– About –
Meteor Works® is the brainchild of successful Bicycle Designer Lee Prescott.
Lee started building frames at the age of 11 alongside his father, Charlie, himself a successful motorcycle designer. School summer holidays were spent picking up old bikes and cutting them to pieces and using the tubing to build the bikes Lee wanted but couldnt afford. Highlights of this era have to be a classic fillet brazed touring bike with salvaged campag gran sport and a suspension MTB using gas struts fom a VW Golf!
A career in design was inevitable, which lead Lee to the world leading industrial design course at Coventry University where he formed a relationship with the design team at Raleigh Special Products. His end of degree exhibition showcased a versatile suspension system that could be used on high end and utilitarian bikes alike, which was successfully patented by the University and used commercially for many years.
Following prolific periods designing for Pashley and his own company Hidden Nation, Lee went on to consult for several blue chip companies. He is a founding member of the successful Velo Atelier Bicycle Studio who have pioneered the Clinical Bike Fit™ protocol and has recently helped to write the official IBFI text book on bike fitting
WHATS IN A NAME
In 1885 John Kemp Starley, the nephew of James Starley; who himself had patented the Ariel Bicycle, an improvement to the design of velocipedes; shook the cycling world with the release of the Rover Safety Bicycle. His design used for the first time a diamond frame, equal size wheels, chain drive from pedals to the rear wheels and sloping forks.
This was the birth of the modern bicycle. Coventry soon became the world manufacturing centre for the bicycle industry, with many brands springing up which we now remember more for their transition into motorbikes, such as Francis-Barnett, Rudge, Singer and Triumph. Others such as Rover and Hillman went on to develop cars.
After working at factories building his uncles Ariel designs, J.K.Starley wanted to set up his own factory. With the aid of investment from William Sutton, a draper from nearby Kenilworth, they founded a factory in West Orchard in Coventry called Meteor Works. The company grew in this factory until 1896, when the announcement of a new factory in Warwick Row, was made.
The Meteor Works factory saw the inception and development of the first modern Bicycle.
For more on the incredible and almost forgotten history of Coventry as the birthplace of the cycle industry, we recommend "Coventry's Bicycle Heritage" by Damien Kimberley, who leads all historic research at Coventry Transport Museum
IMAGE COURTESY OF DAMIEN KIMBERLEY AT COVENTRY TRANSPORT MUSEUM