Last weekend saw the return of Bristol's Bespoked Bicycle show. Often referred to as the UK's answer to NAHBS, Bespoked brings together some of the world's best and least established framebuilders for a weekend of custom bike porn.
With the show being just metres away from BikeRadar's HQ, we popped along to ogle at what was on display. Here are several showstopping rides from Bespoked 2017.
Adrian Ridley’s Engineered Cycles Donder
The Donder from Bristol-based Engineered Cycles is designed for crit and short road race competition, though this particular example is the personal bike of Engineered Cycles’ own Adrian Ridley.
It’s difficult to appreciate in these photos, mostly down to the subtlety of the finish, but the Scandium tubing of Ridley’s bike is painted in a gorgeous purple metallic. The colour fades from a dark to a light purple while lightning strikes and moody clouds surround the fork plus the frame’s top and down tubes.
The paintwork was completed by Tim Cox of TJC Design, a Bristol artist who also painted this showstopping, award-winning design that was debuted at last year’s Bespoked show.
Spec highlights include a Dura-Ace 9100 mechanical drivetrain and brakes, second generation ENVE 3.4 rims and ENVE’s SES aero handlebar. As it stands, this build weighs approx 7.1kg.
TRed Aracnide Acciaio
Italian firm TRed had this stunning new bike on show. Dubbed the Aracnide Acciaio, it’s a modern take on a rapid steel road ride. Made from Niobium steel, the frame is dressed in some of the world’s most fancy parts resulting in a build that totals just 5.9kg for this 54cm example.
TRed currently produces around 100 frames per year and is set to double its production numbers for 2017.
Winter Bicycles custom all-road build
Eric Estlund produces approximately 20 bikes a year and this custom all-road build is one of his finest to date.
Many of its Dura-Ace components, along with the sections of frame and the stem, have been hand engraved with a look that's reminiscent of an old shotgun.
Estlund only produces complete builds with most totalling $3,000-–$7,000, though the final cost of this bike hasn’t yet been calculated.
Cyfac custom randonneur bike
Cyfac, based in La Fuye, France has been producing bikes for well over 100 years.
The brand is best known for producing the majority of early alloy bikes for the pro-peloton in the sixties and seventies, but nowadays it is primarily focussed on producing fully custom steel, alloy and carbon bikes.
This petit randonneuring machine was one of the most impressive at the show, with a level of integration that was unmatched.
The true highlight of the bike is the fully integrated carbon mudguards, which flow seamlessly into the crown of the fork, where the ‘guard stays bonded to the fillet brazed steel frame.
While we dread to think of the consequences of damaging these guards, they’re said to be incredibly strong and virtually silent while riding.
The rest of the bike is riddled with more incredibly impressive custom details than we could begin to describe here — from the fully integrated dynamo lighting to the custom seatmast topper and funky cable routing, this is a truly remarkable machine.
Cyfac is distributed in the UK by Lifecycle UK, and the full bike as pictured was said to cost something in the region of €11,000. Better start saving.
Karussell Cycles spring classic build
Slovenian David Krevs is a newcomer to Bespoked and we were immediately drawn to this charming build he had on display.
Built as a modern steel take on a spring classic build, it features paint work inspired by the mighty Vaillant Porsche 935, with colour co-ordination stretching as far as the bike’s shifters and chain.
It's one of numerous builds Krevs has produced in recent times, many of which feature other famous motorsport liveries. We’d be surprised if he doesn’t scoop an award over the next couple of days.
Curtis 650B full-suspension
Curtis front man Gary Woodhouse was on hand to talk us through this, the company’s single pivot full-suspension frame. It’s a 160mm single pivot chassis with a 64.5-degree head angle and generous reach numbers up front.
A staggering amount of brazing work has gone into this first-generation design and — with Curtis being Curtis — it’s all immaculately done too.
Seat and top tube numbers can be customised to the millimetre and a plus-size version may also be in the works. Pricing is still TBC, but the company is ready to receive orders says Woodhouse.
Tsubasa Bicycles track build
Track machines don’t get much more purposeful or raw than this effort from Tsubasa Bicycles. Said to be inspired by a hardy military man from the 1940s, its simple but deadly construction includes hugely oversized carbon tubes with an almost raw finish.
This very bike is soon to be put underneath members of Lithuania’s track team where it’s set to be pushed by some devastatingly powerful legs.
Tsubasa ‘The Bee’ custom carbon road bike
Tsubasa also had this rather aptly named carbon road bike on show. Using an extra layer of honeycomb textured carbon fibre to reinforce its otherwise incredibly skinny tubing, ‘The Bee’ weighed about as much as a ghost when we lifted it off its stand.
The bike also featured something we haven’t seen on a road bike in a long time — 19mm tubs! Who knew Conti’ was even still making these?
Our resident fast-man Joe Norledge is already dreaming about taking this lightweight machine home for the upcoming hill climbing scene — you never know his luck!
Toad Cycles custom singlespeed townie shredder
For this year, Toad brought along this cool singlespeed number which immediately caught our eye.
While undoubtedly handsome, just how quickly the Cambridge based workshop managed to turn around the bike is even more impressive — receiving the order a mere four weeks ago with a strict deadline for a birthday next week (happy birthday to the lucky customer!), the bike was only finished this Tuesday.
Designed to be a relaxed handling but nippy ride, the bike is destined to live in considerably sunnier climes in Southern California.
While we love the idea of the bike cruising up and down sun-kissed boulevards, it’s actually going to be used primarily for getting around the owner’s — clearly enormous — offices.
The build is finished off with a smattering of Paul Components parts, with the frame designed specifically to run the Chico-based brand’s Racer centre-pull brakes.
The lucky new owner is due to design the paintwork for his new bike over the next few weeks and we’re looking forward to seeing how the bike finally turns out.
ISEN Workshop all road 650c prototype
ISEN Workshop was one of the newest brands at this year's show, but is actually headed by two well established builders — the brainchild of Caren Hartley of Hartley Cycles and Matt McDonough of Talbot frameworks. ISEN is a new joint venture between the two highly respected builders that is due to start building a range of ‘off-the-peg’ bikes later this year.
This first bike — an as of yet unnamed all-road model — has clearances for fat 35c rough-road friendly rubber and is finished with an absolutely beautiful iridescent fade paint-job.
The prototype bike pictured is built around wee 650c wheels — these are well suited for smaller frames, of which Caren has become somewhat of an expert in building.
Caren will carry this expertise to ISEN, with the brand offering bikes sized from a diminutive 47cm all the way to a gate-like 59cm.
The prototype bikes are currently being built with stock forks, but ISEN is in the midst of sourcing a custom 650c-specific fork which will help to improve the handling of smaller sized bikes.
Orders will open soon for the new bikes and we’re hoping to get one in for test — watch this space.
We’ve long admired the work of Demon Frameworks via its exceptional Instagram account and thoroughly enjoyed ogling at this unnamed singlespeed frame in the flesh.
Reinforced with art-deco-ish inspired ‘webbing’ between the main tube junctions, this beautiful fillet brazed frame was attracting a lot of attention at this year's show and we’re looking forward to seeing how the completed bike turns out.
Demon has also been producing a line of exceptionally cool work-wear inspired jackets in collaboration with Private White V.C for some time now, and had the full range on show — the jacket recently scored well in our sister publication, Urban Cyclist, and we all left the show wanting one for ourselves.