Roving photojournalist Liz Seabrook took a look for Brooks
There’s no paint job quite like a Pegoretti paint job
Over the weekend hoards of cyclists hungry to see beautiful handmade bikes headed to Bristol for Bespoked 2012. Saturday alone saw a massive 2,500 rammed into Brunel’s Old Station all grappling to pick the brains of the 80 exhibitors.
Bespoked is a festival unlike any other in the cycling world. It is a place where companies – no matter how well established – come together with a shared passion for the handmade, keeping production close to hand and bespoke perfection.
The weekend saw a full program of talks from exhibitors seeking to educate the general public about all the intimacies of frame building including the process, how building varies from country to country, and the materials used in the frame building process.
Steven Stand explains the ins and outs of frame building in the US as Eric Estlund of Winter Bicycles looks on
Whilst the Brooks stand enjoyed a constant stream of visitors – some loyal friends, others first timers – I went out and met some of the other faces of Bespoked.
London based bike café Look Mum No Hands kept the masses fed and watered deliciously and in style.
With just two and half years of frame building experience behind him, Ricky Feather of Feather Bicycles impressed the judges and scooped up the award for Best Road Bike. As pleased as the York based builder was, his feet were itching somewhat as he stood alongside his as of yet unridden road bike in a beautiful purple and dark chrome colour scheme.
John Coe of Boneshaker Magazine hands with a full stand of badges, mags, limited edition posters and postcards
Andy Ellis, editor of Fixed Mag and designer at 14 Bike Co ready to inspire, defend and spread fixed gear culture
The indie bike press felt at home amongst the organic nature of the show, spreading raw bike culture to tech nerds, enthusiasts and those who simply enjoy a good ride.
Dene Perey of Il Soigneur shows off his signature musettes, alongside Le Creux an up and coming Australian brand
As staunch believers of keeping production local, I’m sure Brooks are always happy to see others doing the same. The guys at Shutt and Il Soigneur share their values with all their garments being designed and made in the UK, and they’re lovely people too!
Shutt’s signature multi-coloured stripe in pride of place)
As well as frame builders, components manufacturers, magazines and outfitters, there were a couple of bike related artists exhibiting. Final year animation student Katy Bevridge became something of a viral success last November with her spokes animation video which was showing at the Brick Lane Bikes stand.
Ty Francis owner of The Foot Down blog selling his hand printed Tshirts
Milk Bikes kept it simple with their curiously illustrated frame, in white of course
Brian Rourke and his team were ready to answer any questions about their lovingly crafted frames
The show had just about every base covered, from old favourites such as Rourke and Mercier to quirkier brands like Flat Frame Systems who specialise in wooden bikes. European companies came along, including the ever-discerning Pegoretti as well as newer companies like London based Foffa.
All in all a good weekend was had by all, even though the majority of the exhibitors were feeling pretty hoarse by closing time on Sunday. As for Brooks, we were just happy to see how many bespoked bikes were repping a trusty leather saddle. Next year can’t come quickly enough.
Some more images from the show…
Not a ghosts! Bamboo frames from Boo Cycles
Wooden frmaes from FlatFrameSystems
2011 “Best of Show” Winner Donhou Bicycles
Mercian and Mather took home Best of Show Prizese for 2012