IN THE BEGINNING
Sonnet: A poetic form originating from Italy, deriving from the Italian word sonetto – from Old Provençal sonet a little poem, from son song, from Latin sonus a sound. The brand name takes its inspiration from the bicycle’s uncanny ability to help us feel and experience a landscape, rather than just see it.
Sonnet was established in January 2017 by CJ Parsons to make beautifully crafted artisan steel bicycles more affordable and distinctive for savvy cyclists.
SONNET FRAMESETS AND BIKE BUILDS
Sonnet launches its range with two timeless framesets, inspired by the professional Italian road and track machines of yesteryear, but with all the modern technical upgrades and improvements.
We offer both made-to-measure and custom options. You can choose to purchase the frame only and take your time building the bicycle to your own specifications, or let us handle the build process.
What’s right for me?
"90% OF RIDERS DON’T NEED A CUSTOM FRAME...
BUT 100% NEED A GOOD FIT”
(Dario Pegoretti, one of the most influential bike builders around today)
A good fit is vital. It means you can attain better handling, cycle more efficiently and remain comfortable in the saddle for longer.
For most of us who yearn for a beautifully crafted bicycle that fits well, it might seem the only way to achieve this is to go bespoke – which is not entirely true. Because made-to-measure frames are designed according to anthropometric standards, the majority of us can achieve a really good fit with a non-custom frame.
Made-to-measure offers fine performance for what is considered to be the most likely body shape for each available frame size. However, most manufacturers offer made-to-measure in limited sizes (generally in 2-3cm increments), so greater compromises can occur on comfort, handling and performance.
ARTISAN QUALITY & VALUE FOR MONEY
To ensure framesets and bike builds can be priced and delivered to compete with the best, Sonnet works closely with talented designer-makers and master craftsmen in the U.K., Europe and the U.S.A. who apply tried and trusted traditional methods at every stage of the process to guarantee the highest quality.
Our frames are made by a family of frame builders based on the Continent, with more than 30 years experience in custom road and track bicycles. Bikes are then assembled and tested here in the UK.
All builds feature hand built wheels, not cheap factory wheelsets (as this is where most manufacturers hide their cost cutting to meet their price point).
We have implemented a unique, monthly, batch order process. By only manufacturing what's been ordered, we can reduce our costs and pass the savings on to you. No middlemen. No distributor. No warehouse. No waiting list. No shop. Just a website and talented artisan production line, culminating with our workshop in the heart of London’s Hackney, where our expert mechanic assembles our rides.
To achieve the best possible fit from a non-custom frame, Sonnet offers made-to-measure frames in 1cm increments. Tailoring your contact points then helps fine-tune the process.
Everyone has a specific fit, ride and set of handling requirements that are unique to them and only a custom-made frame can offer a ride that fits and handles as close to ‘perfectly’, as you can get.
For a small premium, Sonnet offers custom versions of the Mk I Road frame and Mk II Track frame to cater for those that want the ultimate ride. You simply provide us with your fit data, ideally using the advanced Retül fitting system (see our frame sizing page) and any other requirements that you may have.
Remember, it doesn’t end with a fitting and the building of a custom frame. To achieve (or maintain) your ideal riding position, you will still need to tweak your bike over time.
Creations between artists and bicycle manufacturers have previously been confined to the realms of the design books and private collections and we want to change that. We’re now embarking on a series of unique collaborations with some of the world’s top artists to create rideable, collectable art, so your Sonnet combines performance and style like no other make on the road.
Collaborations in the pipeline include a carbon disc race wheel by Sir Peter Blake (CBE, RDI) and a limited edition frame spray and carbon disc wheel by Royal Academician painter and printmaker, Barbara Rae (CBE, RA). Watch this space.
Now your passion for cycling can change someone else's life. At Sonnet, we've teamed up with the non-profit charity, Wheels4life, founded by extreme biking legend and former Mountain Bike World Champion, Hans Rey.
Wheels4Life provides bikes for people in developing countries in need of transportation to get to work or to school, including healthcare workers.
In these developing countries, this simple gift of mobility can make all the difference to a person’s life and to a community by helping them break out of the vicious cycle of poverty. Now, with every three framesets, bikes or wheels we sell, we match it with the purchase of 1 x bicycle (or 50% of an ambulance bicycle) for Wheels4life.
We’re currently supporting a small community-based project in Uganda, called Nos Amis, providing bikes for students, healthcare workers and farmers. More photos and impact reports will be uploaded upon the completion of the project, so you can see how you’ve made a direct difference.