Spotted: Shand Spy Shots – Who Or What Is Tam?

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September 18, 2017

It’s The Cycle Show at the NEC later this week, and despite all the flurry of product at Eurobike, there are still some new releases to be spotted in Birmingham. One of those looks to be something from Shand Cycles, who Chipps and Wil visited late last year.

Shand Cycles and a few employees have been sharing this ‘Who’s Tam?’ image on Instagram.

Coming soon…

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With pedigree in both flat bar and drop bar adventure bikes, this could be either. Judging by the road in this picture, we’re erring on the side of it not being a skinny tyred road bike. But is it a ‘gravel bike’, or a ‘mountain bike’?

Are there any clues in the name? Chipps reckons it could be a reference to Mount Tamalpais, a mountain in Marin, where the Repack races happened, and as such is the spiritual birthplace of mountain biking. Could he be right?

Or is it a very obscure reference to a short back end/rear triangle? For those of you not brought up in the Scottish education system, you may not know that Tam O’Shanter refers not just to tartan hats with red wigs attached, but also to a poem by Robert Burns, in which Tam O’Shanter goes out drinking and on his way home has to flee the witches on his horse. Only just making it over the river (which the witches can’t cross), he gets away, but not before the witches have pulled off his horse’s tail. Leaving her with a short back end…maybe? Too tenuous?

There is another peek of this mysterious Tam, on the frame painter’s Instagram:

(Warning: do not go perusing the rest of Euan’s Instagram unless you want to find yourself needing a bespoke painted Shand…)

That fork in the background would suggest we’re looking at something rigid, not a hardtail mountain bike with suspension forks…or it could just be there to throw us off the scent…or it could be a Lauf fork? Could Tam actually be an acronym – Trail And Mountain?

We’ll be at the NEC later this week, so we shall do our best to find out who – or what – Tam is. Feel free to speculate further below!

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