Custom Bike Frames

The story so far!


Dave started building bike frames in 1977 whilst a teacher of metalwork in a North East comprehensive school. By 1980, having built approximately 60 frames in his garage, he decided that there was perhaps a living to be made at it (we all have our dreams) and he set up M Steel Cycles with Geoff Dobson and Joe Waugh in 1980. In 2005, after 25 years with the company and having produced nearly 12,000 frames, Dave left M Steel Cycles (and his beloved North East!) to set up Dave Yates Cycles & Engineering in Lincolnshire, with partner Debbie.


Dave and Debbie run their business from a smallholding near RAF Coningsby, home of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF). The business is very much a team effort, Dave is the one who gets his hands dirty, whilst Debbie makes sure he's washed them before being allowed in the kitchen! Joking apart, although Debbie prefers to 'just' deal with the admin side of the business, she knows more than she cares to admit about framebuilding, and is a dab hand with a brazing torch too! They share their smallholding with an ever increasing menagerie including dogs, geese, chickens, sheep, and soon to arrive pigs! 


BBMF above the workshop 


Dave has personally built all types of frames, ranging from  a 6" Mountain bike frame to a 31" Road bike frame. His cycling background and continued activity in the field, allied to his vast experience of "hands on" engineering, provides a combination that has produced some of the most sought after frames in the Country. For Dave's advice on choosing a frame click here.


Dave's cycling career started at the age of 14 when he was given an ancient "Sit up and Beg" roadster with rod brakes and Massey Ferguson tyres! Progress was rapid through a series of rusty wrecks bought for very little, stripped, cleaned, repainted, rebuilt and resold at a vast profit!


He joined the North Shields Polytechnic Cycling Club in 1967, started racing, got his brain scrambled and became totally hooked! Every weekend was spent chasing around the North Eastern roads at high speed. He gained a 1st category licence in 10 races (it was easier then) and spent the next 10 years racing at local level with some National Star Trophy races (a few started, not many finished!) and a brief spell racing in Brittany. 


Once M Steel Cycles was started in 1980 serious cycling took a back seat for quite a few years until 1995 when the bug bit again. Dave started riding Audax, an area of the sport which until quite recently was little known. The events were originally ridden by a few hundred hard core enthusiasts who were looked upon as somewhat eccentric by the mainstream cycling population. The distances involved vary from fairly short "Brevet Populaires" of around 100km to marathons like London-Edinburgh-London at 1400km.


Dave started riding Audax in 1996 and has since completed 8 "Super Randonneur" series of 200, 300, 400 and 600km as well as numerous other events including the 1999 Paris-Brest-Paris. This event, held every 4 years is 1200km long and he took 73 hours 40 minutes to complete it. In August 2000 Dave and Debbie went even further, completing the 1500km Land's End to John o Groats in just 5 days. For more details of this ride click here. In 2001, it was the mere 1400km challenge of London-Edinburgh-London.

Dave riding PBP


Since moving to Coningsby in 2005 serious cycling has again taken a back seat due to the pressures of setting up the new business and running the smallholding.


The experience of the last 50 years cycling is an invaluable part of the package that Dave brings to the business, resulting in advice that is based on actual riding, not just theory!