Next weekend over 100 of the world’s best handmade bicycle makers and bicycle goods designers will be at the must-visit Bespoked show in Bristol. To whet your appetite and give you an idea of the exotic you can expect to see, we dropped an email to all the exhibits and asked them for some sneak details of what they’ll be exhibiting.
The Bespoked UK Handbuilt Bicycle Show is once again be held at Brunel’s Old Station in Bristol. It’s right next to Bristol Temple Meads railway station. To book tickets for the show and more information please see the show website www.bespoked.cc
Dates and opening times are:
- Friday 20th April - 2pm - 7pm
- Saturday 21st April - 9.30am - 6pm
- Sunday 22nd April - 10am - 4.30pm
In no particular order other than that which they arrived in my inbox, here are some lovely bikes you’ll be able to see at Bespoked.
See Campagnolo’s new 12-speed groupsets
It’s not all frames and bikes at Bespoked, there are plenty of new parts and accessory makers to see as well. Most notably, Campagnolo will be on hand to show off its brand new 12-speed Record and Super Record groupset, the first time it will be displayed anywhere in the UK since it was unveiled last week. If you missed the news, here is Jack’s report from the sunny bike launch.
As well as seeing the new groupset, Massimo Guariso and Graham Freestone King of Campagnolo will give a presentation and answer questions about the new 12-speed groupsets. They will also have the 12 speed disc groupset on a bike in the show and be on hand to answer any questions. The presentation will be Friday 20th April at 14.15 in the talks area of the show. '
You can count on Field Cycles to have some stunningly painted bikes at the show, a regular at Bespoked for many years, and 2018 will be no exception.
Sheffield-based Field Cycles is a collaboration between three specialists and creates bespoke fillet brazed frames and semi-custom tig welded frames. The attention to detail is so high that the tubes look like organic structures smoothly flowing into each other, and of course, all the bikes will be topped with a luscious paint job.
This year Field Cycles is the only official build partner of Enve Composites so it’ll naturally have some bikes built up with the US company’s wheels and finishing kit.
Prova Cycles to launch three new bikes including Speciale Road Disc
Started by mechanical engineer Mark Hester, Prova Cycles actually got into building bespoke frames after visiting Bespoked and then spending time at The Bicycle Academy.
He’ll use the show to launch three new models - Speciale Road Disc, Mostro GRVL and Ripido. Focusing on the Speciale Road Disc, the aim was to create the lightest steel disc-equipped bike possible without sacrificing the functionality and stiffness. The frame is made from Reynolds 953 and Columbus XCr, both stainless steel tubesets, with a 3D printed seat lug and flat mount dropout. Frame weight is a claimed 1,590g for a 56cm which is certainly a respectable weight.
Bespoked isn’t just about UK-based builders, it’s a good showcase for International frame builders. Heim bicycles is a new one-man driven company based in Trondheim, Norway, started by Sander Kommedahl. He builds frames by mitring everything by hand and building from a full-scale blueprint.
Starling Cycles to launch first road/adventure bike
Startling Cycles is based in Bristol and primarily focuses on mountain bikes, but at Bespoked it might just be launching its first drop bar bike. We don’t have many details, but we’re told it’s an expansion of the brand and retains its mountain bike roots, but is designed for road riding.
“It still has MTB roots, but let's just say it is designed to add the excitement of MTB offroad riding to the daily commute!” says Joe from Starling Cycles.
Bespoked’s many framebuilders would be nothing without high-quality tubing to work with, and the support and commitment of tubing suppliers like Columbus and Reynolds have been pivotal to the resurgence of bespoke framebuilders. Italian firm Columbus is a popular tubing choice and it’ll have its own stand at the show so you can speak to them directly if you have any interest in how tubes are made or what its latest tubeset is.
UK Chris King distributor Saddleback will be hosting Mr Chris King and he'll be taking part in the “Talk Series” once again which is definitely worth your time.
The King booth will be a fully functioning workshop with truing jigs and full King service tools, and of course, there’ll be the full range of the latest King products in all their snazzy colours on display.
Do you own some old King components gathering dust in the back of the shed? Time to dig them out and take them to the show, where people presenting the oldest King components, verified by serial number, will win the modern equivalent. Components can’t be attached to a bike, so they must be brought in on their own.
But if you don’t have any historic King components but do have a part that might need a service, the first five people to take any King product to the stand will get a free service by none other than My King himself! Again, it can’t be attached to a bike, so no point wheeling in your entire bike for a headset service.
Coming straight out of Brooklyn, New York, Coast Cycles build individual bespoke frames that are fit for intended purpose.
“In a sometimes pre-fab, one-size-fits-all, disposable culture, what I find myself most interested in building are quality frames that will last your lifetime, using the same techniques that master builders of high-end bicycles have used for ages. Because I build each frame, one at a time in my own shop, I am able to take my time with each step of the process, and put true skill and craftsmanship into every hand-built silver-brazed frame,” explains Johnny Coast.
Brelis is a one-man shop in Istanbul, Turkey where founder Burcak Erbil, a graduate of The Bicycle Academy, builds and paints bikes when he’s not doing mechanical engineering for Range Rover, Ford and Nissan Motorsports.
Ld Frameworks is the work of Davide Leioni, an Italian framebuilder residing in Bristol. When he’s no busy as a design engineer he’s building frames in small batches with high attention to detail, from the geometry to custom computer mounts and stem.
Founded by Italians Giulio Mancini and Giacomo Zenobi two years ago, Ingrid is a rare company in that it’s designing and manufacturing its own cranksets and other key drivetrain components.
“The use of materials where it is not forced by structural or lightness demands for the aluminium machined from solid and anodised rediscovering the charm of the builders of the 80s 90 but with a more current style and obviously a more advanced research in structures and lightness,” explains the company. Sounds good to us, always nice to have a little more choice when building a bike other than the three big component players.
Engineer Biagio Colletto is based in Basel, Switzerland where from his custom workshop he builds a range of bikes from road racing to commuting, touring, mountain bikes and even the odd tandem. As well as designing bespoke frames they all build the bikes using components carefully chosen to produce a cohesive package.
Moss Bikes' 170mph speed record attempt bike
Moss Bikes will use Bespoked to unveil Operation Pacemaker, it’s attempt to create the world’s fastest bicycle. The current world bicycle speed record is 167mph so they’ll be planning to hit 170mph to land themselves in the record books. The Operation Pacemaker has form when it comes to breaking records, they managed to break Guy Martin’s British and Commonwealth cycle speed record two years ago. http://road.cc/content/news/188552-operation-pacemaker-breaks-guy-martin...
That’s not all, there’ll also be the chance to take a virtual tour of the company’s workshop, check out its L!FE Bikes GCSE project and gawp at a Red Hook Crit Team Moss concept bike developed with Reynolds Technology.
Demon Frameworks Edition Bastion Project
Demon Frameworks and Bastion have come together to create a very special frame at the request of the Velo Atelier Bicycle Studio.
“The result is simply stunning and thanks to the generosity of David is back at Bespoked this year as a show bike. David has also kindly allowed us to produce them as a limited edition. Aligning with the original intention of the project to create something truly special and unique they are strictly limited to one per country and the same colour scheme will never be used twice.”
Demon Frameworks KS2000-1
Sticking with Demon Frameworks for a moment, the framebuilder will be showing the new KS2000-1 which has been inspired by the Rossin Olympic pursuit frames from the 1980's but given a twist. The webbed frame design is something new for the framebuilder and involves over 1.6m of smooth fillet brazing.
Bringing a taste of Belgium to Bespoked is Staal Cycles. Founded in 2015 by Mark Griffiths whilst living in West Flanders, but now residing in Hailsham, East Sussex, this framebuilder builds many types of bikes with a noticeable Belgian influence. On display in their corner of the New Builders room will be the Ardenne Adventure bike, a lugged cyclocross bike, and the Ardooie Aero, a lugged aero road bike with disc brakes, integrated seatmast and wishbone rear end.
Donard shows Dirty Riever special and new carbon bike
Donard made a big impression at last year’s show, picking up the road.cc and best new framebuilder awards, and that second album is always tricky but the framebuilder will be bringing a nice collection of new bikes.
Taking centre stage will be the Donard x Victory Chimp Gairbhéal Bike that we told you about a little while, a bike designed for the upcoming Dirty Reiver 200km gravel race. As well as that, there’ll also be three brand new road bikes, two made from steel and one from carbon. It’s one of the few framebuilders making carbon frames starting with handmade tubes, and it takes testing seriously using ultrasound to ensure the frames meet its strict standards.
Just Riding Along’s lightweight wheelset
Bespoke frames and handbuilt wheels go well together, and Just Riding Along has been offering handbuilt wheels for as long as I can remember. It will be showcasing a wide range of wheels to cover all sorts of riding including the new Lark20 Light, a 1,433g wheelset with 20mm wide rims and a triple laced rear wheel.
Stanforth Cycles will be showing its recently released Stanforth Conway, a collaboration between the framebuilder and self-styled adventurer, a bike he’ll use to try and break the world record for cycling across Europe. Also on display will be a new stainless steel Skyelander 650b special and 26in-wheeled Kibo expedition bike.
East London-based Stayer Cycles will be exhibiting at Bespoked for the first time, and showing two custom projects. One is a preview of an N+1 Cargo Bike Project which is an ongoing collaboration between Stayer and Danish bike designer and architect Hulsroy, and an Americana styled dirt drop 29'er off-road touring MTB with customised camera carrying rando bag.
Hallett Cycles 650b Adventure bikes
Richard Hallett will be at Bespoked once again and will be showing a 650 Adventure bike with ornate bi-laminate sleeves and a novel seat stay cap design, and what he describes as a “’Clydesdale' heavy-duty flat-bar tourer with 26" wheels, built for a chap who weighs 140kg and ready for a round-Europe tour.”
Allied Cycle Works - US made carbon road bikes
Allied is a new brand from Little Rock, Arkansas, USA, and will be showing some stunning carbon fibre road bikes at Bespoked. You can take a closer look in this first look story before heading to the show for a closer look.
Shand Cycles - new Stoater and Tam
Scottish bike company Shand Cycles will show off a new Stoater and Tam. The Stoater is its road, adventure and gravel bike that has been popular for a number of years, but it’s been updated with thru-axles and flat mount brakes, interchangeable dropouts for accommodating different build configurations including singlespeed and Rohloff, and clearance for up to 45mm tyres on 700c rims, as well as 650b.
The Tam was quietly launched at the Cycle Show in the NEC last year and is an off-road do-everything expedition bike with a Rohloff hub and Gates Carbon Belt drive. It rolls on 29in wheels with space for 2.1in wide tyres and mudguards, or 29 Plus if you want maximum off-road comfort.
You can count the UK carbon framebuilders on one hand… Filament is one of them, we first saw them at Bespoked many years ago, and they continue to offer bespoke carbon frames that are packed with impressive engineering and meticulous attention to detail.
It’s been two years since Filament attended Bespoked and founder Richard Craddock tells us since then every element of the frame has been revised and improved. “The rear stays are new, the main tubes use a different laminate stack and fibre type, the joints are a different prepreg, the fork has switched to ENVE and the headset fitted as standard is now Chris King. The tech evolves but the overall look continues,” he says.
Ferreus Bicycles founder David Whymark has been working with metal for the past 30 years and has now turned his attention to building bespoke frames, after building bicycles for family and friends, he’s now branching out and offering his designs for sale. Be sure to get check out his bikes in the New Builders room.
Meteor Works show updated Chimera frame
Meteor Works is the work of Lee Prescott, who started building frames at the tender age of 11 alongside his father. At Bespoked he’ll be showing an evolution of his Chimera frame that debuted as last year’s show. This frame combines a carbon seatmast and steel frame, joined together via a 3D printed stainless steel lug. It has disc brakes, space for 28mm tyres, T47 bottom bracket and modified TRP brake levers with Shimano Di2 satellite gear shifters.
Karussell’s offset steel fork
Hailing from Slovenia, Karussell will use Bespoked to show its new offset steel fork, its attempt to combined large diameter tubes with modern looks and a low weight. The new fork will be fitted to a Karussell Daily Lo-Pro bike.
As we mentioned at the top of the article, Campagnolo will be showing its new 12-speed groupset, and one of the bikes it’ll be fitted to is a ColourBolt.
On show at Bespoked will be a full cross-section of their range, with bikes for urban and road use. The bike pictured above is a Scarred Black road bike made from Columbus XCr stainless steel tubing.
What really sets it apart is a special paint job. We’ll let ColourBolt’s Jay Pond-Jones explain:
“The concept is simple really – we wanted to make a beautiful bespoke bike that could actually be used without losing its lustre. So we came up with this Scarred Black finish – now the more you ride it and the more chipped the paint becomes, the better it looks. You just polish up the steel beneath the new scratch and it’ll shine just like the other patches. We can map any sort of Scar onto the paint that you like – the scratches from a beloved old workhorse, or a constellation with personal significance all of your own devising."
What I love about Bespoked is the unexpected, you are never quite sure what you’ll, and here’s a case in point. Okay, so it’s a mountain bike, but the technology could be applied to a road bike says its inventor Peter Charnaud.
The bike is a carbon and aluminium mountain bike with a variable headangle - switch the lever to adjust the head angle by as much as 10-degrees. It’s currently being patented in the UK and US and Peter hopes to find interest from the bike industry in adopting it.
Andrea Sega’s Werking Cycles will be debuting this new Model S Disc road bike, with full custom tube-to-tube carbon fibre construction and lovely attention to detail.
Clandestine handmade racks and stems
Clandestine is a new brand from Bristol founded by Pi Manson that specialises in custom fitted steel racks and stems, all made to order. All types are racks are offered, including porteur racks, randonneur racks, and rear racks, with optional removable lowriders and dynamo light mounts with cable routing.
Sven Cycles will display its Pathfinder semi-custom road bike made from Reynolds 921. It’s designed to be highly versatile, it reckons it’s ideal for everything from commuting to travelling the world, and to help it manage such opposing challenges, Sven offers a wide range of configuration options.
Bicycles by Design
Bicycles by Design will make their 8th visit to Bespoked, the pairing of Peter Bird & Robert Wade have been building Swallow bespoke traditional steel frames since 1981
Saffron’s Dan Craven special
Saffron Frameworks has recently built a bespoke steel bike for Dan Craven, the well-known bearded pro cyclist who will be competing at the Commonwealth Games on this bike tomorrow. And you’ll be able to see it at Bespoked next week.
It’s rare that steel frames are raced at such a high level. To save weight, it’s made from stainless steel Columbus XCr with a completely naked finish.
There you go, some beautiful and interesting bikes and products to see if you attend Bespoked next weekend. Remember, get your tickets from www.bespoked.cc and we'll see you there.
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.