The most beautiful handmade bicycles from Bespoked 2018
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.
Try and find clean looks like this from a big brand bike and you will failOli Woodman / Immediate Media
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.
We fell for the ultra-clean lines of this Mawis gravel bikeOli Woodman / Immediate Media
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.
Scherer is known for his next level attention to detailOli Woodman / Immediate Media
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.
Mathias Scherer learned that these Hope four-piston calipers played nicely with TRP’s hydraulic leversOli Woodman / Immediate Media
Quirk’s Low Pro build is currently stealing the crowds at this year’s Beskpoked showOli Woodman / Immediate Media
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.
Mismatched wheels mean this bike is not NJS compliantOli Woodman / Immediate Media
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.
3T Moscow bullhorn bars compliment the buildOli Woodman / Immediate Media
Allied Cycle Works Alfa Disc
Allied’s Alfa, now with discsOli Woodman / Immediate Media
This is the first time we’ve seen a disc version of the Alfa road bike from US builder Allied Cycle Works.
Now that’s just showing offOli Woodman / Immediate Media
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.
The Flightride goes from a competent travel bag…Oli Woodman / Immediate Media
… to a fetching pair of panniers (yes, we know it’s a different colour but you get the point)Oli Woodman / Immediate Media
A few mins of folding and fiddling with zips is all that is required to make the transitionOli Woodman / Immediate Media
What a brilliant idea. Read more on these on these over at Flighrrider.cc.
Woodrup Cycles Chimera touring bike
Woodrup’s Williams F1 inspired touring bikeOli Woodman / Immediate Media
Leeds based builder Woodrup Cycles is responsible for this wonderfully practical touring build that pays homage to Williams F1.
The Martini strip starts at the front…Oli Woodman / Immediate Media
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.
BespokedOli Woodman / Immediate Media
There’s also neat custom-made luggage from local firm Restrap and a dyno hub that feeds multiple USB charge ports.
… follows the frame’s top tube…Oli Woodman / Immediate Media
… and even makes it to the rear mudguardOli Woodman / Immediate Media
Meteor Works Chimera Disc
BespokedOli Woodman / Immediate Media
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 carbon seat mast joins to the frame’s bottom bracket using a 3D-printed sectionOli Woodman / Immediate Media
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.
TRP levers are a favourite among fettlersOli Woodman / Immediate Media
The drivetrain is a custom 1×11 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.
Custom XT Di2 drivetrainOli Woodman / Immediate Media
Spoon Customs Izoard RR Galaxy
Fades were popular at Bespoke 2018, but this was among the bestOli Woodman / Immediate Media
“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.
Inspired by nothing more than our entire galaxyOli Woodman / Immediate Media
Stayer Cycles Snot Rocket 29er camera porteur
The Snot Rocket is a camera schlepping, monster crossing, do-it-alling drop bar shredderJack Luke / Immediate Media
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.
The custom rack takes care of camera carrying dutiesJack Luke / Immediate Media
This giant Fuji rangefinder delighted camera nerd, JackJack Luke / Immediate Media
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.
The custom drop outs make it easy to convert from single speed to geared setupsJack Luke / Immediate Media
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.
We never tire of seeing White Industries ENO cranksJack Luke / Immediate Media
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.
Stanforth Skyelander stainless steel Rinko special
Stanforth is better known for its lugged mountain bike style touring bikesJack Luke / Immediate Media
This delightful polished stainless steel touring bike on the Stanforth stand instantly caught our eye upon entering the show.
This Rinko-compliant touring bike looks resplendent in Reynolds 953Jack Luke / Immediate Media
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 gold chainring bolts and chain are a nice touchJack Luke / Immediate Media
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.
Just look at how immaculate that harlequin wrap is!Jack Luke / Immediate Media
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 best known for its Kibo touring bikeJack Luke / Immediate Media
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.
Curtis is a legendary name in the UK custom sceneJack Luke / Immediate Media
Brian Curtis and Gary Woodhouse are legends of the UK custom bike scene.
The brand is now offering its Racelite cruiser as a ‘stock’ optionJack Luke / Immediate Media
The well-established brand is now offering its Racelite cruiser alongside a host of handsome hardtail and full suspension mountain bikes.
The bike is built around Shimano DXR components…Jack Luke / Immediate Media
…and Profile’s much-loved hubsJack Luke / Immediate Media
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.
This saddle from Tioga is not one you’d want to spend much time perched onJack Luke / Immediate Media
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 R-Zero is a new bike for Robot Bike CoJack Luke / Immediate Media
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.
The 3D printed lugs are impressive to beholdJack Luke / Immediate Media
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