van halen / wyndymilla
Tuesday 2nd March 2021
We're a sucker for 80s music. Stick on Rock of Ages and we will be sliding down the bannister belting out Panama! Speaking of which, Wyndymilla (who have merged with Spoon Customs) have created a Eddie Van Halen tribute bike for an avid fan. Makes me wonder which band we will choose if we had a custom paint job designed for us? (Photos courtesy of Simon Eldon).
WyndyMilla (WM) are a UK based custom bike company, specialising in high-end custom made carbon bikes. The brand has been through some changes since it merged with Spoon Customs last year. There’s a new focus on their bikes, customers and process but it seems, there’s no change to their ambition to continue to make stand out custom bikes.
The new team has spent the winter working on this one-off tribute to Eddie Van Halen, commissioned by a devoted Van Halen fan, moved to action by the stars untimely passing in October 2020. The devoted fan who ordered the one off bike is Pablo from Mexico City. Pablo contacted WyndyMilla through their dealer (cuadro.cc) in Mexico City, who asked them to design and produce this mind-blowing bike. The bike is based on WM’s acclaimed Massive Attack road race bike. The proprietary bike uses a blend of TorayCA T1000 fibres laid up into monocoque parts which are then painstakingly handmade into bikes using more traditional tube to tube construction techniques to produce performance bikes one at a time, fitted to the millimetre. Eddie Van Halen famously designed and customised his own equipment too and one of his most eye-catching and famous pieces was his iconic ‘Frankenstrat’ guitar.
Following news of his death on October 6th last year a huge illuminated guitar carrying a version of his now iconic pattern was constructed at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood. It led hundreds of similar tributes from fans all over the world. Eddie’s original guitar only had one control, not the usual three. The one remaining control in his new design adjusted the volume of the custom guitar, but as Eddie only had a ‘tone’ control knob available to use, it became an identifying feature of the guitar. The top cap on the bike pays homage to this detail, laser engraved to mimic the tone control knob on Eddie’s original guitar. The paint Eddie used was, the team discovered, a red from Schwinn bikes in Chicago so they based the colour choice on that.
Commenting on the build, new WM owner Andy said, “The bike is really bold. It’s tricky to nail that without overdoing it and that takes time skill. I love Van Halen (who doesn’t) so it was a dream brief and lovely to be able to pay our respects in a meaningful way. The whole team have been involved and we’ve been really excited about sharing it with people.”
Since the merger with Spoon Customs, the brand has a more detailed approach to design, where the designer works closely with paint team (in house brand, Gun Control Custom Paint) to make sure concepts like this really work visually. It seems to be working too, given how busy they’ve been since the first lockdown. With this bike, and such a strong idea everyone who needed to be was involved in the project from the start. Making it a fitting tribute was top of the list but in the unlikely event the viewer had never heard of Eddie Van Halen the new team wanted it to work as a great looking bike too.
There’s been some big changes at WyndyMilla, out is the coffee shop, and complex merch ranges; changes designed to give the team a laser focus on their bikes and bike customers. The changes are working too. They doubled the business in 2019, and annualised figures for the last six months of 2020 show they’d have doubled it again in 2020 under Spoon Customs leadership, if they’d had full year of operations. Despite the changes to the focus and generally cleaner approach to their bikes, they’ve been keen to retain some of that WM boldness. And, with this commission, they’ve proved that you can mix a serious approach to engineering and good ideas with some of that traditional WyndyMilla playfulness.
Another recent change at the brand is a direct relationship with Enve Composites in the USA. Here they’re pairing custom painted Enve wheels (painted by Gun Control Custom Paint) and Enve contact points with Campagnolo Super Record EPS, for a genuinely super bike set up.
If you’d like to start your own custom build with WyndyMilla, or Spoon Customs, get in touch with the team now on firstname.lastname@example.org
The company is about to launch a crowd funding campaign via Spoon Customs, so head over to their website to sign up to get updates and find out about that first.