The long road to Bristol – our Bespoked experience

The Bespoked weekend has become a kind of ‘must-visit’ for bike fans in the UK. Lots of people make the pilgrimage down to Bristol every year (as well as loads of beautiful Bristolians who also pitch up) and it’s always a brilliant weekend. This was our first visit to Bespoked, which seemed right, as it is also a year since we started Quirk Cycles! The show is all about handmade bicycles, with the best builders in the UK in attendance. As a frame builder it’s as much about seeing what everyone else has been busy with as it is sharing what we’ve done.

The weekend itself was a bit of a blur. Starting with a mad rush to get down there, then some long days at the show itself. What made it all worth while was how many people came up to chat to us about our bikes. It was amazing to share what Quirk is doing with so many keen cycling fans. All the frames we took to the show got a lot of love from the public, but our Trans Am race machine really seemed to strike a chord.

Going for glory!

We were absolutely made up to win three awards at Bespoked. We’d been quietly hoping we could make some waves and take the ‘Best New Frame Builder’ rosette, but to be recognised in the Outstanding Design and Brooks Choice categories as well was something else!

It was the Trans Am bike that won the Brooks Choice and we’re pretty blown away by that, considering Brooks' place in the history of cycling! With Brooks' links to long distance cycling and their involvement in events like the Transcontinental perhaps it isn’t such a surprise - plus we did use a Cambium 17 saddle to really max out the bike.

We were really happy with the response to Team Quirk at the show. We had the bike we made for Owen Blandy our sponsored fixed-gear racer on display too, with Owen on hand to chat to the crowds and tell then what makes Quirk really special. Team Quirk is a big part of what we do, so we’re chuffed when people connect with the concept, and the riders.

Making headlines

With it being the biggest hand-built bike event of the year there were a lot of round-ups afterwards – and we snuck into a few of them.

Lady Velo, who was there judging her very own category for women’s bicycles, picked us in her selection for Outstanding Design, alongside Saffron and Beaumont.

Handbuilt Bicycle News also loved the design of the bikes, praising the paintwork and also calling the fillets they saw on our bikes, “easily some of the best at Bespoked this year”. Now that may not mean much to your average man in the street, but to a frame builder like Rob it’s one of the biggest compliments he’s had all year! Poor lad.

Bikesoup featured some shots of Rob’s Transcontinental build, while road.cc gave our Trans Am bike the nod of approval.

It was a long old journey to get there, but we made it and it was pretty incredible. All the recognition really makes the process worth it. We left Bespoked tired and inspired, bring on next year!

Special thanks to everyone who helped us out and those who just came to say hi, for making the weekend such a success.

robert quirk