This website has been coming for a long, long time and so I think it is only right that the first post here is a bit of a retrospective on what has happened over the last few years with Albannach.
It started back in 2008 when I picked up a decal free, paint free, black carbon Dedacciai Scuro HCR. To me it was a thing of beauty and super light to go. This became a mini project, a blank canvas for me to create something quite unique and hopefully something that could spark conversation or at the very least facial interest.
Albannach is a Gaelic word that translates as ‘Scottish’ or ‘Scotsman’, though I like to use the literal translation; ‘to belong to Scotland’. At the time and as far as I was aware, there were no Scottish bicycle brands, so the word Albannach for me was the obvious choice for my ‘brand’ name. I gave it the handle, DUBH (doo), Gaelic for black (they don’t get anymore inventive!). I created a typeface for Albannach and soon after the frame was decalled and lacquered up. The final piece of the project had to be my own head tube badge. More often than not you will find modern frames have their head tube logos just painted or decalled on. I really wanted to have a more classical head tube badge affixed to the frame giving it that little bit more flair and interest. I wanted a symbol that represented Scotland. It had to be the Lion Rampant of Scotland.Soon I realised that with this ‘brand’ of bicycle that I was riding I needed also to have a kit to match it. At the time the frame was black with white details and a thick blue band around the front left fork. The intention of the band was to mimic an armband, for me being a symbol of belonging. The kit was going to be bold, it was going to be black and white with a blue armband, it was basically going to look like the cloth version of the DUBH. The kit would promote Albannach but would be named as Sgioba-Rèis Albannach (Albannach Race Team) shortened to SR Albannach to emulate the great Italian teams of old that used the prefix GS, for Gruppo Sportivo.I’d been riding cyclocross for a few years now and ‘raced’ around our scene in Scotland on a whole variety of junker bikes I rattled together with whatever parts I could get hold of. Though I loved the thrift feeling of scrapping something together for ‘cross I really wanted to be able to create my own, an Albannach for cyclocross racing.
Step up the CROIS. After a lot of late night international discussions I sourced a manufacturer far to the east happy to build a single frame, to my design, in titanium. The arrival of the prototype CROIS (cross), Gaelic for…cross, drew a bit more attention to Albannach and sparked local interest for their own Albannach frame.
After the coming together of a certain professional cycling team and a certain clothing brand in 2013 there was a need to change up the SR Albannach kit. Yet instead of developing just a single kit to go around all year I wanted to create two kits to represent the different cultures behind road riding and cyclocross racing. For me they have vastly contrasting gigs and as such should be attended in the correct attire. The summer kit (short sleve jersey, gilet and bib shorts) created for the road, the winter kit (long sleeve fleece jersey and long sleeve skinsuit) created for cyclocross.Back to the frames. After a couple more iterations of the CROIS in both cantilever brake and disc brake (d-CROIS) variations I’ve come to develop what I think is the perfect cyclocross racing machine. Frame geometry, cable routing and tube sizing are all uniquely Albannach and I like to think help also to identify this frame from others as an Albannach.
Late last year seen the arrival of the RATHAD (ra-ad, like rad with a long a), Gaelic for road, my first prototype road racing frame and obviously my most beautiful creation to date. It mirrors the aesthetic of the CROIS (and d-CROIS) yet achieves the specific requirements of a road racing frame.
To bring you right up to date, SR Albannach, which had unofficially been appearing on the roads and at cyclocross races for a few years, has been made official and is affiliated with Scottish Cycling (Club SC Profile). A multi-disciplined club, represented all over the country yet with its roots in Glasgow and cyclocross its primary discipline.