In a world of cycling where carbon has become king over the last decade, its nice to be able to remember the days of steel road bikes and down-tube gear shifters. Thankfully there is a company in the Peak District who appreciate that steel is (and always will be) real. We got in touch with Glory Days Bikes to learn a bit more about their passion for retro British road bikes and the brand they have built from it.

Glory Days offers reliable retro road bike hire and sales and was founded on Will and Carol’s passion and knowledge of cycling in October 2012. The initial focus was to provide a service to riders for the first Eroica Britannia which took place in June 2013 on their doorstep in Bakewell. They have continued to provide quality hire bikes for the event, now in its 5th year, ever since. Discerning customers rent their retro road bikes for great days out, special occasions and weekends away all year round.

It’s a hobby that got out of hand…..

“It’s a hobby that got out of hand” says Will Alves, Co-Founder of Glory Days Bikes, based in the heart of the Peak District.

Glory Days specialise in pre-1987 steel bikes of British manufacture and wouldn’t stock any machines they would not be happy to ride themselves.

Wonderful 1981 Vernon Barker Reynolds 531 road bike.

Their good bicycles have names like Carlton, Dawes, Holdsworth and Raleigh. Their really good bicycles have iconic names like Mercian, Woodrup and Geoffrey Butler. All have a unique history and meet their strict criteria.

Glory Days Bikes
Classic 1980’s 10 speed Dawes road bike.

All of Glory Days retro bikes have been searched out and carefully chosen. They are beautiful, lightweight, responsive and fun to ride! Following a complete overhaul and service they are then given a test ride before being available to hire. They are keen to only offer the best, most reliable retro bikes in their stock.

Glory Days Bikes
Classy Carlton Equipe with Brooks leather saddle & tool bag.

All their classic bikes are finished off with Brooks leather saddles and tool bags containing a pump, tyre levers and spare inner tube. They can also supply local maps, guides and panniers if required.

Behind the brand

We put a few questions to Will and Carol to learn a bit more about the people behind the brand.

Your name fits well & leaves a real feeling of nostalgia. Where did the idea come from?

The name Glory Days came to Carol when she was out on a run in the Peak District countryside. It derived from the term that’s often used to describe the exciting past of competitive cycling and the heroic determination of the racing pioneers in the harshest of conditions. Our favourite British cycling legends are Beryl Burton and Barry Hoban.

What has been your proudest moments(s) as Glory Day Bikes?

Our proudest moments include supplying bikes to Brooks England team both in the UK and at Eroica Limburg who appreciated the quality of our bikes and the personal service. We were also chosen by Visit Britain to feature in their recent countryside is is great campaign as our bicycles and local countryside are so beautiful! We were also proud that two of our bikes completed the amazing 300km Mighty Corinthian successfully.

So what’s next for Glory Days Bikes?

As lifelong cyclists we know the Peak District and Derbyshire like the back of our hands. We have also run guided retro bike tours through the spectacular scenery of the Peak District National Park. This offers a very unique and authentic experience. We are hoping to expand into offering more ‘retro ride’ experiences over the next five years.

Based on your own experiences – what advice would you give to someone wanting to start a new brand/business?

We have worked hard to get to where we are. Our advice to any small business is to consider your USP, focus on your customer and never stand still!

I would like to say a big thank you to Will and Carol for taking the time to speak to us about their wonderfully unique brand. We love the idea of giving people the chance to experience fine, British craftsmanship in such a picturesque setting.

For more information about Glory Days Bikes retro bike hire or sales – please visit their website

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