The U.K handmade bicycle show rolled out again last weekend in Bristol and it lived up to it’s usual impressive standard. The levels of workmanship, passion, and community were through the roof and together they produce bicycles to die for. Fantastic.
2018s flavour was clear, Gravel/adventure was in the house. Most builders had a solution with 1x drivetrains being the order of day. The mix of steel and larger tyres must lead to some pretty comfy cycling, I know from my winter bike how good this combo can be. Here’s a few shots of gravel grinders for you, from both established stables and fledgling welders.
Mecredi building some lovely tough steel, built to be ridden hard.
Metier with super cool 3d printed titanium lugs and carbon tubework.
Winter bicycles all year round bikes to live with.
New builder Himalaya with that battle ship vibe. Tan walls are so pro.
Dorset based Sven Cycles make bikepacking look easy. Ebike was sweet as well.
This belt drive commuter was sublime with so many built in details. Very custom.
I got to have a chat to some builders as well, Filament bikes, Karussell, Sven, Stanforth, and Merrivale cycles. All were super passionate about what they do and in the pursuit of their own version of cycling perfection. Some of their bikes are pictured below.
Merrivale is Bournemouth based like myself. Charlie is a true gent of the cycling world. He believes in just riding a great bike all the time so his builds are high quality with carefully chosen components. Usable, simple, smooth and easy to ride all day any day.
Karussell’s track bike was one of a kind. that down tube had some interesting construction. The down tube remained but the outer plate was formed and wrapped around it, it was then welded into place. rendering the bike stiff enough to remove the seat tube!
Speaking of track bikes and singlespeeds, what would bespoked be without them!
Demon Frameworks fixie was a head turner for sure…. if Snoop Dogg had a bike!
Then we had the road bikes, still my favourite. Fast.
Staal picked up a rosette for their short wheelbase disc equipped model.
Lovely frames from French carbon pros Cyfac. Would love one.
Look at those seat stays on this beauty.
Rapha Prestige frame had nice paint inlays and frame detail.
Field Cycles had lovely detail. Excuse my finger in the shot but the paint line identical to the seat tube cap. nice.
FiftyOnes brace of super fast looking carbon bikes from Ireland. Great colourways.
Isen Workshop are pumping out real classy machines. Those carbon seat tubes in steel lugs are awesome.
Hartley cycles to finish off, these things look like you cold ride them for a week solid and you would still be comfy. Great workmanship.
To finish off there were a few oddities as usual. Here’s a couple.
On Spray bikes stand was this monster tyred gravel bike! With front rack and eggs to show how smooth it was. For me it just looks a little odd!
And this fully integrated evoke from Taurus. Direct drive bottom bracket motor and cleverly disguised controls and battery indicator in the stem. Batteries were hidden in the top and downtube giving the appearance of a normal bike. My only issue is that it looks like it was built by someone who’s not seen a bike before! Geometry looks well out. Ebike functionality was impressive though.
All in all another great year, the workmanship was fantastic as always and I don’t think anyone will be running out of ideas or enthusiasm soon. I’m yearning for sporty road bikes to become the flavour again but I was far from disappointed with what was in attendance. Get yourself to the show next year, you will love it.