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Bowman Cycles returns under new ownership

The British bike company was liquidated in January after what the then-owner described as a “absolute clusterf**k” of supply chain issues

British bike manufacturer Bowman Cycles is back in business, eight months after the company was liquidated following a prolonged struggle with supply chain issues during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a post shared on the brand’s Facebook page yesterday – the first written social media update associated with the company since July 2021 – the new owners proclaimed that “Bowman are back” and that they are “really excited about getting the Bowman brand back on track and hope that we can welcome back our customers every soon”.

In a statement released on the brand’s website yesterday, owner Lee James ‘Jim’ Crossland clarified that Bowman Cycles Ltd is “a new trading business with an established name”.

The new trading name was incorporated by Crossland in early April, three months after BB Velo – the company’s trading name under the ownership of Neil Webb – appointed a voluntary liquidator.

> Bowman Cycles liquidates after "absolute clusterf**k" of supply chain issues 

In November last year, Bowman’s founder and managing director Webb told of his brand’s supply chain woes, which he claimed had a devastating effect on their ability to fulfil orders, but stressed that he was trying to “work out how to refinance” the business.

Webb was responding to a series of complaints from customers of the popular bike brand, who claimed that they were sent incorrect builds and poorly packed bikes, and were subsequently met with a wall of silence when they contacted Bowman for assistance.

At the time of his interview with last year, Webb set Bowman Cycles a 10 to 14 day deadline to restructure or find more assistance, eventually leading to the company’s liquidation.

Following Bowman’s winter of discontent, the company – in name only, at least – appears to have risen from the ashes as we enter autumn.

> An absolute clusterf**k: Bowman Cycles speak out on supply chain issues after unhappy customers complain 

In July, new owner Crossland shared a short blog post on the brand’s sparsely populated website. In the post, he emphasised that Bowman Cycles Ltd is a new company, with no access or connection to stock from Webb’s BB Velo.

Crossland said that the company – which has retained the original Bowman’s social media presence and branding style – will focus on aluminium and steel gravel and road bikes, as well as clothing, and will be based in Sheffield.

He also emphasised that the brand’s mission statement is to sell bikes and clothes “honestly and transparently”.

After a short break over the summer, another blog post emerged two weeks ago – mostly based on ideas for the reborn brand’s first gravel bike – complete with a vague and rather cryptic Facebook post of a photo of a group ride in the Peak District.

In a third post yesterday, Crossland expanded on his reasons for acquiring the Bowman name and the reaction he has received from the cycling community.

He admitted that the reception to the initial social media post had been somewhat mixed, with some questioning the association with a ‘tainted’ brand name, while others shared their appreciation for their old Bowman bikes. Others, it seems, were simply confused.

In the statement Crossland, an enthusiastic Bowman customer himself, explained that he bought the company’s intellectual property rights after receiving a call from the liquidators.

> When will Britain’s bike shortage end?

“I knew some people would feel the name was tarnished,” he says. “However, Bowman is a well-established bike brand with a recognisable font and a great ‘get out and ride’ ethos.

“So I bought the intellectual property rights. My cycling industry friend’s words [were] echoing in my head, ‘if you want to do it, make sure that you are doing it because you want to and not just because the name’s available’.

“I bought the name despite some people feeling it was tarnished because I wanted to take it on as a going concern. Which is not odd – it’s actually very common. Holdsworth and Viner Cycles ceased trading and were then brought back as a going concern by Planet X.”

He continued: “Bowman was an established brand until last year – with an established social media presence – and as everything has a story and timeline, so does Bowman. Keeping the same Facebook and Instagram page shows its history and journey to where we are at the present.

“So yes, some people may not like the idea of keeping the same name, font, social media pages etc.. but I do – it shows its journey to where we are now – warts and all.”

Ryan joined in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.

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kil0ran | 1 year ago

My Layhams was the best bike I've ever built/owned so I'm pleased to see them back. Still plenty of used/NIB Palace frames kicking around eBay. Don't quite get how they can base something called Bowman in Yorkshire (as I understand the name was a Kentish reference)

Rapha Nadal | 1 year ago

Ah, that's too bad as my money went to Mason in the end!

EddyBerckx | 1 year ago

Slightly weird...they weren't that well known...and if they are not using the same bike builders / designs that people liked so much then??!?

Sriracha replied to EddyBerckx | 1 year ago

They bought the IP, so presumably frame designs (if they belonged to Bowman) etc. Bowman never actually manufactured anything before, and I'm guessing they won't now either - just find another far Eastern frame supplier, fax them the geometry, and stick their brand name on the downtube. I don't understand why people get so misty-eyed over these "names".

brooksby | 1 year ago
1 like

I'm not convinced anyone that had followed the death of the former Bowman's would be in any great hurry to throw money at the new one... 

joeegg | 1 year ago
1 like

A friend,who is an engineer,stripped the parts off his Bowman and put them on a different frame. He was concerned about the stories of poor welds and whether the bike was actually safe to ride.

Secret_squirrel replied to joeegg | 1 year ago

I was about to say thats a tad unfair and then I saw guildwheelers post below....

Still a bit unfair to the new owners though, who presumably probably arent using the same suppliers if they have any sense.

wtjs replied to Secret_squirrel | 1 year ago

Still a bit unfair to the new owners though, who presumably probably arent using the same suppliers if they have any sense

When you pay for the name and the 'goodwill', you have to accept the badwill as well.

newtonuk | 1 year ago

Hambini will be pleased!

Cugel replied to newtonuk | 7 months ago
1 like

newtonuk wrote:

Hambini will be pleased!

Those who haven't already seen it would be interested in the Hambini roast of the Bowman frame of old. A triumph of image over substance, which was easy for the image as the substance was so feeble.

(Hambini is an acquired taste. Watch out for the 5-year-old behaviours and the blue language).

What does aquiring the Bowman brand name etcetera entail besides just that name? The new owner is quoted by RoadCC as saying,

“I knew some people would feel the name was tarnished. However, Bowman is a well-established bike brand with a recognisable font and a great ‘get out and ride’ ethos".

They had this other "ethos" too, though - supplying badly made - often dangerously so - frames made down to a price and sold with lots of advert hype to those daft enough to believe that hype. The new owner needs, perhaps, to be rather more explicit about how the bikes his new organisation will sell are actually made and quality-checked, with details and proof not mere words.

But Perhaps Hambini will do it for him, in due course!   1

Personally I think the new owner would have been wiser to invent a new name, if his frames are to be made as proper 'uns. "Bowman bikes" is surely tainted forever.

guildwheeler | 1 year ago
1 like

Too late for me! The front mech hanger on my Palace R sheared off in March after they had been liquidated. So no come-back. Had to pay to get it fixed myself.

philhubbard replied to guildwheeler | 1 year ago

That's a shocker. Did your chain drop to the inside or something? Just looking at the angle it looks like something pulled the derailleur backwards? Makes me glad for the newer Shimano mechs having that supporting screw

Robbo5384 replied to guildwheeler | 7 months ago

@Guildwheeler, I have aquired a Palace R frameset and just wanted to ask if you have had any issues (aside from the issue in the photo) after reading all the stories about chainstay cracks and poor welding I was wondering if you have had any concerns of a similar nature? Upon visual inspection my framset appears to be sound

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