A young lad from up North called David Wicks popped by the Dirt office last week with three homemade bikes. They looked pretty neat so I asked him a few questions before Dirt tester Joner took the bikes up the woods for a spin.
How did you get into mountain bikes?
Started riding downhill in 2004 with a specialized big hit then bought a RMX 2.0.
I wasn’t keen on how the RMX rode. I decided to design my own frame due to the fact that i couldn’t afford to buy a new bike if i wasn’t keen on the one i owned. 4 months down the line the MR1 (mountain racer 1) was born.
Although I designed and machined the bike in my own time I am being helped with the family engineering business Wicks Engineering. The business providing the materials, machines, heat treatment process etc.
Is there a history of design in your family?
My dad designed road racing bikes back in the 80’s. He built an 80cc grand prix bike which won the British Championship and finished 17th in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. He also designed a 250cc and a 125cc. The 250cc being raced at the Isle of manTT and the Irish road races.
What bikes were you influenced by?
The orange 222 was the bike that got me into downhill, the simplicity of it is perfect for racing. I’m also influenced massively with road racing motorcycles. Two wheels, engine, frame, brakes designed for one thing, to go fast. It’s what racing is about.
How many prototypes have you made?
There are three downhill prototypes and the first allmountain prototype is now ready for its first test.
So do you use a posh computer and CAD?
I’d love to use CAD but no I don’t. Everything is done with pencil and paper. I also use models to see if a certain design will work or not. Its basic but it works.
How many hours do you spend designing?
I wouldn’t count it in hours i would count the time in months. With so much to take into consideration when designing bikes all the drawings need to be checked, checked and double checked. The design time can take 6 months plus. Once it’s built as a prototype there are still changes to make. You never stop designing.
Did you do the welding yourself?
The welding isn’t done in house we have it done by a firm called fabritech. Due to the bikes being specialist built bikes we have a close working relationship with our welders.
What’s the future?
I’m not interested in being the guy who once built a bike. I want the bikes to either go mainstream or turn some heads and get me noticed. Maybe open some doors!
If you like what you see then give David Wicks a buzz.