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Bespoked 2013

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The UK Handmade Bicycle Show has quickly grown to become a fixture on Britain's cycling calendar, so I thought it was time I took a look at it.
View of Bespoked Show through frame of Condor Fratello bike
A Condor's eye view of Busy Bespoked in Brunel’s Bristol station

We had hoped to publish a brief report of Bespoked in Cycle, the CTC magazine, but no space for that in this month's issue, so here are even more pictures (and words) of lovely bikes and bits than we would ever have found room to print.

In August it’ll be 100 years since Harry Brearley discovered stainless steel in Sheffield, whilst looking for a higher melting-point material for gun barrels. Coincidentally, the latest, strongest steels for frame tubes, Reynolds 953 and Columbus XCR, are also stainless.

Image of two stainless bikes

Hence these shiny creations from Alex Moulton and Colourbolt at the entrance to the show.

An Italian classic by Faggin, all ready for the Eroica. www.fagginbikes.com

 

Swallows returned in 2013 with the best road bike in show. It’s constructed in Reynolds 953 by the perennial Pete Bird, to a classic design by Robert Wade in remembrance of his father Harry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New and old ideas in rim brakes popped up everywhere at Bespoked:

image of 'ee' brake

Newfangled racer brake by www.eecycleworks.com, centrepulls and cantis by www.paulcomp.com.

Middleburn Cycle Components were cranking it out for Britain with this red, white-metal and blue chainset.

 

Royce UK, best known for their top quality square-taper bottom-bracket units, exhibited a new ‘tri-lobe’ crank fitting – claimed to make a stronger axle.

This twentyniner designed (for someone with very small feet) and made by Oak Cycles was judged best touring bike. The rackless bags are by Wildcat Gear.

Enigma go touring with their new titanium Explorer frame, custom made for £2000 with interchangeable sliding dropouts for disk, Rohloff or derailleur.

The joints on this bamboo frame are secured by Kevlar protected by a top wrapping of dyed tree-bark cloth, all set in resin and sanded to reveal beautiful marbling. Souplesse Bamboo Bikes are designed and BS-tested in the UK by Richard Chapman and craftsman-made in Uganda.

Nature’s carbon fibres also come in the form of Irish ash, genuinely carved in Ireland by Woodelo, and to such good effect that they were judged best new builder.

A loopy idea or great innovation? Time will tell. www.loopwheels.com

My eye was drawn to this bright stack of ‘belted tyres’ by Velo-re. You can even send them an old favourite and remember that epic tour every time you pull on your kecks! They also make dog-leads, wallets and tool-rolls from inner tubes, sails and other reclaimed materials.

 

Another colourful display brought brisk business to Brooks, who’ve diversified from saddles into leather bike-bags and backpacks and even clothing.

 

The go-to guy for lightweight tricycles nowadays is Geoff Booker. Trading as Trykit, he makes complete machines, solos and tandems, as well as this conversion axle. 2WD means it drives both wheels.

Look no forks! The front wheel on a prototype ‘long-john’ carrier bike by Dan Titchmarsh, has a pivoting hub centre on swing-arm suspension and was judged most innovative design. But I'd worry about how to seal such a wide circumference bearing.

The pipes on this artful Demon are copper-plated, plus lacquered to prevent tarnishing.

And here's my attempt at an arty shot of that shiny 953 and 931 tubing on Reynolds' stand.

Finally some beautiful lugwork by Paulus Quirós in Wales.

 

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