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  • Kontact Saddle

    Bicycle saddles designed from research and experience, the shape of this saddle is intended to avoid conflict with leg movement yet provide endurance ride comfort.

    Read more
  • Freedom Thickslick
    Freedom Thickslick

    “Put the hammer down and they'll certainly deliver, whether sprinting for the lights, turning sharply to avoid opening car doors, pot-holes, errant pedestrians or cruising at 90 odd rpm through the urban/suburban nightscape. Shards of broken indicator lenses, beer bottles, tacks and other generic litter haven't so much as cajoled a nick in the casings and even five miles of fresh, thorny hedge clippings' couldn't rain on our parade…"

  • zodiak-Moscow

    We are delighted to have teamed up with the Zodiak Design Bureau from Moscow for their first product, a premium fixed cog.

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  • Archetype Restock

    We have a full stock of archetypes, including a new addition 36H Hard Ano Grey

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Bespoked

 

Bristol, Bespoked, biking community


Ah, Bristol, capital of the southwest. The city is known for Brunel’s assorted constructions, Wallace and Gromit, and the “trip hop” music genre. Bristol is now home to a number of media firms and tries to project a contemporary, happening image. This makes it an ideal venue for a trade show of non-mainstream bicycles.

Having already mentioned Brunel, the show itself was held in the old trainshed, where the Great Western Railway originally terminated. This was built to his famous broad gauge of 7 feet. So the current poularity for fat bikes would be appropriate in a building designed for Isambards "fat trains" of a century and a half ago. One of the charms of this show is the bijou size of the venue - by tradeshow standards at least. It is a nice match for the amount of stuff on offer, there is no sense of space left over with nothing to put there. Naturally, almost everything was superlative, see other people’s photos to get an idea.


Bespoked in full swing


The show itself does not really seem to know if it is for the urban hipster or the dyed in the merino wool cycle tourist. No matter, both parties have a lot in common, notably a penchant for facial hair. To wit the drinks are all coming from Look Mum No Hands of Clerkenwell, London. Actually, now I come to think of it, the only real difference between cycle tourists and the average urban fix rider is the tourist is prepared and equipped to go several hours from one tea room and the next whereas the urbanite might make only short hops between coffee shops.


Collab Between Bespoked and the bicycle academy

The things on display were on the whole pretty much as one would expect. There were of course loads of fixed wheel and track bikes. Whilst fixed wheel culture is perhaps more in the consolidation rather than inventive phase there were still some unusual products. An extraordinary touring bike used a Surly Dingle cog and travelling dropouts in order to provide a second geat, in this authors opinion a somewhat futile bid to shift the full compliment of touring bags that it was equipped to carry. It even ran disc brakes.


 

Talbot frameworks

 
Another track bike for the street had a front disc brake activated by a hidden control - a rotating bar end - transmitting presure via a fully hiden cable routing. We were tossing ideas around for an improved version in the car back home, presumably we were not the only ones, so expect to see a proliferation of ideas on this theme next year.

Brake Concept by MAWIS

TALBOT FRAMEWORKS

  

Touring bikes were popular too. The increasing popularity of 650B also seems to have led to a more continantal flavour of tourers.

With the show duties done, it was possible to wander around the city on the bike. Here I encountered the first problem. I had decided to bring the Rawlands touring bike along with the intention being to get a spot of extra-urban touring done, maybe using the legendary Bristol to Bath velobahn. Instead, events conspired against me and I spent my time trying to take on the motoring scene of Bristol whilst bent double on my bike and furiously waggling the downtube shifters in an increasingly futile attempt to find a gear, any gear.

This did not however detract from the dynamics of the bicycle. The low trail geometry meant that the bike would handle well with a reasonable load on the front. I had a chance to demonstrate this with a large messenger bag filled with my overnight stuff lashed to the Nitto front rack with a load strap (think of the sublime propping up the ridiculous). I would now be happy to purchase a medium sized handlebar bag.



I tried to find my way around the rat runs and various shared use routes of Bristol. There remains a surprising amount of cobble streets in the old town and the Nordavinden just glided over these: the front fork was supple enough that it absorbed vibration and it felt sure footed at all times. The dockside featured tramlines set into the concrete surface, a notorious hazard to bikes, and while I was careful to cross at a reasonably acute angle, it is a tribute to the bike that this was something I felt comfortable doing.

It bears repeating, we still got a good supply of the Rawland Nordavinden in stock in 56 and 58cm size now at the very competitive price of £499. Thats no more than any other touring or training frame, which lack the geometry and other design features of the Rawland. You can order yours HERE
 
Saffron Frameworks


Bristol Dropout's held an alley cat on the first night of bespoked, I have had one other chance to ride around Bristol with DASRADKLUB during one of their howl at the moon rides but that would be a furry kitten compared to this. A small while back i had taken one of the tange nudity frames and stripped it back to the naked steel, threw on some narrow risers bars and my alley cat machine was born. I was aware about the hills in Bristol but away went the brakes and out came a fresh new gator skin. 

We arrived outside the shop, as the day's light was disappearing, to a reasonable sized crowd of suitably bearded riders with a wide array of fixed gear machines. The twist for this race was to hit all the best coffee shops in each district of Bristol while collecting a colored coffee bean and a shot of spirit from each location.  Each location you made it to had to some rather helpful volunteer's who would hand you the address of the next coffee shop. We all set off dominating the Bristol roads, the sheer amount of steel rolling down the road stopped every motorist in their tracks. As we darted through the back alleys and residential area the group became smaller and smaller as people who actually knew where to go darted of to the left and right. A few coffee shops later i found my self in a small crowd of people with one thing in common.... None of us knew where we where going.

An hour later and we rolled back into Bristol alley cats suitably in last place but while thoroughly enjoying the ride around Bristol a GPS might have helped some... They put on an awesome night with free beers and pizza for all (plus a free coffee cat t-shirt). It is so refreshing to see that level of commitment to a local scene without asking anything in return, The guys there are all really friendly and is a must to check out next time your are in Bristol. Thanks for a great night guys!

Picture nabbed from @matthieunelmes

Amazing build by FESTKA
Get your we-kill-bike-thieves T-shirts HERE £14.99

Please note this is a small run due to the design originating from - http://www.shopouroboros.com/product/we-kill-bike-thieves-tee - This is just an imitation and not the original

 
NEW STOCK OVER THE NEXT FEW MONTHS
  • Brand New Nitto Handlebars (Bullhorns, flatbars, Stems and racks)
  • Kontact Saddles Back in stock soon
  • We Kill Bike Thieves T-Shirts
  • Sugino 601D Compact Double Crankset
  • Aarn + Factory Five Chainrings
  • Thickslick Tyres
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