12 bikes from Bespoked that we'd like in our shed
There's not much better than pacing the halls of a handmade bike show to roundof a week. We visited Bespoked to have a look at, to wonder in awe and to soak up the atmosphere of a crowd that has a huge passion for bikes and bike building. We've hand-picked the steeds we'd like to see in our shed's, check 'em out! The show is open all weekend so if you are in or near Bristol you should definitely drop in.
Making the trip all the way from Victoria, Australia, Prova Cycles had both a steel hardtail and a gravel bike that piqued our interest. Mark, the designer and builder, uses 3D printed steel to manufacture the dropouts and the dropped drive side chain stay so he can get the exact shape he wants. All bikes, like the Ripido pictured here are custom made to order and are sold as full build's, but they can be ordered frame only for high-quality beer and biscuits we hear! These bikes are truly stunning with superb paint jobs to match.
The gravel bike in the lineup is also made to order, with the inclusion of a dynamo powered light (and the capability for this on the rear too) complete with USB charging port, it's not only beautiful but super practical too. This one came complete with Australian bush creatures.....
Starling Cycles Sturn DH bike
Staring Cycles announced a single speed DH bike at the show, its got a high pivot and a jackshaft transmission so looks like it'll ride like a dream and be dead quite too. We will take a proper look at this bike so look out for a full article soon.
Métier Vélo Poly-Shape
The cross-country inspired bike from Métier Vélo across the pond is yet unnamed but nevertheless striking. Designed around 3D titanium printed lugs and carbon tubes it's another fully customisable bike that, designer Jamie says is very tough, light and ultimately repairable. The lugs are printed to order and, making every bike unique. Your bike can also be designed with your riding style and weight in mind, with Jamie choosing the correct carbon tubes to produce the ride quality you are looking for. Not a fan of the holes in the head tube lug - Jamie will get rid of them for you too.
Curtis Bikes XR650
The Curtis XR650 was back for a second year at Bespoked, it still looks great especially alongside a new hardtail, the AM7, seen here in bike packing form, after all ..." who are you at Bespoked if you don't do gravel?"
Rå Bike were latecomers to the show, but a frame builder we have been aware of for some time and in the absence of a website have been stalking on Instagram in the pursuit of photographic gratification. These guys design relatively long, slack enduro bikes and progressive gravel bikes too. We weren't disappointed and after meeting with designer Rafi at the show we now know he has big plans to grow fast and deliver high-quality steel bikes. With the second generation of a progressive prototype full susser nearing completion, things are really taking off for the North Yorkshire company.
Enigma Bikes Excel GR
Enigma Bikes add a UK made titanium gravel bike to their lineup and the show sample was sporting some bold, blue Hope Tech bling. Frames will retail at £3,200 and can be built up with whatever components you choose.
Peter Charnaud's Vari-angle
This is a concept we'd love to have a play about on in our shed (and out of it too)! The premise is that the head angle of any bike can be altered on the fly from 60-70 degrees without altering the height of the front end of the bike. It's unique that's for sure and something we'd need to ride to be able to offer an opinion on - it certainly got 'most interesting' marks from us! Check out Peter's website here.
We first saw the new Shand Tam at the NEC Cycle Show but it's been through some development since then derived from Shand customers. Riders of the Tam told Shand that the bike was near perfect as a tourer but it just needed wider rims and tyres to make the bike uber comfortable to sit on all day on big adventures. Shand went back to the workshop and widened the rear end to accommodate this, job done, a 29er+ was born.
Also on show at the NEC, the Trillion Prime is still a bike we'd like to swing a leg over, in stealth back at Bespoked it looked great! The guys at Trillion told us there's a short travel niner on the cards too that will offer 130/140mm of front travel.
Woodrup Cycles Chimera
We're not sure what attracted us to the Woodrup Chimera but we have a sneaky feeling that the paint job did a good job of grabbing our attention! This custom made steel tourer sports 'Martini Racing' inspired paint, a Rohloff hub, Gates carbon belt drive, USB charging ports and dynamo hubs. Oh, and there's a fire extinguisher, because 'safety first' right?
If you could, you'd like one of these in your shed too, wouldn't you, I mean just look at it! Gorgeous, industrial, steel goodness from Frome based frame builders Tam and Burf. We rode one recently, and you can read all about that here.