Bespoke builders go head to head for public votes in the 2016 Bespoked Enve Build-off
Bespoked, the UK's biggest handmade bicycle show, took place over the weekend in Bristol with bespoke bike makers vying for public votes to gain victory in our Enve Build-off competition.
This year's event saw dozens of exhibitors showing off everything from the rough and ready to the sleek and stylish, while Enve's long-established handmade credentials meant there were hundreds of the US brand's components on show including wheels, forks, bars, stems and seatposts. Some were left in their naked carbon guise while others had been painstakingly painted to match frame colourschemes.
The Enve Build-off was organised by our events guru Ross Grimmett, who worked directly with builders keen to take up the challenge and supply the Enve gear they would need to finish their frames to the highest standard. The competition also provided additional fun for the legions of bespoke bike fans attending the three-day show, who could vote for their favourite bike using the slip on the back of their tickets.
The build-off saw 16 bikes from a dozen builders going head to head, each receiving an 'approved entrant' board letting showgoers know the bikes were eligible for votes. The competition ran over all three days of the show, with Enve's Colby Weber flying in from the US to see how the show's builders – predominantly from the UK – were utilising the Utah brand's wares for some stunning bikes. Colby was also on hand to join Ross in presenting the weighty awards we created to the worthy podium of prize winners.
When the ballot tallying was completed on Sunday afternoon, the public's voice was heard in an awards ceremony within the bike-crammed hall.
It was the Cloud 9 Cycles Street Fix build that captured showgoers' imaginations with its combination of a tig-welded Columbus Spirit steel frame and plenty of Enve finishing kit. The Street Fix frame was built up with an Enve fork with disc brake, 800mm downhill bars, 50mm stem, Enve seatpost and M50 Fifty rims laced to Phil Wood Track hubs running 28mm Schwalbe Pro One tubeless tyres. On paper an unusual combination, but in the flesh a different story – and one that was obviously appreciated by the crowds!
Second place went to Talbot Frameworks, whose stunningly pretty road frame was painted in a gorgeous grey and green design, accented with orange on the inside of the fork, the stem's Enve logo and the Chris King headset. The contrast with the dark Enve 3.4 wheels really made the bike stand out from the crowd.
Rusby Cycles took home the final award for its striking sunset-orange road disc bike, the shouty paint job tempered by bare seat and chainstays; the black Enve wheels and bars; and the cream-dipped forks.
Following the awards announcements, the builders and their bikes were whisked away for a professional photoshoot with Ben Broomfield, immortalising their successes in megapixels and bringing the show to a close on a high. From planning to prize giving, the whole Enve Build-off proved a huge success and we'll be looking to step things up even more for 2017's Bespoked show.
Here's a full list of all the Enve build-off competitors at this year's show. Visit their websites to find out more about each brand's gorgeous custom builds.
Photos: Ben Broomfield / Saddleback