Five cool things at Bespoked 2022
Five cool things at Bespoked 2022
I’m sure we’ve all thought about creating that dream bike – after a lottery win, maybe. But bespoke cycles aren’t just about that.
As Cycle magazine editor Dan Joyce says, it isn’t just about sparkly paint jobs – nice as that is. Rather it’s about designing a bike that exactly fits the rider’s needs, whether that’s physical, for a job or why they’re riding.
Bespoked, a show celebrating hand-made bicycles, is now in its 11th year, and for 2022 it takes place this weekend, 14-16 October, at the Lee Valley VeloPark in east London.
The show is full of cool stuff, and it was hard choosing just five, but the watchwords here are utility and sustainability – as well as fun, of course.
Bamboo Bicycle Club
Founded by James Marr in east London 10 years ago, Bamboo Bicycle Club offers kits and workshops so that you can build your own bike out of bamboo. You will learn how to build a cutting-edge bike that is hard wearing and sustainable, as well as fully recyclable.
“I was doing a lot of commuting and I was really uncomfortable on my bike,” Marr said. “I decided I needed a frame that would absorb more of the vibrations from the road and be more comfortable to ride.” He came up with bamboo, which is lightweight and has excellent vibration damping properties.
Pi Manson is a Bristol-based bike builder with an emphasis firmly on utility. His award-winning Clandestine Carrier is a bike he describes as “the perfect bike for most people, most of the time”. Custom sized for the rider, it can be built with either drop or flat bars.
The large front rack and rear bag support mean you can carry all kinds of loads. As Manson says: “The Carrier is as at home lugging groceries or carrying building supplies as it is nipping out for a Sunday ride or a long bike tour.”
Moulton Bicycle Company
These hand-built small-wheeled cycles are ideal for anyone with limited space. Dr Alex Moulton designed the first full-size bike with small wheels back in 1962, the Moulton F. Today, the company’s bikes have front and rear suspension systems for improved comfort.
The small wheels make the Moulton much easier to store in a small space, but an added bonus is that many feature separable frames making storage and transport even simpler. When disassembled, the two halves of a Moulton fit in a car boot or travel case.
If you’re planning on riding one – or more! – of Cycling UK’s long-distance routes, then you may well be in the market for new bikepacking gear. Tailfin works with professional endurance riders – including Cycling UK 100 Women in Cycling 2019 Vedangi Kulkarni – to design and create some of the best technical bikepacking equipment available.
Particularly useful are the V-mount packs, the company’s innovative answer to adding more storage to a bike that doesn’t have mounting points. The packs allow you to fix either a 1.7l or 3l bag safely and securely anywhere on your frame.
Cargo bikes are a fantastic solution for anyone who needs to transport a lot of gear, but it’s fair to say that they’re heavy, bulky and take up a lot of space, making them impractical for many people. Which is where the new Netherlands-based bicycle brand Ten07 Cycles comes in.
The company’s Unicorn cargo bike is lightweight and compact. It’s sleek design and quick-release mechanism that allows the cargo platform to be removed in seconds means that it will fit in a narrow hallway. It doesn’t compromise on load bearing, though, and it looks pretty good, too.
This is just a small selection of what’s on offer at this year’s Bespoked – and, of course, there’s also the all-important bar for thirsty visitors! The show runs till 16 October at the Lee Valley VeloPark. Tickets cost £35 for three-day entry or £20 for one day. Cycling UK members can get 25% off.