This weekend Bristol is once again playing host to the Bespoked handmade bicycle show. Often referred to as the UK’s answer to NAHBS, Bespoked is a celebration of handmade bicycles and the people that make them.
With Bespoked 2018 happening just metres away from BikeRadar's HQ, we popped along to ogle at what was on display.
- Three stunning road bikes from NAHBS 2018
- These beautiful handmade bikes will make you want to go custom
Mawis 650B gravel bike build
Anyone familiar with German builder Mathias Scherer’s creations will likely be able to spot this excellent gravel bike as his own work.
Clean lines and clever integration are a reflection of Scherer’s obsession with detail, and this bike is crammed with examples of this thinking.
Take the stem, for example, which features no external bolts even at its steerer clamp. To secure the stem involves turning a concealed Allen key that’s accessible with the stem’s faceplate removed. This drives a wedge into the steerer and provides the correct clamping force. Similarly, Scherer also positioned the frame’s seat post clamp totally out of sight.
The brakes on this build combine Hope’s flashy anodised calipers with TRP’s ergonomic and economical shift levers. An identical piston diameter shared by both systems makes for convenient cross-compatibility.
Rob Quirk’s Lopro creation was another bike that really stood out.
The build pairs Columbus Max fork blades with a hard-to-find Samson crown that came all the way from Japan. Its rear end is also Columbus max and the main triangle is Columbus Mega.
The Zipp Front wheel is from the mid-nineties, while the rear is much later, from approximately 2004. Everything else is NJS compliant, including the fabulous 3T Moscow bull-horn bars.
Allied Cycle Works Alfa Disc
This is the first time we’ve seen a disc version of the Alfa road bike from US builder Allied Cycle Works.
Trust us when we say the British racing green is stunning despite the show’s shoddy internal lighting doing its best to prove otherwise.
Flightrider flight bag/pannier
One product that really took us by surprise was the Flightrider bike bag, which ingeniously changes from a secure bike bag for flights or train journeys into a fully functioning set of rear panniers thanks to a couple of zips and some very clever thinking.
What a brilliant idea. Read more on these on these over at Flighrrider.cc.
Woodrup Cycles Chimera touring bike
Leeds based builder Woodrup Cycles is responsible for this wonderfully practical touring build that pays homage to Williams F1.
Borrowing what has to be one of the most popular liveries of all time, the Woodrup Chimera pairs a fillet brazed Reynolds 853 frame to a belt driven Rohloff hub with custom SRAM shifters.
There’s also neat custom-made luggage from local firm Restrap and a dyno hub that feeds multiple USB charge ports.
Meteor Works Chimera Disc
From one Chimera to another, this time from Meteor Works.This bike is a disc version of a design that proved popular at last year’s Bespoked show.
The frame uses a selection of Reynolds, Columbus and Dedaccia as well as parts from motorsport suppliers, Pro-formance Metals.
A 3D-printed stainless steel lug is used to mate the diamond-shaped carbon seat mast with the frame’s bottom bracket in order to achieve the correct levels of stiffness and compliance.
The drivetrain is a custom 1x11 Di2 set up that pairs a Shimano XT Di2 derailleur with a modified SRAM crank and TRP disc brake levers that were milled out specifically to accept Di2 satellite shifters.
Spoon Customs Izoard RR Galaxy
“Make me a bike that looks like the galaxy”; that’s the devastatingly complex yet puzzlingly simple brief that led to the colourful build you see before you. The result is simply stunning.
Stayer Cycles Snot Rocket 29er camera porteur
Stayer Cycles is a custom frame building outfit based in the East End of London and this particular bike is the personal bike of co-owner, Sam.
Built for off-road shredding and camera portage (camera nerds will delight at the Fuji GW690 rangefinder in the rack bag), a porteur style rack was also built to accompany the bike, which takes care of stuff-schlepping duties.
A particular highlight of the frame is the custom dropouts — a classic track end is paired with a derailleur hanger, which makes it very easy to convert the bike between single speed or geared setups.
The bike is built with a mix of polished alloy components, including White Industries ENO cranks, a Ritchey Classic stem, a Hope headset and Paul Klamper mechanical disc brakes. The tan wall Maxxis Ikon tyres also match beautifully with the pleasing salmon-ish pink paint.
The saddle was an old knackered favourite of Sam that has been refinished by fellow show exhibitor, Grafton Saddler.
Stayer also produces its own wheels and the Snot Rocket is fitted with its own alloy 29er wheels. It’s not totally clear from the photos, but these are pleasing dark grey colour that is reminiscent of Mavic’s old hard anodized CD finish.
For more info and pricing visit Stayer Cycles.
Cyfac 1x XTR randonneur bike
Cyfac wowed us last year with its polished stainless steel bike that featured all manner of fancy and neatly executed integration.
This year, they’ve blown us away again with this custom steel and carbon randonneur bike.
There’s far too much to talk about here, so you’ll be seeing more of this bike next week. Stay tuned!
Visit Cyfac for more details.
Stanforth Skyelander stainless steel Rinko special
This delightful polished stainless steel touring bike on the Stanforth stand instantly caught our eye upon entering the show.
The bike is built to Japan’s Rinko standards (Rinko is a system designed to make it easy to disassemble bikes for travel on trains in Japan) and it features a quick-release headset of sorts, split mudguards and simple, yet effective, down tube shifters, all of which make it easy to pack the bike up for travel. The small stuff sacks mounted to the bike contain the bag that would be used to transport the bike.
Interestingly, the neatly integrated and nicely finished lighting system is battery powered rather than the dynamo powered, which is more typically seen on randonneur style bikes.
The rear derailleur comes courtesy of Sun XCD (though is in fact just a nicely polished and rebranded Microshift derailleur) and the front is a repurposed vintage Shimano 600 model. The tyres, brakes and stem come courtesy of Grand Bois.
The cockpit of the bike is a particular highlight — the bars are impeccably wrapped in harlequin style and we’re already thinking about how we can replicate this on our own bikes.
Stanforth is better known for its lugged mountain bike style touring bikes and we couldn’t help but also grab a few snaps of the Kibo, the bike that got the brand started and still its best selling model.
For more info and pricing, visit Stanforth Bikes.
Curtis Bikes Racelite 24” Cruiser BMX
Brian Curtis and Gary Woodhouse are legends of the UK custom bike scene.
The well-established brand is now offering its Racelite cruiser alongside a host of handsome hardtail and full suspension mountain bikes.
This particular bike is built around Shimano’s DXR cranks and brakes, a Hope headset, Tioga finishing kit and an S&M bar. The fact this bike spins on Profile’s legendary hubs is almost a given.
The clear coat finish bike exhibits its impeccably well-finished fillet brazed joints.
A Racelite frameset starts at £695 for a stock size and £795 for custom sizes. For more info, check out Curtis Bikes.
Robot Bike Co R-Zero hardtail
The Robot Bike Co stand was likely the most high-tech at this year’s edition of Bespoked.
We’ve already covered Robot’s unique construction techniques in depth here. However, as a brief reminder, the bikes are made from 3D printed titanium lugs that are matched with fancy carbon tubing that is made by a company based in New Zealand that normally specialises in components for high-end racing yachts.
Unlike the brands R160 full suspension bike, which had relatively fixed geometry due to the limitations of accomodating the suspension out back, the R-Zero can be had in pretty much any shape you like, with everything from hub spacing to wheel size being customisable.
This particular bike is owned by Andy Hawkins, who makes up ¼ of Robot Bike Co. With a super low standover height, short chainstays, a high front end, a slack head tube and generous reach, we reckon this Robot will be a wicked little shredder.
Rumour has it that the brand is also planning on launching something new at Fort William, so keep your peepers peeled.
A custom R-Zero frame starts at £2,895. Visit Robot Bike Co for more info.
Bespoked will be open to the public from April 20-22 at Brunel’s Old Station in Bristol. Head across to the Bespoked website to buy tickets