Bespoked 2017 Gallery: Best Paint Jobs on Show
April 7th, 2017
April 7th, 2017
Anna is a jack-of-all-bikes, and has been riding and racing in a myriad of genres for over seven years; from World Cup level cross-country, to grass roots coaching kids on the road.
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The real Bespoked Best In Show is yet to be announced tonight, so you'll have to attend the show to catch a glimpse of who won what and what for, but as it's Friday, and the week has been long, here's some bicycle porn for you to lust over. Though it's a selection of my favourite paint jobs from today, I feel saddened that Saffron Frameworks, Festka and Enigma weren't there to make it into this gallery, but do give them a look if you're in the market for something special, and I don't just mean in the paint.
Evanson Bike Works
Arguable the best fade in show, or maybe just the most eye-popping, is Evanson. This is a genuine customer's bike, a disc-brake cyclocross machine designed for proper adventuring. Based on a old Klein paint job, with some reflective decals, a glitter stem, and some anodised Hope Tech accessories, it's managed to look colourful without looking like a kid's toy. The bike's rack-mounts are all designed to keep panniers away from the frame, protecting the beautiful paintwork without the need for masking it up.
With inspiration stemming from the night sky, it's understandable that this was probably the hardest bike to photograph... ever. When an astronomer came to FiftyOne wanting something that spoke of the stars and the northern lights, I admire the artist's decision to keep things realistic rather than whack a few star-shaped object on the bike and some green squiggly lines. Instead, roughly 18hours were put into airbrushing the northern lights into the front of the frame and bottom of the forks. There are also very tiny little stars in the tube tube. The contrast of matte black and gloss colour was apparently a difficult process too, and it was certainly a bit of a nightmare to photograph, however, it was a beautiful and subtle sight to behold in the flesh.
Ok, it's not technically a paint-job, but dammit, look at that engraving in this Winter Cycles road bike. Not only has the engraver scribed the Dura Ace crankset and derailleur, but he even etched a tube which was slotted into the head-tube for a stunning peep-hole profile. The artist has also carved flowers into the leather of the saddle too. It's all in the details.
Karen Hartley, the only female frame builder at the show, and one who is singlehandedly making the frames, painting them and building them all by herself should be praise enough, but the fact that she is challenging the industry with 650b road wheels for petite riders, and custom making cranks and forks to further fit riders properly is astounding. I love her attention to detail, and this bike, which is actually her own bike, is no acceptation. Sporting signature asymmetric details here and there, like her custom forks and off-set masking details on the paint job at the rear triangle, this one stands out from the rest by receiving hours of copper leaf detailing with a cherry red spray fade over the top to give it a real glow, plus tonnes of lacquer. From afar it looked anodised, but up close there was a real texture to it, and was certainly one of a kind at the show today.
When a customer comes to you with a limited edition SRAM Red in yellow, it's going to be quite a challenge to make it pop without overshadowing it. Meteor succeeded in making the loudest subtle bike at the show, being clever not to take it too far, letting the SRAM do the talking while still showing off their gift for flare. The gentle fade and overlaying of the painted triangles gave it depth without resorting to a variety of colours, and the masking was sharp and original. Clearly a bike that will stand the test of time.