Bespoked: 5 stunning bikes

Extraordinary bikes from the weekend’s handmade bicycle show: Souplesse, Grimcycles, Faggin, Brian Rouke, VeloBoo

by Mat Brett   April 14, 2014  

There were dozens of incredible-looking bikes on display at Bespoked handmade bicycle show at the Lee Valley Velodrome, London, over the weekend, and here are five that really caught our eye.

We’ll level with you: we have so many bikes to tell you about from the show that we don’t know what to do with them all. We’ll run more throughout the week so keep coming back to road.cc for more handmade loveliness.

In the meantime, check out these...

Souplesse

We’re not sure what category this chopper from Souplesse falls into. It’s made from bamboo, it’s fitted with disc brakes, and it has Alfine electronic shifting.

Oh, and that Alfine is stick-shift! There are so many niches here that we reckon we can safely say that it’s in a category all of its own.

The quality of the workmanship is extraordinary with the joints first wrapped with Kevlar with a natural fibre wrap over the top. 

Souplesse’s road bikes look equally good.

www.souplessebikes.com

 

Grimcycles

This Reynolds 631 steel frame is from Manchester-based Grimcycles – the name comes from the brand’s northern roots (don’t blame us, we didn’t make it up). All of Grimcycle’s bikes are 100% bespoke.

Why have we included this bike here? Well, it’s a neat-looking machine, and we especially like the clean lines provided by of the integrated seatpost and the internal cable routing.

What really attracted us, though, is the paintjob. That 63 just below the top tube/seat tube junction refers to the No. 63 Squadron RAF, a bomber aircraft and training squadron of the RAF that was active for various periods from 1916 to 1992 (the internet might have been used in the compiling of this article!).

The words ‘Pone nos ad hostem’ are hidden away on the underside of the down tube where they’re not particularly noticeable. That’s the motto of the squadron and it means ‘follow us to find the enemy’.

They could have gone over the top with RAF references but we think that the ‘less is more’ approach really works here.

www.grimcycles.co.uk

 

Faggin

Lots of different finishes are used on bikes to achieve various effects but this one, from Italy’s Faggin, is the only one we saw at Bespoked that was covered in leather (sorry about the busy background in the above pic; that's shows for ya!).

The contrast stitching is done by hand using one continuous thread. That’s what they told us. How the hell they manage it, we couldn’t tell you. It must take the patience of a saint, but the final product looks amazing.

www.fagginbikes.com www.impactct.co.uk

 

Brian Rourke

This is a bike that Brian Rourke has put together for friend of road.cc Chris Hewings (Chris is the UK and Ireland distributor of Parlee Cycles, among other things).

The frame is exquisite with an incredible level of detail around the shiny lugs, but have a look at the groupset.

It’s a Campagnolo 50th anniversary group – Gruppo del Cinquantenario – from 1983.

Most of the components feature a raised Campagnolo shield logo in gold. The whole bike is absolutely stunning.

www.brianrourke.co.uk

 

VeloBoo

Given that there are relatively few bamboo bikes out there, featuring two in this brief article might be a touch excessive, but what the hell?

VeloBoo has produced just 30 of these bikes with components that are plated with 24K gold. Yep, gold. They say it’s designed to be durable although we can’t help feeling that anyone who buys one of these isn’t going to use it to nip down to the shops. We’ve never seen one chained up outside the Sainsbury’s by the road.cc office anyway.

The customised grips are made from leather and are hand-sewn, and the same goes for the saddle. The toe straps match them both.

Just check out those brakes!

www.veloboodesign.com

15 user comments

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The electronic stick shift on that chopper is AWESOME. There's just something about the combination of incredible attention to detail and craftsmanship on such a ridiculous and utterly impractical bike as a chopper - really brings a smile to my face.

posted by ashfanman [50 posts]
14th April 2014 - 18:13

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Would have been good to have gone to this.......whoever decided to arrange on the same weekend as London marathon, needs their head checked

posted by only1redders [11 posts]
14th April 2014 - 18:51

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A bamboo bike and a leather bike..? It's all a bit Heston Blumenthal to me. Jaded palettes pushing the creative past practical into Willy Wonka world.

Or it's good old British ingenuity.

Silly me. You're probably right....

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posted by MercuryOne [1056 posts]
14th April 2014 - 21:23

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Help Please: Any idea where you can get handlebars similar to the Veloboo gold ones? Anodised gold (rather than 24k!) or even just plain black would be great.

Need them in MTB diameter (22.2mm) at the bar ends, with the full width ideally being between 42 -50cm.

posted by macrophotofly [31 posts]
15th April 2014 - 2:18

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macrophotofly wrote:
Help Please: Any idea where you can get handlebars similar to the Veloboo gold ones? Anodised gold (rather than 24k!) or even just plain black would be great.

Need them in MTB diameter (22.2mm) at the bar ends, with the full width ideally being between 42 -50cm.

Looks like Lauterwasser bars. Soma do a version in alloy and steel. Neither in gold or black, though you could get the alloy one anodised. Don't know where to get them in the UK. I had a set shipped from the USA.

posted by mephistopheles [8 posts]
15th April 2014 - 6:39

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So you went to a show and took photographs of models in tight leather.....? Hmmmmm! Bet you didn't put it quite that way when you got home!
Rolling On The Floor Rolling On The Floor Rolling On The Floor

posted by levermonkey [360 posts]
15th April 2014 - 7:39

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MercuryOne wrote:
A bamboo bike and a leather bike..? It's all a bit Heston Blumenthal to me.

No, no. Heston's bike was the one made of frozen smoke.

posted by bikebot [490 posts]
15th April 2014 - 8:39

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That Grimcycles bike is really lovely, the paintjob is great and definitely agree that the more understated references really make it. It would have ruined it to start putting roundels all over it or more quotes. (Maybe a strike rate bomb symbol on the fork would have worked)
I may have found another manufacturer to add to the list for my dream bike, I'd better keep saving...

Former Fat Lad on a Bike

posted by RobD [99 posts]
15th April 2014 - 8:55

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How can you mis-spell Brian RouRke twice? At least you got it right in the website address.

All stunning bikes.

posted by AleBeRiding [12 posts]
15th April 2014 - 9:43

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That Brian Rourke bike is an absolute stunner. I'll have it if no one else wants it Smile

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posted by Martin Thomas [567 posts]
15th April 2014 - 11:26

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I used to have a Chopper in 1974 and if no one wants that one I'll have it (just to compare to the original) Big Grin

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posted by Wesselwookie [130 posts]
15th April 2014 - 11:57

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Grim by name, but not by nature. Check his website gallery; astoundingly beautiful yet functional bikes. I've just ordered my new frame, wish I'd found him first.

Good luck with the business

'It's the closest you can get to flying'
Robin Williams response when asked why he enjoyed riding so much

posted by Simmo72 [286 posts]
15th April 2014 - 12:37

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Brian Rourke. Achingly beautiful.

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posted by mingmong [191 posts]
15th April 2014 - 13:02

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Crazy & cool.
Anybody here ever ridden a bamboo bike, what are they like?

Zombies don't ride bikes.

posted by Markus [36 posts]
15th April 2014 - 19:32

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Quote:
Looks like Lauterwasser bars. Soma do a version in alloy and steel. Neither in gold or black, though you could get the alloy one anodised. Don't know where to get them in the UK. I had a set shipped from the USA

I got in touch with Soma (who make the Lautwasser bars) overnight but they informed me they can't provide a specialised service to have them anodised gold or coated black Crying The search for moustache bars in MTB diameter continues....

posted by macrophotofly [31 posts]
16th April 2014 - 0:57

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