After Covid-induced delays, Bespoked #10, the UK handmade bicycle show was back in October at the Harrogate Convention Centre. If artisan, custom-built, hand-crafted bikes and kit are your thing, then Bespoked is your nirvana.
“For us, the show is a tribute to the passion of our exhibitors about what they design and make,” says Bespoked founder, Tessa Taylor. “Everyone who visits Bespoked #10 has the chance to encounter the bicycle of their dreams.”
This was the first show since Mark Reilly’s untimely death. As a master frambuilder and stalwart of the event, it was a fitting platform to pay homage to his unique style and flair. At the entrance to the exhibition hall, Reilly Cycleworks curated a display of Mark’s frames spanning his 30-year career, including steel road bikes and a vintage titanium beauty produced under the Omega brand through to a stunning single speed creation from Reilly pupil and Saffron Frameworks’ founder, Matthew Sowter.
Mark’s longtime collaborator, Neil FitzGerald, created the Mark Reilly Legacy frameset for the show. A limited-edition, classic steel road frame built with rare Reynolds 753 tubing, in marbled red with polished stainless lugs. This caused an understandable buzz on the stand with members of the public reminiscing about Mark’s craftsmanship and drooling over the Legacy frame in equal measure.
The Gradient STL was also a firm favourite with the crowd. A steel version of Reilly’s best-selling adventure bike, the STL was built with Columbus Life tubing and painted in show-stopping pearlescent orange. While the classic titanium Gradient in XXS with red finishing kit was winner with women and smaller riders hungry for an adventure bike.
The all-road, all-season, alternative to the Gradient, the Spectre, with its pedigree for ultra-endurance winners, was in high demand, but maximum envy points were awarded to the brand new T964D. With its unique investment cast 6AL-4V titanium head tube, full internal cable routing and aero kamm tail profile, this revolutionary titanium road bike impressed the discerning tarmac lovers. Though not due ‘til June 22, enthusiasts were clamoring to put down their deposits.
“Bespoked was a refreshing return to the real world for Reilly Cycleworks, a chance for us to meet and share our passion with the cyclists who ride and love the bikes we create in our Brighton workshop,” says Reilly Business Development Director, Chris Ratcliff. “There was a real buzz about being able to see and touch the bikes that people having been lusting after online for the past 18 months. We look forward to more of the same in 2022.”