A YORK woman who moved to London and set up her own bike manufacturing company has signed a deal with a retailer in her home city.

Sian Emmison, who set up Bobbin Bicycles five years ago, has signed a deal with Cycle Heaven in Bishopthorpe Road to stock the range of vintage bikes.

Sian, who studied fine art at York College, said: “When I was doing my A-levels in York, I never thought I would own a bike shop.”

The former pupil of Bootham School and Woldgate School in Pocklington moved to London to work in the arts scene, before moving to Amsterdam, where she met her husband, Tom.

She said the culture of bikes in the Netherlands sparked her passion.

“Bikes are the most amazing lifestyle tool. People move house on their bikes in Amsterdam,” she said.

She set about importing Dutch bikes, which she sold from her studio space in Clerkenwell, an arty neighbourhood, where her fashionable bike boutique attracted architects and designers who wanted to ride beautiful bikes.

The business now manufactures its own bikes, and instead of a boutique, Bobbin is a wholesale business, stocking bike boutiques all over the world.

The range is for fashion-conscious commuters rather than sporty cyclists, she said, with comfort surpassing aerodynamics.

The upright bikes have chain guards and mudguards, and Bobbin is about to launch its range of accessories, which includes helmets made to look like a bowler hat, or Sherlock Holmes’s hat, a reflective vest in the style of a “vaudeville” sailor’s collar, and fashionable saddle bags.

“People don’t want to have to dress up in Lycra then get off their bike to go to a meeting. They don’t want to look like cyclists and have to derobe every time you get off your bike.”

Sian said she targeted York for its cycling culture.

She said: “I’m just so happy to see our bikes being cycled around my home town, and to hook up with such a lovely like-minded business like Cycle Heaven.

“They have been flying the flag for 20 years and now find themselves part of a very zeitgeisty and very hip international bike boutique scene.”