Handbuilt Bicycle News



Anna Schwinn

Sunday 17 April 2016

Bikes of Bespoked 2016 - Part 2

Anna Schwinn continues her exploration of Europe's biggest handbuilt bicycle show, and brings us the highlights.

Bikes of Bespoked 2016 - Part 2
Demon Cycles seat lug detail. Photo: Anna Schwinn

All photos: Anna Schwinn

Fifty One

Finding himself dissatisfied by the options available in high performance carbon fiber, former Irish National Champion Aiden Duff, together with Aaron Marsit, resolved to investigate more domestic solutions. After linking up with builder Ken May, and working with established members of the European carbon building community, they established a carbon frame factory in Dublin, Ireland. While the brand, named for cycling’s lucky number, is still in its formulative stages, they are already producing custom geometry and paint carbon framesets. At this time, the frames are assembled using tube-to-tube construction, utilizing the current industry infrastructure of pre-made carbon tubing. There is already discussion of the next step.

This frame, designed for a customer who is obsessed with race cars, shares a paint scheme with an iconic Formula 1 vehicle- a theme that rolls into the ENVE cockpit components. For this, it was awarded the Campagnolo Build award.


Toad, 27.5+ “Happy Accident”

What is interesting about this bike is that it would not be out of place at NAHBS at all, but within the walls of Bespoked it was an exception to the rule. Builder Toby Gallagher of Cambridge built it for himself to break the seal for 27.5+ with Toad. In order to accomplish the short rear center, he designed and had machined for him his own yoke. For the rear brake, he has the direct mount positioned around a 180mm rotor, accomplished with bent steel square tubing and threaded bosses. Cable routing, designed around a 1x drivetrain, runs below the top tube on removable bosses. Dropper post routing runs on the underside and enters the frame through the downtube.


SVEN, Forager Cargo Bike

The forager was designed for a television chef who rides into the wilderness, forages and cooks. Also, as the company is passionate about sustainability both from a lifestyle and product perspective, the bike is built for the long rough haul (literally) with locally sourced components and accoutrements. The double top tubes are Reynolds 921 and left bare so that paint is not chipped as riders with boots mount and dismount the bike. The bags are all made from 1950’s era Land Rover tops by Restrap custom for this frame and its features. The front wheel is made by Loop, a UK company typically known for making wheelchair wheels and high performance bows. This particular wheel was made especially for this bike with a dynamo hub, and it was designed around this loading scenario with a maximum of 25mm travel to help the rider get over roots and rocks on the trail with ease.



Caren Hartley of South London has been building for less than a year and a half, but she’s already managed to established herself as an up and comer in the community. Last year, she was chosen to build a bike to display at the Design Museum in London as part of an exhibit on bike design, and to the delight of show goers she was able to borrow that bike for Bespoked. Her influences from her background and formal education in jewelry design and craft is evident in every possible detail of her frames.


Demon Frameworks, Don Walker Frame

What makes the bikes of Demon Frameworks so remarkable is builder Tom Warmerdam’s highly systematic and precise process. For one, Tom constructs his lugs from scratch rather than utilize bilaminate fabrication or existing lugs. This gives him what he believes to be a stronger final product by providing a highly precise, close fit between lug and tube, facilitating better silver penetration than through other processes. Each lug is then filed by hand to produce the final lug profile.

At this show, he brought a frame made for Don Walker, the head of the North American Handmade Bike Show. As Don is a tall, robust former track racer, Tom took the opportunity to employ larger diameter tubing, effectively scaling the bike to fit the proportions of the 44mm headtube. And, due to the versatility of his process, he was able to scale his lug construction process as well–for what might be the first set of true 44mm head lugs.