Aende cycles and Alan Braithwaite

Aende frames are noted for their short wheelbase and an early example of straight(-ish) forks. Quite a few ordinary riders found them quite twitchy and that the toes came perilously close to the front wheel. They weren't built for ordinary cyclists but for men and women who rode hard against the clock, who didn't need to corner much. Top 70s / 80s time-trialers Mick Bradshaw and Steve Denton, and many others, rode them by choice rather than sponsorship.
They were made by Alan Braithwaite. He was brought up in Mansfield, Notts and subsequently moved to Nottingham. His nickname Pongo alluded to his low regard for deoderants. When greeted with "Hello, Alan" he would correct them with "my name is Pongo!". He rode for North Notts Olympic Road Club. His then club colleague Chris Cooper regarded him as "A genuine good bloke and very good time trialer". By the mid-70s he was club chairman.
Though he was trained as a bricklayer he gravitated towards building bikes rather than walls. Alans friend Cyril Harper left Raleigh to set up his own shop, A & C Sports. The "A", you will guess, was AlaN. Cyril made frames bearing the marque Paramount. Alan assisted with framebuilding and learned his way into the game. This led to Alan making his own frames and subsequently setting up his own business, with support from pal Derek Wood, an engineer. The brand-name Aende came from an phonetic amagamation of their Christian name initials - A&D.
For a while he made the frames in the back-room of his house - later in a relative's garage. As a business he remained small but flourishing. He had a three month waiting list over quite a span of time. He was always willing to help anyone out with any cycle-related problem. He probably was too helpful for his own good.
In the early 90's Alan took off to seek exotica and life in Indonesia. He sired more children than he made bike frames. The latter score was zero. I feel certain that he fixed many a bike for the locals. He died out there on 25th January 2007 and was in his mid-seventies.
Quotes from Chris Cooper & Brian Hall forum comments acknowledged. Correction from Adam Gallow (one-time shop-boy and assistant to Cyril Harper) Nov'14.
Superlative, evocative black and white photos by "Neutal WA" © all rights reserved.
Stuart Collins May 2011
I hope that I will be able to flesh out this article and hope add to it surrupticiously.

Various Post-scripts



Unfortunately, Derek Wood and his wife were killed in a car crash in 1983. Cyril suffered a stroke which drastically effected his speech - and ultimately caused him to cease business.

How's this for strange?

I was making my way through the Meadows area of Nottingham and encountered an oldish chap carrying two bulky shopping bags. He called out something and I stopped to chat. He said that he was a cyclist and had done this race and that. He then asked me if I knew his brother Alan - "usually known as Pongo". I said that I had met him twice and that he had been very friendly and informative. He then extracted from one of his bags a letter he had got that morning from Asia. He urged me to read part of it. All seemed to be well with him. So what is so strange about a chance meeting? A few days later I learned that Alan had died. When I looked on my calendar and did some calculations I concluded that he was dying as I was speaking to his brother (whose name I have forgotten).
Stuart Collins - Jun 2009

Holes in lugs - described as weight-saving feature


Elegant touch but wholey dubious claim!!??


Comment by David Buxton — May 3, 2011


I met Alan in the late 70's, I think! I was teaching locally and a bike-mad boy wanted to go to his workshop on work experience. I was well received when I went to see him and the pupil learnt a lot and had a great time. I now own 2 Aende frames and love them both. One is Reynolds 653 and the other Reynolds 531. The 531 frame has little cut-outs in the lugs that look like shamrock leaves.(shown right) They are both far too good for me but I wouldn’t part with them,

Not to attract offers but 3 pictures below are David's Aendes.