Bespoked: Saturday Report
Anna Schwinn reports the highlights of Saturday at the UK's largest handbuilt bicycle show.
All photos: Anna Schwinn
The Portus “Long Karl” was conceived out of a personal need for the ultimate Black Forest trail service bike. German builder Alex Clauss designed the bike for himself, to hold the tools and accessories he would need for a long day of clearing brush and branches, with a motor driven rear wheel to help push it along. The motor battery is tucked away in one of the old East German gas tanks that flank the bike (the other tank holds a kit for making coffee).The tool box on the top of the rear rack conceals a grill for bratwurst after a hard day’s work.
Toby Gallagher’s betrothed (congratulations, Toby!) wanted a bike that had the look of a curvy townie but wanted it to be able to handle the bridle trails in the area - all while not breaking the bank. The resulting all-purpose bike clears 42mm tires without fenders for off-road adventuring and a custom rack for panniers. It also features Toad’s proprietary dropout system with removable hanger, one that is CNC machined under the same roof as Toad’s shop. The preliminary components spec is modest for cost - but is expected to evolve with the life of the bicycle as they ride together more.
Grafton Saddler, Stingray Saddle
The stingray leather saddles by Grafton Saddler stopped us in our tracks. The calcium deposits in the skin create a unique and durable texture (estimated to be 25 times more durable than cowhide) with a natural diamond pattern occurring in the middle of the hide. The result from London-based Grafton emphasizes environmentally friendly tanning and sourcing methods across all of their materials - the stingray they use is from animals listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.
Burcak Erbil is the one man band behind Brelis Cycles of Istanbul. This stunner of a fillet brazed road bike was completely machined and brazed in-house. It is dripping with retro-futuristic cable ports and interfaces, all custom machined in house, including a distinctive, brutal headtube port interface for all internal routing.
The frame of this bike first made its debut at Bespoked last year. A massive departure from Tom Warmerdam’s typical hand-crafted lugged fare, the frame is a brutalist interpretation of 3Rensho frames, with custom CNC-machined slots, seat stay bridge, and track ends. For 2018, Tom decided to kick it up a notch. He built a fork for it featuring his new, proprietary fork crown and sent it off for an outrageous finish in gold and brown metal flake - with wheels painted to match.