You’re not afraid to be different
With a bespoke frame, you’ll be the only person to ride with that frame, in that particular style, design and artwork and of course, fitted to your own personal body geometry. Not many people experience that, and it feels good to be part of ‘the club’. People who ‘know’ their bikes will probably comment on it. It’s not just any steelie, it’s a bespoke steelie.
For the art
Some women buy pretty shoes just to look at, some men buy classic cars just to sit in their garages waiting for that perfectly sunny day, then you get some cyclists who have been polishing their chrome and waxing their saddles ready to show off their piece of art on two wheels.
You appreciate cycling’s heritage?
Cycling isn’t just a sport, or a mode of transport, or a social occasion. Cycling is steeped in history; of heros from times gone by, where races were won by only the hardest of men, of times of tragedy where men pushed themselves over their limits, of courage and camaraderie and of sportsmanship. Many cyclists are proud to be part of this heritage. We appreciate the old art and craftsmanship (and hard work) that went into building the very first bikes, whether it was for transportation, the first ‘racing’ bikes in the early 1900’s right through the ages of the ever evolving design of steel frames.
You appreciate artisan craftsmanship?
Anything made by hand takes more time than mass produced products whether it’s your favourite Christmas jumper that your Aunt made you or a ceramic pot you bought at the craft market. There’s love and care in every product because those people love their jobs, love being creative and love spending the time and effort making something beautiful for other people to use and enjoy.
You like bespoke as opposed to mass production?
Owning something where you know the craftsman who made it is something quite special, there’s a connection, an understanding….a little bit of soul that has gone into making that product especially for you. Going bespoke means you meet the maker and you can have your own input into the design and style of the bike.
It’s a million miles away from buying an off-the-shelf production bike where you get a bike that has been built to suit the average size and shape of Jo Bloggs, where it’s been kitted out with a groupset and wheels using a strict budget which may not be what you’re after. You can go and buy yourself the frameset and the groupset that you actually want but it’s still a production line frame that every other Tom, Dick and Harry are riding.
You want something a little bit special.
If you’re buying a wedding cake, it’s (hopefully) a once in a lifetime purchase. Do you go down to Tesco to buy their mass produced sponge cake or do you go to a specialist? Whether that specialist is your gran or a professional cake designer, both will have been making bespoke cakes for years and putting that little bit of love into their product.
Your may be after a particular style of bike.
This whole bike business started when my partner couldn’t find a suitable stem for his Italian steel bike. You may be in a similar situation, or you might want a ultra aggressive TT bike, or prefer to have a horizontal top tube. You may be very tall, or vertically challenged and want a bike to fit your exact body geometry. Having a bike fit beforehand is essential in order to assess the rider’s size, shape and flexibility. Having a correctly fitted bike is worth a lot more in terms of performance and enjoyment than going out and buying the lightest bike money can buy if you aren’t flexible enough to comfortably reach the bars.
You can have the bike to reflect your personality.
When I was thinking about the design for “Passion’s” paintwork, I started by creating a mood board of all the things I liked, which ultimately reflected my personality. It was the best way to start when you can have literally anything painted on your bike. And because you’re going to have the bike to last, I wanted it to reflect me and make me smile. It soon became apparent from my mood board that there would be flowers in a hippie/surf style, with bold colours…..and that’s what was designed and everytime I look at her sparkling in the sunshine, I have a smile on my face.
By Gemma Scougal
After the 1903 Tour, Garin poses with his son.
Hmm which one’s mine?