Roundup: the best of Bespoked 2016

This year was my first Bespoked show and I'm so glad I went. I ended up meeting up with a few current clients and checking out some brands that are new to me too. All intentions of it being a strictly networking, businessy type deal for me went swiftly up into smoke as soon as I walked into Brunel's Old Station – I was like a kid in a sweet shop. Here are a few of my favourite things that I spotted at Bespoked.

Cloud 9 Cycles

One of my first freelance clients, I have a lot of love for the Cloud 9 boys –so I was absolutely delighted that they smashed it at this year's Bespoked. The bike they built for the ENVE Build Off was all about thinking differently. Most builders specced a road bike with ENVE gear, but not Adam, Kris and their team. Instead they built this fearsome street bike with ENVE's mountain bike componentry. Their lateral thinking was rewarded with a first prize rosette. 

ColourBolt

This is a bit of 'collateral' I helped ColourBolt produce ahead of the show to help them launch their new paint finish – Scarred Black. Was great catching up with Jay (the creative force behind ColourBolt) too.

Donhou Bicycles

Tom wasn't exhibiting this Bespoked – I think he fancied a year off from the sheer pandemonium of a full weekend run – but I did catch up with him at the screening of a film made about the Hack Bike Derby. Tom was one of the builders asked to take part in that event, and his 'klunker' bike was also on display. Here's the packed house waiting for the projector to roll.

Rusby Cycles

Jake Rusby of Rusby Cycles is a one man bike-building outfit. I was really impressed with his frames, as was Jools Walker (better known by her nom de blog LadyVelo).

Dear Susan

Dear Susan does a lot of things right for me when it comes to bike design. The stuff they are building is so lairy and out there – they're the perfect tonic to a lot of boring black bikes that you'll see produced commercially. You custom bike is by its very nature a one-off, so why not have fun with that?

Yes, those are Jack Daniels bottles in the specially-designed square cages.

Quirk Cycles

If Bespoked confirmed one thing for me, it's that I'm not a bike photographer. It seems there is a lot more to it than pointing a camera at a beautiful bike. As a result of my amateurish attempts, I haven't got a really great picture of this Quirk Cycles machine. I urge you to seek out their work, either in the flesh or as snapped by a pro. In the meantime here's my best effort at capturing the awesome paintjob on their Brooks Choice-winning ride.

I've no idea who the small child is, but she certainly seems to be enjoying the bike.