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Bespoked 2017 – Our Top Picks

April 11th, 2017

By Andrew Dodd in Features

Bespoked 2017 – The Things That Made Us Drool…

Words and Pics | Ben Ripley

We took a look last weekend at the sometimes weird but always wonderful Bespoked Handmade Bicycle Show in Bristol.  While MTBs were somewhat thin on the ground this year, we managed to seek out the best bits for you.  And there were a few other excellent things tucked away too.  It’s a quite chaotic venue but plenty of fun – you literally could spend a full day here and not see everything!

Tom Ritchey | Bicycle Academy

Bespoked 2017

Photo | Ben Ripley

On entering the Old Engine Shed at Bristol Temple Meads station this year, visitors were greeted by this beautiful steel 27.5+ trail hardtail, brazed by none other than Tom Ritchey himself at the Bicycle Academy during their Old Skool x New School collaboration (check out the video right here) 

Bespoked 2017

Photo | Ben Ripley

It’s difficult to pick a favourite bike out of the MTBs there (Doddy liked Ted James’s copper-plated BMX – yes that’s right copper plated! Check it right here) but the new prototype Curtis full suspension and BTR Fabrications’ revised Pinner full susser were right up there…

BTR Fabrications | Pinner

Bespoked 2017

Look at the stance of this thing – it says it all! Photo | Ben Ripley

This 160mm front, 130mm rear 27.5 or 26 Pinner (good name!) full suspension bike was a beauty.

Burf and Tam of BTR say it’s designed to get you to the top and then hammer back down again; a ‘do it all trail destroyer’ – fair enough say we.

Bespoked 2017

Photo | Ben Ripley

The main aspect of the recent revision is the adoption of a coil shock to give greater sensitivity than is possible with an air shock.  Don’t worry though; they’ve revised the leverage curve so the suspension action gives it more progression. This bike looks amazing in the flesh.

It sports a 64 degree head angle, a 76 degree effective seat angle and a 480mm reach in size large.  Very nice numbers if you like your downs – and we do!

Bespoked 2017

Photo | Ben Ripley

Curtis Bikes | Prototype Full Suspension

Bespoked 2017

Gary Woodhouse with the first Curtis full suspension trail bike – this one belongs to long term Curtis rider and West-Country giant Jim Davage. Remember his old Curtis DH bike – the Thumpercross? Photo | Ben Ripley

This single pivot weapon was being shown at Bespoked 2017 by Gary Woodhouse of Curtis bikes, and Brain Curtis’s trademark rippled brazing was fully in evidence (check out our exclusive feature on Curtis Bikes Right Here).

Bespoked 2017

Photo | Ben Ripley

All-steel and really beautiful, the finish and detailing on this bike were out of this world.

Carbon Wasp | Enduro 29er

Bespoked 2017

Photo | Ben Ripley

Adrian Smith of Carbon Wasp started out 3D printing bikes in his shed – seriously. This was one of the crazier bikes at Bespoked 2017!

He now makes carbon moulds with a 3D printer and lays up his own composites.  This 150mm travel 29er had good angles and nice detailing.  Adrian even moulded the rocker assembly and 3D printed grips!

Bespoked 2017

Photo | Ben Ripley

The carbon bar pictured below is a Carbon Wasp prototype.

The hardtail he also had on display had Adrian’s own adaptation of a downtube storage module.  Given his expertise, the Carbon Wasp website also has a knowledge exchange where Adrian has tried to amass expertise on this field of technology that privateer builders could feel is a challenge too far.

Bespoked Randoms

Bespoked 2017

The Bicycle Academy may have had a little Tom Ritchey shrine tucked away at Bespoked 2017. Photo | Ben Ripley

Bespoked 2017

Curtis Bikes also had on show a custom made bike for children with dwarfism – how awesome is that? Photo | Ben Ripley

Bespoked 2017

Check out the fluted downtube on this 27.5+ or 29er hardtail frame.  The tube manipulation adds strength without weight, enabling Ted to keep the frame light – elegant and superb engineering. Photo | Ben Ripley

Bespoked 2017

We also love Ted’s signature crossed Cutlass logo – it’s on all his bikes and details like this are pleasure to find. Photo | Ben Ripley

 

Bespoked 2017

Components maestro Chris King was at Bespoked 2017.  Here he is, justifiably showing off his stunning limited edition green components. Photo | Ben Ripley

Bespoked 2017

Ever fancied something posh to perch on?  Grafton Saddler will re-upholster your favourite saddle with fine leather.  Plain in your chosen colour or some of the really elaborate designs pictured here are possible. Photo | Ben Ripley

Doddy also put together a few shots from his wander around Bespoked 2017 – enjoy!

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