WyndyMilla, Spoon Customs ... and Andy Carr. The view from the top
Meet the new guy, joining the team from Spoon Customs
Last week we announced that WyndyMilla is joining forces with bespoke steel brand, Spoon Customs and that Andy would be taking over as CEO of both brands.
Although the merger itself is new news, the brands have been working together for a while and WyndyMilla's work in the paint booth helped Spoon Customs to two awards at last year’s Bespoked show.
As well as having a top flight paint facility in house with Sam and his team, with all the creative opportunity attached to that, Andy’s joined us at the end of a decade where Wyndy have been continuously developing our in-house engineering capability to the point our bikes can take on the big brands and shine.
Every WyndyMilla bike is fully engineered in-house, with our own moulds and lay ups alongside designs and OEM elements made to our specification in the highest grades of carbon. Designed right here then built by hand in Italy to the custom requirements of each customer.
With 10 out of 10 reviews for our Massive Attack SL and more people riding our bikes than ever before, we’ve had a pretty good year.
Before Andy unpacks his stuff and gets too comfy, we thought we'd catch up with the new guy to find out what he thinks of the partnership and find out more about him.
Q: Why have you joined forces with WyndyMilla - 'Wyndy' or 'WM' for short - and why now?
A: It was a no brainer. We both understand the value of the custom process, both as an experience and also for the benefits a custom-built bike brings to your cycling.
We also share an obsession with doing things differently, producing great bikes to the highest standards. The fact WM have so much experience in carbon and amazing talent in both the engineering department and the paint shop made it pretty easy.
Working together like this I’ve got the team I need to take Spoon to the next level, with creative paint services in house, and a loved brand in WM that we can build together.
That SL (Wyndy’s Massive Attack SL) is a weapon too! I’ve not been on a carbon bike which rides like that before.
Q: Tell us a little bit about you and Spoon Customs?
A: I ran off to the Alps a few years ago to follow a dream and develop my ideas for new bikes. I found myself in Montgenevre high in the Southern Alps amongst the best riding in the world, near to where we now build our frames (in Northern Italy). I set up shop and started to develop and produce our first road and gravel bike concepts from there. In 2016 we then launched our first bike, our Izoard RR, a relevant, lightweight steel race bike. We’ve grown from there.
It all started way before that, though, when I started learning to design and build frames. I’ve never called myself a frame builder though, instead I oversee a process of designing and creating some of the best steel bikes in the world. It’s my job to make sure sure our fit, fabrication and finish is peerless.
And that’s what Spoon Customs is all about really; working with the best creatives, craftspeople, artisans and materials to produce bikes that are really exciting and as near to perfect as possible, in all the ways I think they can be.
Q: What are your plans for WM and what can customers expect?
A: After such a good year for Wyndy, we’re going to concentrate on building the brand and getting the story out. The bikes are amazing and the people who know it love the brand.
We want to share the experience of buying and owning a custom bike with more people, regardless of their material choice. That starts with world class bikes, which we’re going to continue to develop and push. But we need to get better at bringing people into the experience too, and help them understand it.
Q: What are your priorities for the two brands?
A: We need to be right on top of the customer journey, to make sure the process is as good as it can be for the customer. That’s the bit which gets harder as you get bigger and it’s the bit the big brands really struggle with. I want people to feel super special from the first time they come see us about a new bike, till they want to come back and buy another one.
At times I’ve felt how hard that it can be to maintain that high level of service while I’ve been managing on my own. Together we can focus in on those aspects to make sure the whole experience is as good as it can be for steel and carbon customers too.
Q: And what are the challenges?
A: Designing in steel and standing out has always been a challenge. We love nailing it, of course, but it’s ultimately three triangles built in round tubes. For me it’s those limitations that make it exciting.
Carbon has developed similar 'limitations' too.
Years of aero testing and maturing expectations of ride and compliance vs responsiveness have almost reached consensus on the bones of carbon bike design, but that doesn’t mean totally homogenised design and doesn't mean the constraints that come with that can’t be bettered, and it certainly doesn’t mean it’s not fun and rewarding to push it.
One of our big challenges is also our biggest strength in that we’re small and lean. We’re well placed to push against those constraints technically and creatively and make engaging bikes to compete alongside anything at the top level.
And of course, the one place we can really stand out on our own is in the experience of co-creating, designing and specifying dream bikes for people who love riding as much as we do.
There’s always going to be someone who’d prefer to go to the local bike shop and buy something off the peg, of course. There’s nothing wrong with that. But if you want to co-create something that works for you and not just for Peter Sagan, we’ve not only got the alternative but it’s the best option too for your comfort, handling and performance, regardless of material choice.
Q: What are you most looking forward too?
A: Being in the Surrey Hills. I still get a good split between here and the Alps but there’s some epic riding in Surrey. The WM team all live for their bicycles and love riding, so I’m looking forward to ‘testing’ some new bikes with them too.
If you’ve got any questions for Andy, or us, or would like to know more about buying and owning a WyndyMilla or Spoon Custom, get in touch to get your custom journey started.