The literal meaning of PARAGON is “A Model of Excellence.” Our aim is to uphold this motto in every bicycle that we design and build.
Our story began back in 1988 when a young cyclist fresh from college chose a local cycle manufacturer as the first rung of his career ladder. For six long years he studied hard under the guidance and mentoring of traditional craftsmen. He slowly gained experience in all departments and in all facets of the manufacturing process. Possessing a rounded knowledge of cycles, production, quality and general management, he applied all of the skills he had learned and became the Production Manager at the age of 24.
Over the next 12 years, production processes and staff training had to evolve as the boom in cycling and competition from overseas saw the production rise from 80,000 bikes to over 300,000 bikes per year, with nearly 300 staff members at its height of production.
With volumes increasing and high pressures on the factory, the one area of absolute importance was maintaining the attention to detail and quality of assembly. This ethic was rewarded by winning a contract to produce two models for German car manufacturer BMW. A range of alloy folding mountain bikes were produced for North America and some limited edition carbon fibre BMW/Williams road bikes for the UK. A true testament to teamwork and dedication.
In mid-2006 the market shifted dramatically. Price competition became fierce and the factory sadly closed its doors for the last time. The new challenge was to continue the design and development in the UK but use contract manufacturing overseas to enable competitiveness in the UK market. Over the next 9 years, having travelled the world specialising in product development, design, factory controls and procurement there was a burning desire to bring production back to the UK.
Building a new British brand in the presence of established international competitors was going to be a tough challenge. The vision for the brand had to draw on the ethos of quality, first and foremost, followed by outstanding customer service and the bikes had to be “Made in Great Britain.” Wishing to give something back to the local community, development commenced resulting in the Paragon Community Support Program (PCSP). Additionally, strong support was given to the global World Bicycle Relief program. It followed that the greater the success of the company, the bigger the charitable benefit.
In the early spring of 2015 planning, design and strategy of the exciting new brand began. January 2016 saw the first bike roll out of the UK production facility and the dream was finally realised…