Enigma Founded. We exhibit at the National Cycle Show
The Enigma story began 13 years ago. From humble beginnings in a converted shed, we now occupy an 8000 sq. ft workshop. Founded on the principles of an unwavering devotion to the art of British craftsmanship, we engineer top-performing handcrafted bicycle frames and complete builds.
Enigma is a coupling of our twin passions for precision engineering and a love affair with cycling that dates back half a century. We are builders, crafters and innovators. Friends, family and colleagues. Dedicated to the craft, we encompass a team of creatively-minded individuals redefining what's possible with those durable imperial metals.
Here in our Sussex facilities, we produce the highest quality handcrafted frames. From titanium, to steel and stainless steel, all engineered for supreme performance. As well as a full bike building and fitting service, wheel building, refurbishing and frame repairs. With exciting new projects on the horizon, and a team dedicated to the craft, the future looks bright.
It has never been about today. It’s about building together for the future. We haven’t forgotten where we’ve come from and it’s with the same attention to detail then as now, that we continue toward the future.
We’re committed to empowering the next generation with the skills of the craft. We know there’s no future if these traditional skills are forgotten, and it’s through our apprenticeship programme that we commit to training the aspiring young frame builders of tomorrow.
With a firm grounding in the principles, and the freedom to embrace their own creative spark, we are confident in continuing to deliver the handcrafted perfection our customers know and love. Built upon firm foundations, the Enigma team is one of trust and loyalty resulting in a team greater than the sum of its parts.
Any business is only as good as its staff and we are no exception. Of course, the Enigma Company is not just about the Walker family, every member of the Enigma team is equally valuable. Our team is a group of highly talented, dedicated and hardworking individuals with decades of experience between them, who are all passionate about producing world-class bikes right here in Great Britain. We love bikes and we love to ride. We also love to serve and we strive to give exceptional customer service.
Founder and director of Enigma, Jim has been involved in the UK cycle industry for the best part of 40 years, and has been a bike rider for more than half a century. Having sold his successful distribution business in 2006 he decided to further indulge his passion for beautiful bikes and founded Enigma shortly after. Jim has an eye for detail and is constantly amazed and impressed by the skill, commitment and ingenuity of the individuals who make up the Enigma team. Even today Jim still rides whenever he can and has a particular fondness for metal framed bicycles. Although he still enjoys watching the big races Jim no longer has any real interest in racing himself, for him simply riding the bike is enough.
Enigma’s financial director and Jim’s wife, Christine overseas the day to day financial activities of the company and supplies the team with homemade cakes. A very organised and efficient person she ensures that the appropriate systems and controls are implemented and maintained by the Enigma staff. Christine has many years’ experience in the financial sector and specialises in foreign trade. Formerly the FD of Jim’s old company Christine is very experienced in the bike business and has been in charge of the financial side of Enigma since the company was incorporated back in 2006. She is the only member of the Enigma team who doesn’t ride a bike, although there has been much talk of an E-bike. An E-Bike???
Richard is our sales manager, custom frame designer and bike fitting expert. He will often be the first point of contact for our customers and his expertise across the disciplines from road, mountain bike, touring and bike packing means that he is ideally placed to give expert advice and customer service. Richard likes a challenge and shortly before joining Enigma in 2016 he rode the Great Divide tour; a 2500-mile off-road epic from Mexico to Canada. When he’s not riding the South Downs or local trails in Friston Forest Richard likes nothing more than designing and spec’ing up the perfect bike. He has also built his own frame which he regularly rides to and from work on.
A qualified mechanical engineer by profession, Greg has been working in the bicycle industry for over 15 years. After a few years with ATB Sales and the Whyte brand, Greg worked with Jim at his distribution company before joining the Enigma team more than 6 years ago. Having previously been in charge of one of the UK service centres he is factory trained by Campagnolo and is also a DT approved wheel builder. Here at Enigma he is charge of R & D and product design as well as ensuring all our machinery is maintained and looked after. No one here has seen him on a bike recently but he is insistent that he can remember how it’s done!
Matt is Jim’s eldest son and has been with Enigma for 6 years. Formerly the Operations Director at the I-Ride distribution company he has a similar role with Enigma and is responsible for the day to day organisation of the business. Matt is also a keen photographer and does much of Enigma’s photography and social media work. Tasked with ensuring customers receive the highest level of service, Matt works hard to ensure that all the wheels of the business run smoothly and as efficiently as possible. Like every member of the team Matt is not afraid to get his hands dirty and is usually involved in some of the frame preparation. He is also the envy of his work mates when it comes to the commute which includes a ride over the beautiful South Downs.
A coded welder and Enigma’s preeminent frame builder. Joe is in charge of the workshop and is arguably the best exponent of the tig-welding technique in UK frame building today, his work is without equal. A real fan of tig-welding Joe believes it is the best way to join tubes as the accuracy required is far greater than is needed for lugged or fillet brazed joints. Enigma owner Jim Walker’s youngest son Joe has instilled his own ethos of hard work and dedication to all his workmates. Despite his firm belief that tig is best, Joe is nonetheless passionate about traditional frame building skills and a Joe Walker frame will deliver the best of the old school combined with a beautiful contemporary edge.
Max is a frame builder and engineer with an attention to detail that borders on the obsessive. Max can braze and weld but his particular talent is making tube mitres that are as fine as can be seen anywhere. His skill at tube cutting and mitring is the perfect complement to Joe Walker’s welding skill. A talented frame builder Max can make almost anything and his engineering skills have proved invaluable to Enigma over the years. Not just a builder of bike frames, he also single handily constructed our fitting room as well as various parts for our jigs and other such tools that have helped to increase the efficiency of our workshop. Although it hasn’t happened yet, Max insists that he will return to serious racing soon!
Our first ever frame building apprentice Sam has been with the company for 4 years and is now fully qualified, although he is still continuing with his mechanical engineering education to HNC level. A natural talent whose academic qualifications would enable him to choose almost any career path. Sam prefers to work with his hands and has chosen the practical side of the bike industry to express his creativity. A part time musician who plays in a band Sam is a reliable, hardworking individual who is developing his skills as a frame builder very quickly and is now accomplished in all aspects of frame building. His energy and aptitude will see him go far in his career. Rides daily to work on a beautiful steel bike he built himself.
A qualified mechanical and electrical engineer, Chris went on to spend 25-years in international development. A pretty drastic career change has seen Chris recently join the Enigma team to combine his dual passion for bikes and UK manufacture. Chris divides his time as General Manager and trainee frame builder. He loves endurance riding off and on road, and has completely fallen for his Enigma Elite as weapon of choice for those blissful hours in the saddle. Not one to shirk a challenge he has also entered the Inaugural Pan Celtic Ultra Endurance Race event coming up in a couple of weeks.
Our resident mechanic Joe has been with us for over 2 years. Having previously worked for a major high street cycle retailer Joe then worked at a builder’s merchants for 7 years. Having had his fill of tea and lewd banter the cycling bug again took hold and he came on board. A dedicated family man Joe doesn’t get the time to ride as much as he’d like but he still gets out on the South Downs and manages to ride in regularly. Here at Enigma Joe undertakes all the assembly and servicing; ensuring all the bikes are set-up to perfection.
Dave is a highly skilled and experienced painter who has spent the last four decades on two wheels, racing BMX, motorbikes and being heavily involved in the 90’s mountain bike scene. A decade of work with Harley Davidson and Jaguar custom fabrication followed before he joined Enigma in 2016. With influences learned from this varied past his experience and design flair have been instrumental in helping Enigma win various awards over the last two years. Very much at home with custom work Dave likes nothing better than helping customers choose designs and colours for their new frames, his enthusiasm is infectious.
Enigma Founded. We exhibit at the National Cycle Show
Eulogy and Effusion titanium/carbon fusion models introduced
First Steel frames are built in house
Move to large premises with workshop.
First titanium frames are built
Exhibit at first EHBE show in Germany
Build first ‘smooth’ welded titanium Eulogy
Exhibit at UK's inaugural Bespoked Handmade Bike Show and win award for best MTB
Move to Apex Park in Hailsham our current home
Exhibit at London Bike Show
Our in-house paint facility opens
Appoint an Australian distributor
First Excel 6AL 4V frames produced in-house
Exhibit at Bike Motion Show in Utrecht, Netherlands
Enigma apprenticeship programme begins
Launch 'Signature' series frames
We appoint our first US distributor
Exhibit at London Bike Show
Launch Frame Building Academy
Launch limited edition Exemplar bike
Exhibit at NAHBS for the first time. Win Presidents award for Exemplar
New bike fitting studio opened
Exhibit at NAHBS win award for best paint and Campagnolo award with our Extensor and Echelon models
Exhibit at Bespoked win award for best Gravel bike with Excel GR
Exhibit at NAHBS win Columbus award with Elite
Partner with Pan Celtic Race, our first ultra-endurance foray
Exhibit at Bespoked Show and win best Gravel bike (Escape) for second year in a row.
Introduce first Pinion geared bike.