It all started in the mid 50’s when Alan Shorter started a tubular repair business.
He was soon repairing tubulars for most racing shops throughout the country.
In ‘56/’57 he started a shop selling cycling racing equipment also started producing Alan Shorter frames. The shop was in Archway, North London.
During this time, Alan Shorter met Alf Engers who was living in Archway at the time. It was not long after that meeting Alan Shorter started to help Alf with his racing career.
In 1959 Alf was aged 19 and had ranked 3rd in the National 25. Soon after that, Alf got a competition record 55:11, and was still only 19 years old! Alf Engers retired due to work commitments in the early 60’s.
Alan Shorter was also helping the Barnet CC win many National and Competition records throughout the 60’s.
Alan Shorter also sponsored an independent road race team in the early to mid 60’s. In 1965 Alan Rochford started working with Shorter. In the late 60’s, the pair moved the shop to North Finchley, were a shop already stood named Ted Gerrard Cycles.
In 1968, Alf Engers returned to racing and teamed up with Alan Shorter to win many races including a 2nd National 25.
He won the National 25 in 1969 and competition record twice; he also won the Track Kilo Championship.
In 1970 Alf was suspended from cycle racing for 2 years and came back in 1972 to win the National 25. He also went on to win in 1973, 1974, 1975 and 1976.
He broke his own competition record for the ‘25 in 1978 and became the first rider to break 30mph with a time of 49:24.
He retired soon after and became known at The King. His ’25 record lasted another 12 years.
He has held competition ‘25 record on and off from 1959 to 1970.
In 1969, Alan Shorter and Alan Rochford joined forces. The shop was rebranded Shorter Rochford Cycles, whilst the frames kept the Shorter name.
In 1970, Alan Shorter opened a shop in High Town, Luton, which he ran for some 20 years.
Alan retired to Milton Keynes thereafter and sadly died in Oct 2010, aged 94.
In 1993, Shorter Rochford Cycles sponsored the Leo RC and enjoyed lots of success. None more so than when Graeme Obree joined and got the hour record, competition 10 and 50 records and 2nd in the National 25 after stopping to adjust his wheel. Without this interruption he would otherwise have almost certainly won and beaten Chris Boardman.
Shorter Rochford Cycles has gone on to sponsor a successful Time Trial Team and a Triathlon Team plus a World Champion Duathlon Athlete!
In the year 2000 Shorter Rochford Cycles expanded its retail side and opened a road bike specific shop in Potters Bar Hertfordshire.
Shorter Rochford Cycles is still highly regarded in the cycling world for building fine bicycles.
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