From the Roadside to UNNO Bicycles
From the humbling beginnings of trading from the side of the road, the Afan Valley Bike Shed has become a staple of mountain bike society in South Wales. It’s been far from an easy ride for Ben over the past eight years of being in business. Through perseverance, evolution and growth, the Afan Valley Bike Shed is excited to welcome the latest brand to join the ranks, UNNO Bicycles.
In Ben’s words: When I was 15 years old, I didn’t have pictures of cars, girls or my football team on my bedroom walls. I had pictures of mint sauce and bikes like the Muddy Fox courier comp, Cannondale chameleon, Kline attitude, GT Zaskar. Like all teenagers, these bikes were well out of my reach so I had worked out whether I could get one, if I didn’t have birthdays or Christmas presents for five years or so. Turns out my parents did not agree with me. Either way, I could still dream and hope that one day I could afford one of my dream bikes. Anyway, fast forward over 25 years, and we have another bike brand that I think is worthy to be plastered on the bedroom walls to give the next generation something to dream about.
Back in May 2012, we opened the doors to the Afan Valley Bike Shed. However, before that, I sold parts in a lay-by under a gazebo in the car park and worked out of my shed on weekdays, hence the name Afan Valley Bike Shed.
When we first started, it wasn’t easy as no one knew who we were and we had to beg brands to let us have accounts and put their products in our shop. The most expensive bike we could afford was a £650 hardtail, which helped to get us started.
Over the years, we put in the time, money and graft to get us in a position that we are now super proud of. What we have achieved and what we stock gives a true reflection of what brands I admire and personally believe in. So when a couple of weeks ago I had an email from one of the most prestigious brands in the world, UNNO Bicycles, explaining how they have been checking us out, the brands we stock and I think what we try to promote in our own lifestyle, they have asked us to be a part of their team to help sell their bikes. How could we say no?
It can be a bit scary committing to such a high-end brand but if you’re looking for a quality bike that no one else will have, this could be the bike for you. Compare a UNNO against Specialized, Yeti, Pivot, and Mondraker… I know which one I would choose!
Handcrafted in Barcelona, Spain, UNNO Bicycles is far from an ordinary brand. There’s no mass production assembly line as each bike is carefully handbuilt to perfection, which is why the UNNO brand had become synonymous with prestige. The man behind the brand is former World Cup downhill racer, Cesar Rojo who puts his passion for bikes to the ultimate challenge; developing a perfect machine that can withstand the stresses and strains of riding while looking and feeling amazing. Check out Gee Milner’s Dream Build MTB video below…