Bespoked Bristol: Roberts, Pegoretti, Foffa, Kurtz, Quoc Pham, Velobici +lots of pics

More from the floor of Brunel's Old Station in Bristol

by nick_rearden   March 24, 2012  

Among the first time exhibitors at Bespoked Bristol was Roberts Cycles from Croydon but the owner known to everyone as Chas Roberts is no newcomer to framebuilding having been in the business his whole working life and he took over from his late father Charlie who himself was a 'name' since the 1950s.

There are other builders at Bespoked with individually spectacular bikes but no one has a range as consistently top-notch as Roberts, covering all the functions from a state-of-the-art 4.7Kg racer with a steel main frame and carbon-fibre stays, fork and even components to the bombproof world-travelling Rough Stuff that won a new award in the touring category. It's fair to say though that Roberts is at his strongest in that category of bikes where customers want a do-it-all, fast road bike for life.

He acknowledges that most of his buyers have superlight carbon bikes, "but they don't feel the same about them as they do for a bespoke steel frame from someone they may have known and trusted for decades." 

 


Ultralight Columbus Foco steel Roberts frame has a full complement of German carbon components like this 50g BTP hub and it folds in half thanks to stainless steel S&S couplings in the top and down tubes to pack into a backpack no larger than the wheels. All-up weight is 4.7Kg or 10.4lbs.

 


Roberts was one of the first traditional frame makers in the UK to build a mountain bike frame in the 1980s. The D.O.G.S.B.O.L.X has evolved over the years but is still in the range and doubly in demand now that the long-term benefits of steel tubes are appreciated again.
 


A classic Roberts road frame in Columbus XCR stainless tubing, polished lugs and Campagnolo components.

 


650B wheels and careful design means this bike looks perfectly in proportion but is for a 5' 2" woman who hitherto had a terrible time finding a bike that fitted correctly.

 


Not all bikes at Bespoked, though. Knitted wool from Velobici in Leicester; muted grey and cream with knitted-in ribbed texture.

 


Quoc Pham was in his customary place at the heart of things with hand made shoes, this time with patent leather and some interesting colours in addition to the traditional tan and black.

 


Reynolds Tubing showing off the raw 520 and 631 steel tubes used by the likes of Dawes and Genesis to make reasonably priced production bikes but there's exotic 953 stainless steel as featured by many of the custom builders at Bespoked as well as their 2000-series titanium on which they're ramping up production.

 


The Foffa guys had this Hindi henna tattoo inspired graphic finish on one of their singlespeeds.

 


The Italian Dario Pegoretti could have won all categories if the oohs and aahs over his paint finishes was a guide, even from rival builders. He may yet get his revenge when the People's Vote is announced on Sunday evening.

 


Texan Darren Crisp based in Tuscany and making custom titanium frames which he sends all over the world won 'Best Mountain Bike' for his 'Il Capo' but this road bike wasn't too shabby, either.

 


Elegant rear light on Hungarian Kurtz 'Flou' belt drive utility bike.

 


Brunel's Old Station in Bristol is the new venue for Bespoked

Show still on tomorrow Sunday...