Bespoked: My Best in Show
Anna Schwinn discusses the bike that won her heart, and her vote, at Bespoked.
Last year at Bespoked, Demon builder Tom Warmerdam rolled up to the event with an uncharacteristic frame. Rather than his typical construction, featuring ultra-precise hand-filed lugs, this was a raw, brutalist, webbed, fillet-brazed fixie. It was a design Tom had been meditating on for over a year, something he wanted to create just to create. “I saw a Rossin Olympic. Fell in love with it and instantly started thinking about how I would do it [designing and making a webbed frame]. It was a whole new canvas to play with.”
From a formal standpoint, the bike was stunning because it was so unique. The fins were not thin or graduated to a point as they are in the style of many 3Rensho riffs. Rather, the webs were fat, blunt, and slotted to be horizontal to the ground in the geometry of the bike. The blunt, slotted theme carried into custom-machined parts such as the seat stay bridge and a track dropout with an integrated tensioner, all created in his shop.
What Eric Noren would call Deep Custom
This year Warmerdam returned to the show with the finished product. If the presence of the raw, unfinished frame in last year’s show was unexpected, the finished result felt like an all-out glittery assault on the senses. You loved or you hated the polarizing final product, but either way you had to respect it.
The destination is dazzling, but the journey was sweet too. Photo: Demon Frameworks
To finish the frameset, Warmerdam commissioned a fork crown (one that is currently in production). The design meshes with his characteristic Hermes lug-style, but works well with the styling of this frame. Using Columbus MAX blades, the fork, like the frame, continues that blunt and brutal style.
But then, Warmerdam had the frame and Aerospoke wheels finished in full metal flake by Tommy Armstrong of TA Paintworks - an expensive and challenging task considering that the frame comprises almost entirely sharp, 90 degree transitions. The flake was finished in orange, silver, and orange candy coat, giving everything an extra layer of deep luster.
On why he made this styling decision, Warmerdam was matter-of-fact: “Because it’s awesome …
You can’t just nickelplate everything.”
Wondering about the Deep Custom label? Check out the slotted dropout
Finally, Warmerdam made the decision to complete the build in the style of a rideable street fixie as-is, complete with a handbrake, rather than as a high concept track frame that functions as one.
Glam Rock all over. If Dave Hill had ridden a bike, this would be it
For its precision and machined in-house frame parts under the paint, unique construction approach, and general audacity in construction, fit, and finish, this bike was my personal show favorite - and I was not alone. Warmerdam’s bike took home the Public Vote award as well as an honorable mention for Best in Show.
Bottom bracket web from the other side. In case you were wondering...