by Dave Anderson
April 8, 2013
If you’re heading to Bespoked Bristol this weekend why not have a flutter on winning on a custom bike frame.
A very special bicycle made live at the show for one very lucky person!
Bespoked Bristol – The UK Handmade Bicycle Show is the chance to see the finest handmade bicycles in the world and meet the people who have made them!
Announcing a very special event – a custom bicycle is to be made live at the show resulting in an extremely lovely bicycle for one very lucky person!
Bespoked Bristol and The Bicycle Academy will be staging a collaboration between some of the world’s best frame builders, wheel builders and bike fitters, and include some of the worlds finest cycling components. The result will be a very special bicycle made especially for one lucky person. This bicycle will be made live throughout the show.
A raffle will be held at the show’s launch on Friday 12th, April (17.00 – 20.00), with the draw taking place later that evening alongside the show awards presented by Bristol’s Mayor George Ferguson. The winner of this raffle will be measured and over the course of the weekend the frame will be designed and built (finishing and presentation of this bike will take place after the show).
Raffle tickets will cost £5 with the money raised being donated to The Bristol Bicycle Project and World Bicycle Relief. The bicycle will be a custom made, Reynolds 725 single speed, with Columbus carbon forks.
“For the 2013 show we think that ‘actions speak louder than words’ ” says Phil (Taylor, show founder and organiser). “So we are going to build a bike from scratch, which will be made to fit one very lucky person. From the initial consultation and bike fit through tube selection, frame design, lug prep and, brazing, and wheel building, some of the finest framebuilders and bike fitters in the world will be combining skills in this event.
Please see below for the full details of the bicycle along with a timetable of events at the show
At Bespoked Bristol over 80 exhibitors will be showcasing handmade bikes from across the world. Roberts, Rourke, Condor, Brookes, Swallow Bespoke, Reynolds and Enigma are part of the UK’s cycling heritage; they’ll be joined by counterparts from overseas such as Italian’s Cinelli, Campagnolo, Columbus, Faggin and Legend, French maker Cyfac, Winter Bicycles from the USA and Cherubim from Japan. A new generation of exciting talent will also be there; Feather Cycles, Donhou, Demon Frameworks, Field Cycles, Ted James, Paulus Quiros…exhibitor space is sold out this year.
As interest in UK cycling has spiraled, so has a resurgence in custom-made bicycles as people enjoy the benefits of a machine built just for them.
A parallel between handmade bicycles and tailoring can be made, where a partnership between the tailor and client leads to a suit that marries the style of both wearer and maker. The bicycle framebuilder replaces the cloth of the suit with steel, titanium, carbon fiber, wood or bamboo to create – with passion, pride and exquisite skill – a unique custom fit bicycle ideally suited to the style of the rider.
Legends of frame building Rourke, Riley (Enigma), Wade (Swallow Bespoke), Hewitt, McCaig (Oak Cycles) and Bertoletti (Legend) will be joined by frame fitters Cavell (Cyclefit) and Sexton (Bike Science and wheel builder Webb (Just Riding Along) will combine talents to design and make one very special bike for one luck person. The frame will then be built up into a bicycle with some beautiful components
Organiser Phil Taylor is a bicycle maker himself, Libertine Bicycles operates out of a small workshop in the Slad Valley, Gloucestershire. “I’d become interested in building a bicycle for myself, using the traditional techniques and materials of the classic British early 20th century bikes. But I could find neither the information nor even the existing builders, as the culture was for small builders to work away quietly and modestly in their own areas.” It soon became apparent that a public exhibition wasn’t just a possibility but a downright need, and Bespoked launched in 2010.
This year’s show also celebrates the 100-year anniversary of stainless steel, an innovative bike-building material, with a display of stainless steel bicycles in the reception area.
The first show was a huge success, which led to the move to a larger venue in 2012 – the iconic original railway terminal built by Brunel at Bristol Temple Meads. Over 4,000 UK cyclists bought tickets visiting 70 exhibitors ranging from one-man frame builders to the specialist makers of the components that make up a bicycle. As one visitor put it, “It’s an incredible show – there are so many highly skilled people and fantastic examples of design in one room.”
Which is a view shared by Rob Penn, author of “It’s All About the Bike” and “Tales from the Wild Wood” on BBC TV, and Judge of the Bespoked Bristol builders competition. “It was an excellent show,” according to Penn who will be returning in 2013. Other distinguished judges include, legendary frame builder Dave Yates, bike testing guru Steve Worland, author and designer Nick Hand and last years winner of ‘Best in Show’ and the public vote Robin Mather.
Stoke-on-Trent’s veteran framebuilder Brian Rourke, whose son Jason built the bike featured in Rob Penn’s film, says of Bespoked Bristol, “I’ve been going to bike shows for about 50 years now and this one, for me personally and for this type of show, has been the best ever – not close but by miles.”
Bespoked Bristol is on from 12th to 14th of April at Brunel’s Old Station, Bristol.
More info here: http://www.bespokedbristol.co.uk/index.html