We all like shiny things, right? And sometimes, even better than shiny things are ones which have been lovingly crafted in small quantities and carry an air of the exotic and rare. So on Friday, Barney and Tom popped down to Bristol to see what they could sniff out at Bespoked 2015 – the UK Handmade Bicycle Show.
Bespoked has built a reputation as Europe’s leading handmade bicycle show. And after a foray to That London last year, it has returned to its Bristol motherland. The show is running over the weekend, but we snuck in early to find the bestest, most innovative, prettiest bikes and share them with you. As we all know though, bikes (especially the custom detailing on show here) look best in the flesh, so if you get the chance to visit, it really is worthwhile (a lot of the goings on are right next door to the train station). Let’s take a look at some of the mountainbikery highlights:
More info: Shand
More info: Hartley
Rob and Ian Farrer were showing this lovely looking 29er hardtail with the shortest chainstays I’ve ever seen – 210mm – thanks to that bent seattube. There’s an eccentric in the BB too, so you can alter the BB length.
Details: Cofa Engineering
Details: Automatic Cycles
Details: Curtis Cycles
Details (in Japanese): Ogre
As well as pushing his Spline hardtails (Barney’s got one on long term review, folks), Adrian from Swarf had this fantastic carbon mono-blade balance bike on display. It’s carbon layered up over a foam core, and it looks gorgeous.
Details: Swarf Cycles
The folks at Frome based Seren don’t normally make mountain bikes, but apparently there’s a pump track nearby, so temptation took the better of them. It’s got a ‘dipped’ graphic, which is floated on top of a liquid, and the primed frame is dipped into it. You then repeat on the other side, and you too could have some thing as awesome-looking as…
This bike is unusual in lots of different ways – there’s the belt drive, sure – but those downtube 4130 steel rods are rider-tuned to give more stiffness than Reynolds 953 (apparently a bit flexy). Splitting them like that puts the forces on the outside of the BB92. Plus they look mental. The final project is going to be completely 953 and 921 stainless steel. Stevo has a kickstarter up and running to finish the project – you can see it here!
Details: Olsen Bicycles
It’s a sign of the rude health of the handmade/bespoke bike industry in the UK that the show now spans two venues. 90 (including 30 new exhibitors for 2015) builders and manufacturers of cycle technology are housed in the fitting location of Brunel’s Old Station, while purveyors of handmade cycling goods and design are a 15 minute walk (or 5 minute bike ride) away in The Arnolfini on the waterfront – which is also a great place to grab coffee.
Stay tuned for more from Bespoked 2015 over the next few days…