Bespoked: five must
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Bespoked: five must

Nov 30, 2023

Custom carbon, wacky aluminium and a gold-plated city bike – some of the immediate highlights

By Sam Dansie

Published: April 12, 2014 at 9:00 am

The fourth Bespoked handbuilt bike show opened yesterday at the magnificent Lee Valley VeloPark in London.

BikeRadar dashed round the great, the good and the downright wacky stands to see what this year's raft of exhibitors had brought with them for the weekend ahead.

If you’re heading to East London for the show, here's some of our must-visit stands

Cofa Engineering is based above the velodrome floor, handily next to the Look Mum No Hands Café. They’re showing this outrageous 26in mountain bike. Steve Major built this rig just because he should. Cofa Enginnering usually machine bespoke parts for other manufacturers – turns out he can build the entire thing too.

Cofa Engineering's mountain bike

Hit the velodrome pit and turn right. That's London-based Oak Cycles’ stand right there. Have a look at the Time Machine. Beneath the retro Penguin paperback paintjob is a seriously cool bike – a light racing frame and ENVE fork combo that's also a tourer. It's constructed from Columbus Spirit Tubing, got the best mudguards we’ve ever seen (because you can't really see them) and an SRM. It's lush.

Oak Cycles’ Time Machine

Yorkshire builder Ricky Feather, perennial award winner at Bespoked and British handmade bike royalty, has a big, obvious stand decked in his beautiful steel frames. He's just launched a race team with his mates and you can see the fleet of bikes here. They look great.

Feather Cycles’ racing team bikes

Worth the entry fee alone, Veloboo brought along a €38,000 bike! For the money you get a bamboo frameset and Campagnolo Centaur. Not even Super Record. The reason why it's so expensive, of course, is the 24-carat gold plating on the components – rims, brakes and bars. The Hungarian company didn't gold plate the rear derailleur, because that would have been "too much", Rafeal Petrocz at the stand told us.

Veloboo's gold-plated bamboo frameset

Ed Vavilovas has about two square metres of floor space and three extraordinary carbon frames. He makes them at home in East London flat. There's a standard carbon model, an ultra-high modulus version, and one that uses T700S carbon in rectangular tube profile. The name Tsubasa is the Japanese word for ‘wing’, and it's his homage to his Japanese wife, who has been very understanding of his hobby. The carbon's sourced from a German company – a difficult task he said – and the wooden brake mount where the seatstays converge is a wooden floorboard from his flat. Legend.

Tsubasa's angular looking carbon monocoques frames – all homemade

There are so many great stands we could have but didn't include in our cursory tour: Paulus-Quiros, Woodrup, Moss, Condor and Enigma for starters. If you can get down to the velodrome, do – it's a great show and we’ll bring you more coverage this weekend.

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