Medford MA, framebuilder Bryan Hollingsworth has been faithfully exhibiting at the Philly Bike Expo since the beginning. Founded in 2008, Royal H Cycles was at the very first Philly Bike Expo in 2010. It’s like we grew up together! Bryan has this to say about bikes, framebuilding, and his brand: “Royal H Cycles is about connecting people to their love of cycling. The bike is a means to that end. Anyone who has commissioned a bicycle knows this undeniable truth- that a custom bike is more fun to ride! The goal as a framebuilder is to offer a truly unique experience, not just the bike. Royal H Cycles is about inspiring people to be better riders and putting a larger smile on their face every time they ride. A custom bike is about creating a relationship between rider and builder that helps bring their vision for the perfect bike into focus. This vision is what is put into the tubes and lugs that are going to become their bicycle. Royal H Cycles is about the big picture as much as it is about the fine details.” Bryan goes on to say, “I have built track bikes that are shockingly fast, and touring bikes that are incredibly functional; road bikes that can handle a double century, and courier bikes for short sprints through city traffic; tri bikes for the amateur enthusiast, and racing bikes for seasoned athletes. Each frame as unique as its owner, and built with the same exacting levels of craftsmanship. If you love to ride, you will love a Royal H.”
PBE: What’s innovative, or distinctive, or otherwise special about a Royal H bike?
BH: The focus of Royal H Cycles is on custom steel frames and forks- the fit is a huge part of it, but so are the custom details. No two frames are ever the same. I now have a new line of Hollingsworth frames that feature unique, hand cut lugs that take this customization to a whole new level.
PBE: What did you do before becoming a framebuilder?
BH: Mechanical Engineer
PBE: Do you have any particular education/training/experience that prepared you for where you are now?
BH: My relevant framebuilding experience was learned at the United Bicycle Institute in 2006, with lots of training picked up during the subsequent years as a finsher/carbon framebuilder at Seven Cycles.
PBE: How did you choose your location or did it choose you?
BH: I certainly didn’t choose it based on low rent! There is a rich history of framebuilding in the Boston area, stemming from older companies like Merlin, Independent Fabrications, Seven, etc. Many small builders came out of those shops, and the community was really supportive and amazing when I started building, and it was impossible to leave!
PBE: What’s the derivation of your company name?
BH: The “H” in Royal H Cycles is from my last name, Hollingsworth. The royal is a little tongue and cheek, but it plays into the Latin on the original head badge- “disce ferenda pati.” Meaning, more or less, “learn to suffer.” Perfect for riding and building!
PBE: What’s your favorite part of your work?
BH: The brazing is pretty fun, involving fire and all, but the final assembly is pretty satisfying (especially when all of your parts are in stock and ready for you to build up!).