Saffron Frameworks

Matthew Sowter - Saffron Frameworks (photo by Duncan Palmer) | MadeGood.bikes

About Saffron Frameworks

In recent years we have seen a boom in the cycling industry, and with the rise in sales of ‘off the peg’ bikes has come an increase in popularity and numbers of hand built bicycle manufacturers. One of the finest to emerge is Matthew Sowter, who only founded the award winning Saffron Frameworks in 2012. Matthew has had quite a journey from racing in South Africa to where he is now.

Matthew was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome in 2009 and decided that he needed a change of scenery and lifestyle. He had always loved bikes and dreamt of working in the industry, so he persuaded his wife to move to the UK and set out on the path to Saffron.

After training in welding he started work at Enigma Bikes, and eventually got to the position of being able to start out on his own, founding Saffron in London. Since then he has gone from strength to strength, including writing the Made in England book about UK framebuilders with fellow artisan builder Ricky Feather. His hard work has paid off with prizes at the 2013 editions of Spin London (Best in Show) and Bespoked Bristol (Best Utility Bike).

The first step in getting a Saffron bike is to contact Matthew and then head to Cyclefit to get the perfect measurements for your body shape and type. Then you meet with Matthew to talk through designs. Ideas come from everywhere, from colours on iPhone screens to bikes that people have seen on the streets or remembered from their childhood. Matthew ensures that the design, materials and components are suitable for the customer and the type of bike that is being built. Once the design is finalised Matthew sets to work, always ensuring that the customer is kept up to date on its process until the final paint job is applied and the bike is built, ready to roll.

Saffron Frameworks is now based in Camberwell. He has a clear passion for cycling and a love of being able to deliver high quality bikes to his customers. He mainly builds steel framed bikes, and he is happy to try his hand at any type of bike – he has built bikes ranging from a butchers bike to a sleek single speed commuter. With Saffron you can be sure that you will receive a stunning and one off bike just for you.

One of Matthew’s sought after Saffron frames (photo by Duncan Palmer)

Saffron Frameworks in their own words

Saffron Frameworks creates bicycle frames that are as beautiful as they are functional. Each Saffron frame is unique and every one is hand-crafted especially for you. By first understanding what you want from your bicycle, together we design a frame matching your geometry and cycling goals. Then, after some measuring, cutting, brazing, aligning, polishing and painting I turn that design into your perfect travelling partner on two wheels. We build just a few frames each year, and we treat each one with the same love and care.

This build won Best Utility Bike at Bespoked Bristol 2013 (photo from | MadeGood.bikes

This build won Best Utility Bike at Bespoked Bristol 2013 (photo from