Handsling Bikes manufacturers high-quality carbon bicycle frames and wheels. The frames are painted in limited edition colours, then built up into full bikes with customised specifications for every rider.
Handsling Bikes started life in 2014 when the race team, Handsling Racing, needed new frames. Rather than seek a new sponsor, Simon Whiten set out to use his contacts in the Far East to manufacture bespoke frames. The feedback from the team was hugely positive as the frames were phenomenal. Word spread and other riders asked if they could buy Handsling frames. In 2015 it became a business.
Handsling quickly racked up over 20 national championship wins with the likes of Fred Wright, Oscar Nilsson-Julien, Graham Crow, Allan Davis, Catherine Coley, and Charlotte Cole-Hossain putting the bikes on the top step of the podium. Thomas Burnett also claimed the South-east regional cyclocross championships. In 2019 Catherine Coley rode her Handsling to two Masters World titles.
The RR1 was Handsling’s most successful road model, winning many races and even being ridden in Belgian Classics.
The stiff, aero road frames, dubbed the A1R0 and A1R2, notched up multiple criterium victories.
On the track the TR1, TR2 and TR3 frames achieved win after win.
Meanwhile in cyclocross the CXC, CXD and CEX models took victories in the mud.
Handsling also invested in the development of a fat bike frame, eventually manufacturing it for another brand.
This helped the business grow quickly and in 2017 Handsling relocated from London to Hampshire, allowing further expansion, with a larger workshop and more staff, while also generating extra investment. This in turn meant that Handsling had the resources to design new, unique frames and acquire moulds for manufacture, rather than using so called ‘open mould’ designs.
The CEXevo was the first unique Handsling frame, a relatively straightforward adaptation of an existing model, to produce a truly high end cyclocross frame.
This was followed by an in house design, brand new road frame, the A1R0evo, an aerodynamic disc braked frame that combined the best features of the successful RR1 and A1R0 road models.
Handsling then bought into a share of the TR2evo track frame, before working to design the exclusive TR3evo off-shoot.
In 2019, the new TR3evo track frame was launched and was ridden at the UCI World Track Championships by Amber Joseph.
Amber rode a TR3evo again at the 2021 Track Cycling World Championships in Roubaix.
2021 was a great year for Handsling riders on the track. GB's Josh Giddings had a standout performance at the Track European Championships, storming to superb gold medals in the team pursuit and Madison, and sixth in the individual pursuit. Flora Perkins, also riding a TR3evo, finished fourth in both the scratch race and the elimination, underlining her credentials as one to watch for the future.
Handsling continues to develop new models with another two new unique frames at the test stage, including a TT bike and a pursuit bike, and a variety of products in design.
What is a 'Handsling'? Where does the name come from?
The Handsling is a feature of some of track cycling's most spectacular events - the Madison and the Six Day races - where riders help their teammates back into the race by grabbing their hand and literally slinging them into the fray. A handsling provides a 'helping hand up to speed' for your team-mate in these events. With Handsling Bikes the aim is to offer a customer a helping hand to get the best quality carbon frame for, thanks to a direct to consumer sales model, the best possible price.
Handsling was founded by Simon Whiten when he launched a media consultancy, Handsling Media Ltd, in 2010, followed by Handsling Digital Publishing Ltd in 2012, producing the websites CycleTechReview.com and BritishCycleSport.com, and then Handsling Bikes Ltd in 2015. He amalgamated all the businesses into Handsling Ltd in 2018.
Simon rode MTBs in the early 90s before switching to road and track racing. He won a few races as a 1st cat, finished 4th in the local divisional championships, and went onto ride some bigger races with the Twickenham CC first team, like the Lincoln GP and other Premier Calendar races and races in Italy, Belgium, Spain and France. He also rode track at various places, including the Herne Hill Good Friday meeting.