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Bespoked bike show 2022: return of the rim brake, incredible paint jobs, Mike Burrows treasure trove + much more

The UK's premier handmade bike show has kicked off, and we've been browsing the halls for the coolest custom loveliness

The Bespoked Handmade Bike Show has begun at Lee Valley Velopark in London, and we've been for a wander round the halls to bring you a bumper gallery of the coolest stuff we've spotted so far.  

To the uninitiated, there is always plenty of custom paint, lovely lugs and Chris King headsets on display amongst the mostly independent makers exhibiting at the show, and a fine selection of one-off quirky bikes that you will certainly not find in Halfords.

The bike above from Salitter Cycles, for example, is completely handbuilt and painted by the brand's founder Sarah Green, who was one of four fledgling makers to be awarded a SRAM exclusivity scholarship. The winners were all given a booth at the show and top-end components from SRAM to kit out their bikes. 

Bespoked 2022 Avalanche cycles 1.jpeg

Another one of these winners was Avalanche Cycles of Paris, who wowed us with this as-of-yet unnamed custom carbon racer that has plenty of intricate details, while keeping it real by speccing the humble rim brake. 

Bespoked 2022 Avalanche cycles 2.jpeg

Avalanche actually weaved this carbon seattube themselves, and it has been through many iterations to pair it with the right clamp to hold it perfectly in place. There's also a pattern on the top tube that matches a tattoo on its owner's arm (the lighting in the room didn't quite allow us to photograph this properly) which is a very neat detail. 

Bespoked 2022 Quirk Cycles hand painted by Lucia.jpeg

In terms of pure custom-painted excellence, we were most impressed with this offering from Quirk Cycles...

Quirk Cycles 3d-printed crank.jpeg

The Japanese-inspired road bike is completely hand-painted by Lucia Bru-Alva and features intricate details such as Japanese trees and a house on the down tube and seat tubes. That crank is 3D-printed, as are the dropouts. 

Bespoked 2022 Quirk cycles road bike full.jpeg

Rob Quirk told us: "Look closely and you will see Japanese landscape scenes and gold inlay. The frame is also adorned with many 3D printed parts, especially beautiful are the clean lines of the integrated seat clamp and cluster." 

Bespoked 2022  Twmpa urban 1.jpeg

There seemed to be noticeably less wooden bikes than in previous years, but Hereford-based Twmpa Cycles were back again with an impressive display of wooden excellence. 

Bespoked 2022 Twmpa urban.jpeg

The brand's new Urban 1.0 has some lovely details, and comes complete with a belt drive. 

Bespoked 2022 Mike Burrows ratcatcher.jpeg

While there is way too much in the gallery to rattle through the lot, we had to give a special mention to this exhibition put together in tribute to the late, great Mike Burrows. The bike designer died in August, and a number of his innovations are on display at the show including the famous Ratracer recumbent. 

Bespoked 2022 Mike Burrows pics and trophies.jpeg

As well as numerous trinkets and trophies Burrows amassed over the years, if you visit the show you'll also find his track bike that inspired the Lotus 108 that Chris Boardman rode to a (now defeated) hour record in 1996, and his fascinating Gordon city bike. 

RG Evans and co retro mtb-style drop bar.jpeg

We'll leave you with this retro mountain bike-inspired madness from R.G Evans & Co, which we're crowning the most bespoked bike at Bespoked this year. Enjoy the rest of the gallery! is also on the judging panel to choose the best road bike in show, and we'll update you when the winner has been announced. You can also find out more about the brand new Spoon Customs Sestriere Scandium Disc in our Tech of the Week round-up tomorrow. 

Arriving at in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.  

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Dhill | 1 year ago

What bike to have, all lovely but for the wooden ones and the Lord. Those SRAM chain sets look horrible, can ruin a nice looking bike.

oxym0r0n | 1 year ago
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Great to see coverage of Bespoked on here. There was some truly exceptional 'art' on display and some crazy 3D printed stuff.

Just a couple of facts in your article that might be worth reviewing:

jayinjapants | 1 year ago
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The Quirk bike is very pretty but I'm genuinely curious to know if the maker speaks Japanese (entirely possible), ran the name in Japanese past a native speaker or just searched on google. I understand they're going for their name in Japanese Katakana (the text used for 'foreign' words) and the "ir" in "Quirk" is difficult to get right but the text on the fork was read aloud by my wife as "Kwar ichi koo", as opposed to "Kwahk", the "ichi" meaning 1. The line in the word should be vertical not horizontal as that's the direction the word is written. Of course it might have been entirely deliberate, a play on words perhaps? Either way, it's not that important and it won't matter if you never take it to Japan I guess!

Freddy56 | 1 year ago

I went to harrogate to see bespoked last year and some beautiful bikes... but the makers are not bikers by in large I met, they are welders. 

I was actually sad to see that no one, none of the frame builders Imet actually was a serious biker and yes it is important to understand what a rider wants in a frame

Jack Sexty replied to Freddy56 | 1 year ago

You must have spoken to the wrong ones! As just two examples off the top of my head, Rob of Quirk cycles was telling us about the Torino-Nice gravel ultra he did last month and Onguza was founded by Dan Craven who retired from pro racing a few years back. In all honesty everyone we talked to seemed extremely into their bikes, making and riding them. 

Dhill replied to Jack Sexty | 1 year ago

Jack Sexty wrote:

You must have spoken to the wrong ones! As just two examples off the top of my head, Rob of Quirk cycles was telling us about the Torino-Nice gravel ultra he did last month and Onguza was founded by Dan Craven who retired from pro racing a few years back. In all honesty everyone we talked to seemed extremely into their bikes, making and riding them. 

Dan Craven, did he not ride a steel frame bike only 4-5 years ago in the Worlds for Namibia? Loved that, think it was Saffron Talbot Works. 

Rik Mayals unde... | 1 year ago
1 like

I seem to remember my friend having one of the Lotus track bikes on display in his shop window for a few weeks after Boardman won. I think it may have had something to do with Jason Queally who was a customer. Amazing bike.

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