Posts Tagged ‘design’

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

Super Stockist #2 : Mission Bicycle Company

There’s oodles of mutual love spreading across The Pond with our latest spotlight on a stockist: Mission Bicycle Company. Proud stockists of Boneshaker since the very first issue, the San Francisco-based custom bicycle company are the bespoke bike gurus if you’re after an affordable, easy and fun experience of designing your very own singlespeed or geared bike for city riding.


Set up in 2008, the company was formed with a simple premise: to build the most beautiful, practical and customisable bikes on the market. With key input from the rider at the design stage each Mission machine is perfectly tuned to a rider’s needs before it’s carefully hand-built at the company’s workshop in San Francisco’s Mission District. “When we started none of this existed for urban commuters. If you wanted a custom bike you either had to source every component and build it yourself, or pay a custom fabrication shop, which is very expensive,” explains Mission’s Kai McMurty. “Mission was started so any commuter could design his or her dream bike in an hour, and be riding a custom bike in a few weeks.”


With their hand-welded steel framesets designed by local framebuilder Emmanuel Eng, a custom Mission frame is not only lightweight and long-lasting, but a genuine product of San Francisco; a city that constantly inspires the Mission team, especially when it comes to riding. Which begs the question, if we wanted to explore the city on two wheels what’s the best route? “There are lots of inspiring streets in San Francisco,” says Kai. “Market Street during rush hour is a blast because it’s packed with bikes. Being part of a peloton of commuters is always gratifying. Golden Gate Park is an oasis of calm right in the city. Separated bike lanes and beautiful scenery make it a must see… or must ride. And of course, the little side streets and alleyways in our Mission District are full of vibrant colour and culture. A slow ride and a stop for coffee is a bit magical.”


The company builds around 700 bikes a year with each and every one different to those that came before it. “After six years of builds we’re still surprised and impressed with the designs our riders come up with… There’s always a new bike to get excited about.” With such an extensive back catalogue of custom bikes to choose from it’s no surprise the team find it hard to pick a favourite. But hanging in the back room of the Mission shop on Valencia Street is the very first frame prototype the company built. “It’s obviously sentimental for us,” says Kai. “And a literal and figurative symbol of our efforts and beliefs.”


In the bicycle building community there’s increased competition among custom bike businesses to attract clients willing to part with their hard-earned cash in exchange for a bicycle that not only fits their needs, but also their personality. So, what sets Mission Bicycle apart from other custom bike builders in the SF area? “We focus exclusively on the bike as transportation. Our bikes and our gear are all designed to make city riding as fun and easy as possible. We want to see more riders on city streets around the world, with bigger smiles.” And who doesn’t want to see more smiley cyclists on their morning commute, whether that’s dodging traffic on Golden Gate Bridge or battling the gradient of Park Street in Bristol.

For more information about Mission Bicycle Company visit: missionbicycle.com. Or when you’re next in San Francisco stop by their shop on Valencia Street to shop, test ride, rent a bike, or design your own. 

Wired world

wired japan 1 comp

The postman brought us a treat this morning: volume 12 of WIRED Japan, with a big beautiful chunk of stuff about modern cycling and design, including a page about Boneshaker. We can’t read Japanese, so we’ll have to trust that they’ve said good things about us. It certainly looks good anyway. Top work, Taeko and the team in Tokyo. Check out WIRED Japan here. To bag the latest copy of Boneshaker, slide your slippery fingers thissaway.

wired japan 2 comp

The Politics of Print


Boneshaker came into being partly because its founder, James Lucas, was so inspired by the stories arising from and connected to The Bristol Bike Project, which he also founded. Recently, he’s been involved in establishing The Letterpress Collective – a secret workshop that  is ‘bringing slumbering presses back to life to engage with artists, writers and community projects’  and ‘helping a new generation ‘understand the thrill of working a small press and seeing your creation in ink on paper’.

In many ways, Boneshaker is the natural mid-point between these two projects – the wonder of life on two wheels meets the thrill of tactile, tangible, beautiful print.

So many of our actions are political, whether we realise it or not. Committing words to print and thrusting them out into the world has always been an act ripe with political possibilities. Most cycling magazines are pretty apolitical, but at Boneshaker we’ve always been happy to let a certain gently revolutionary tang permeate what we do, from the meticulous research of Roads Were Not Built for Cars author Carlton Reid to round-the-worlder Julian Sayarer’s thoughtful spleen-venting.

So we were delighted to see the Letterpress Collective’s fabulous show The Politics of Print this week – an exhibition celebrating the power of words in letterpress printing at the wonderful Centrespace Gallery. Boneshaker pal and anarchocyclist Dennis Gould was very much in evidence, alongside work from celebrated printers including Stanley Donwood and Ken Campbell, and some brilliantly direct art politik fresh from the Collective’s presses. If this one was anything to go by, their future shows will definitely be worth a gander.

In the meantime, you can find out more about the the Letterpress Collective here. They’ll be announcing a new series of workshops soon…