though he never moved beyond one workshop, first a shed and then the backroom of his house in Nottingham. By all accounts it seems Pongo was a thoroughly nice man and clearly loved his craft and the world of road cycling. Pongo moved to the Philippines in the 90s and is sadly no longer with us.
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