bespoke: the handbuild bicycle
bespoke: the handbuild bicycle bespoke: the handbuild bicycle
may 29, 2010

bespoke: the handbuild bicycle

‘bespoke: the handbuild bicycle’ museum of arts and design, new york may 13 – aug 15, 2010

‘vanilla bicycles’ by sacha white image © d. james dee

‘bespoke: the handbuilt bicycle’, presented by the museum of arts and design, displays the designs of six bicycle builders whose work in metal, graphics and artifacts, helped elucidate this craft.

‘vanilla bicycles’ by sacha white image © vanilla bicycles

the craft of custom bicycle building involves master metalwork: bending, welding, carving and wrapping steel, titanium, aluminum and carbon. a graphic artist’s eye is required in the application of paint and decorative flourishes. whereas several varieties of artisan may be involved in manufacturing a factory-made bicycle, the custom models exhibited in ‘bespoke’ were the productions of individuals.   despite the seemingly simplistic forms and mechanics, the exhibited bicycles offered a unique challenge to their makers. rider and machine meet at three contact points—saddle, handlebar, and pedal. this degree of integration, compared with that involved in almost any other type of sporting equipment, from soccer balls to sailboats, leaves greater risk of poor performance and discomfort if the connection between body and bicycle is not seamless.  thus, the participating custom builder’s chief preoccupation was therefore with fit; simply taking a rider’s measurements required more than two hours for a single commission. every bicycle was a piece of engineering.

‘vanilla bicycles’ by sacha white image © vanilla bicycles

pegoretti cicli by dario pegoretti image © dario pegoretti

pegoretti cicli by dario pegoretti image © dario pegoretti

‘ANT’ by mike flanagan image ©  d. james dee

‘jeff jones custom bicycles’ by jeff jones image ©  d. james dee

‘jeff jones custom bicycles’ by jeff jones image c jeff jones custom bicycles

‘jeff jones custom bicycles’ by jeff jones image © jeff jones custom bicycles

‘richard sachs cycles’ by richard sachs image © richard sachs cycles

‘richard sachs cycles’ by richard sachs image ©  d. james dee

seoul cycle design competition 2010

currently, seoul design foundation together with designboom are hosting seoul cycle design competition 2010. once considered a ‘hard’ city, seoul is making strides toward becoming a ‘soft’ city by embracing design concepts that will redefine its urban environment with an emphasis on themes centering on green, blue, history and human. the seoul cycle design competition will be held under the theme, ‘cycling with design: seoul style,’ and is part of seoul’s city-wide effort at improving its design brand and image. the primary goal of the competition is to help build a design oriented city that focuses on its people. the competition is divided into three categories: cycle design, cycle fashion & accessories design, and cycling infrastructure. all three categories emphasize environment-friendly ideas, with the hope that the contest will contribute to establishing a healthier cycling culture.

registration is currently open. to learn more about the competition and to enroll, see here.

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

design news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
501,554 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample