Archive for the ‘Design’ Category

The strange and beautiful bicycles of Bespoked

This weekend Boneshaker had a blast at Bespoked UK Handmade Bicycle show. It was a brilliant showcase of the range and quality of contemporary bicycle building. Our little stand was wedged in between Quoc Pham shoes, Brooks England’s bags and Vulpine’s stylish cycle clothing.

I snuck away one afternoon and tried to capture a flavour of all the bizarre and beautiful bikes on show. Using my shitty phone, and surrounded by people. So the pics are a bit, well, amateur. But the bikes more than make up for it. Feast your foolish eyes!

How’s this for a saddle? Mmm, comfy.

corinca painful saddle web

A frame that adjust to fit you: ingenious stuff from Hickman:

hickman amazing seat tube

Cofa Engineering‘s custom off-roader looks like it was built for the Terminator:

terminator bike by cofa engineering local

while this race machine from Sword cycles comes equipped twin machine guns.

sword cycles flight deck web

and Bowers Kustom‘s foldable shopper has snakeskin tyres.

bowers kustom snakeskin tyre by sweetskinz


Our pals at Restrap teamed up with Woodrup cycles to create this Transcontinental race bike, complete with a

completely strapless magnetic frame bag.

woodrup restrap continental


Cambridge-based Satoma Cycles went all Rennie Mackintosh:

satoma does rennie  mackintosh


Whilst Dear Susan created this faithful realisation of Edward Gorey’s Epipleptic Bicycle:

dear susan epileptic bicycle gorey


There was lots of lovely lugwork on show, like these chrome beauties from new builder Hilton Cycles.

lovely lugs by hilton


And these hearts ‘n’ diamonds by Woodrup.

swallow lugs


This colour-coordinated porteur by Robin Mather set onlookers swooning,

mather porter


as did Saffron Frameworks‘ prizewinning cross bike. saffron cross bike


Koushou Kinugawa (aka Helavna Cycles) had travelled all the way from Tokyo with his lovely machines:

helavna chrome helavna cycles koushou kinugawa tokyo

and then showed us a magazine that revealed just how inventive Japanese framebuilders can be. Check out this snow bike:

map bike mag snow bike

and this more summery barbecue bike:

map bike mag bbq bike


Like to relax while you ride? Try lying down:

japan bike mag lying down bike

Mind you, cycling whilst actually lounging in a hammock looks even more laid back:

map bike mag hammock bike



Finally, a feast of forks. Really long ones, on a chopper by Bowers Kustom:

forks bowers kustom chopper

Polka dots from Rusby cycles

dotty forks rusby web


Tattooed forks on the Toccata Track bike by Merenyi.

forks tattoo forks on toccata track by merely


Lovely colourplay from Field Cycles

forks field cycles sheffield


Another fabulous fork by Field

geo forks by not sure


Rainbow forks from new builders Dear Susan.

forks dear susan


…astonishing thread-wrapped frame and forks by titanium specialists Nevi

forks devi


and naval camoulflage-inspired paintwork from Tom Donhou:


forks donhou



It’s been a whirlwind of a weekend, with so many happy bike memories – not least the response to our brand new issue: Boneshaker #16 (available from Apr 21 via Newsstand and from our fabulous stockists as soon as we can get it to them), which we launched, hot off the press at Bespoked. Here’s a sneaky peek in case you missed it:

BS16_Sneak-Peak web

Riders of the world: Unite!


We’ve been friends with Restrap since the very beginning – the Yorkshire-based creators of some of cycling’s best accessories and clothing began not long after Boneshaker’s first issue hit the shops. And we’ve stayed in touch ever since. So we were delighted when Restrap mainman Nathan Hughes got in touch to tell us about their latest offering, the ingenious cycling bag called Unite.



At its heart it’s a tough, waterproof backpack. As with all Restrap products, it was designed and handmade in Yorkshire. The bag rolls flat when empty, or expands to a 30L capacity when fully loaded.



Accompanying the main body of the bag are a set of modules: two pouches, a bottle holster and a waistband.You can attach one or more of these to the main backpack, in up to 1000 different ways, we’re told.



Where it gets cunning is how they attach: with a patented magnetic fastening system. The magnets are powerful enough for each module to remain attached even under 40kg of strain. Clever magnets also play a key role in the bag’s patented fastening system: both the adjustable chest strap and the waistband can be opened, closed and locked with one hand, even when wearing gloves.



The waistband can also be removed and worn separately with the pouches, or adapted as a smaller bag in its own right.



The aim was to create one bag for everything. And it looks like they might’ve nailed it. We can’t wait to try one out – watch this space.

The Unite backpack is available to pre-order now, starting at £139.99 for the main back pack.


Huez* Apparel

Cycling clothing tends to be built for performance or style, not both. With a few rare exceptions, the clobber that really performs tends to look very ‘cyclist’.

Not that clothing should always have to ‘perform’, of course. At Boneshaker we’re big fans of the ‘Copenhagenize’ movement, the notion that cycling should be seen as a perfectly normal activity that anyone can do, any day, in more or less any clothes. But there are times when you’re late for the school run, an important meeting or perhaps a first date, when you just have to ride hard. There are times when the heavens open and a gazillion gallons of water descend on you in a few minutes. There are times when you want to swing your leg off the bike, lock it up and stroll into the office looking suave, not sweaty.


For all these situations and more, new cycling clothing-mongers Huez* have created a range of high-end bike wear, most of which doesn’t look like bike wear at all. A prime example is the smart suit jacket (above) that looks tailored, but conceals a host of bike-friendly features: it’s made of Italian bi-stretch merino wool with a Teflon coating, the Swiss-made mesh interior offers improved moisture management, flexibility and durability. The undercollar and cuffs employ a cunning  reflective tape called Darklight for improved visibility as the gloaming descends. They make chino-type trousers that offer similar technical benefits without looking bikey at all.

HUEZ 001 comp

We’re not really suit jacket or chino-wearing types, so Boneshaker was sent one of Huez’s top-end rain jackets, the Starman Storm (above). Through a hundred miles or so of riding over the past week, it’s performed impeccably. It’s beautifully light and perfectly finished. The fabric doesn’t rustle as you move. The cut is athletic but not aggressively so – you don’t need to be Wiggo-thin to squeeze into it – but it doesn’t flap around at speed either.  It’s long enough at the front even when standing upright (something many cycling-specific jackets fail on) and generously cut at the tail, so that it fully covers your bum even as you lean down into the drops. Assuming you use drops, that is. The bottom hem is lined with grippy silicone Huez* stars, so it stays in place. I like that.

HUEZ_DETAIL_143 comp
As you’d expect from a high-end jacket, it’s packed with technological gubbins.

It’s made from a double-layer of breathable fabrics, a Japanese three layer nylon and a Swiss-made fabric by a company called Schoeller, offering four-way stretch. The easy-sliding zip has a full-length, rubbery storm guard behind it, and all seams are robustly taped for waterproofing. An unusual feature is the pair of vents across the upper back, which remain open and allow a through-draught if you unzip at the front when in motion. Cowled covers have successfully prevented the elements finding their way in through these vents on a series of torrentially wet test rides, and there are two reflective tabs on the back to add visibility and allow easier access to jersey pockets. The sleeves are a good length even at full stretch and are equipped with elastic cuffs with additional velcro adjusters. You can cinch them in around your gloves and they stay put.


The jacket comes in very blackish blue-black, which I like; nervous night-time nellies (or hard-bitten SMIDSY victims) may be relieved to hear there’s a reflective Huez* star logo on left sleeve and the jacket’s criss-crossed with reflective Darklight tape – invisible by day, but bright-glowing in headlights.

The slim internal mesh pocket means you can keep your phone out of the rain, and has a reversible zip so you can pack away the jacket into it when not in use. Given a squeeze it’ll go small enough to fit in a jersey pocket.

At £235 the Starman Storm is at the top-end of the market price wise, but having tried dozens of cycling jackets over the years, this one is definitely a cut-above. Completely weatherproof, impressively breathable, but you could wear it down the pub with a pair of jeans. It performs impeccably, but is discrete. It disappears into its own pocket when not in use. And it definitely succeeds in combining performance and style.

We’ll follow this ‘first impressions’ review with a longer term report a few months down the line.

To see the full range of Huez* cycling apparel, swivel your peepers thissaway.


Issue 13: A sneaky peek


Finally – your first glimpse at our next issue. It’s been a whirlwind: climbing mythic peaks and tickling cycling’s counter-cultural underbelly, taking a spin around the world’s smallest velodrome, following a girl as she raced her visa allowance across China, considering the emotional power of potholes and meeting a man who’s building a recumbent crocodile….

Mags will be winging their way to our lovely stockists next week.

Never want to miss a copy? Our fine friends at Newsstand will gladly sort out your Christmas gift subscriptions.  It’s the gift that keeps on giving. And speaking of gifts, there’s lots of fabulous stuff for bicycle lovers here.