Randoms - Bespoked Show 2019

May 3, 2019 at 14:47
by James Smurthwaite  

The Curtis Thumpercross seemed to go down so well we thought we'd include the XR-650 in here too. It's fairly similar in design but the execution is what makes these bikes so special.

"Yo dawg, I heard you like brazing."

It's no secret the Brits have a penchant for anodized bits and the blue co-ordination on this bike is super satisfying.

Mawis Bikes

Germany's Mawis Bikes turned up with this wild titanium hardtail. Up front is an old Cannondale Fatty fork that has been tinkered with to provide 80mm of travel and fit 29 inch wheels.

A Pinion gearbox completes an out-there build


Starling showed up with more than just the Spur prototype that found a spot on the homepage earlier. Not wanting to be left out in a show largely filled with road bikes, Joe has built himself up a commuter klunker.

Joe is looking for somewhere to race this, anyone want to join him?

Ben Boxer, a student at Bristol University, has been working with Starling on his dissertation project and this is the result. His aim was to refine the yoke and upright region of the swingarm using generative design software from Autodesk. It's a pretty funky final result and you can see what it would look like on a bike in the Instagram post below:

Prova Hardtail

The Prova hardtail was flown around the world from the Handmade Bicycle Show Australia to the UK just for Bespoked and it's going to be flown right back around the world again afterwards. Now that's commitment.

The purple to raw fade is gorgeous

This bike won best in show last year and it's easy to see why with a combination of classic looks and modern tech.

Vywokrs Sequence Downhill Bike

I forgot to get a picture of the full bike so here's one from Crankworx last year.

Vlad Yordanov was at the show with his Sequence Downhill bike. This is still the first generation model but apparently some updates are on the way including a carbon linkage and a new layup to reduce the weight. He was battling to get it ready for the show but unfortunately just missed out, so expect to see an update soon - probably Fort William.

That link will soon be matching the rest of the frame in carbon too.

Vlad has made the whole bike himself from start to finish in Stoke

Moulds ready to go for round 2.

More info here.

Push Suspension

Push suspension are now distributed by Saddleback in the UK and had brought some cutaways along to show off.

This Charger upgrade kit replaces the shim stack for valves and gives high speed and low speed compression options.


Craft beers are no strangers to events like Bespoked. Cheers!


  • + 46
 What ever happen to that Carbon DH bike that had the rear shock built in using a Kashima coating
  • + 1
 Believe that project was scraped
  • + 2
 @dhmtbr777: Bummer!
  • + 3
 Pretty sure that was just a one off fun build bike.
  • - 1
 @Tmackstab: yup was just for fun.
  • + 4
 You thinking of www.resistance-bikes.com/homepage ? Or is there another one?

Last FB post was October, hopefully they're still going.
  • - 8
flag Matt76 (May 3, 2019 at 23:58) (Below Threshold)
 Its probably at the bottom of a downhill track someone in a pile of dust!
  • + 6
 @secondtimeuser: The only thing preventing me from buying one is the inability to incorporate a dropper!

Another question: When the heck are Pinion going to wake up, listen to their potential customer base and make a decent shifter!? They could really increase sales if they got rid of that stupid double barrel shifter!
  • + 9
 @landscapeben: if its that easy why not make an aftermarket one and make a fortune?

oh wait, it wont be that easy, the internals of the entire system rely on those two cables pulling it one way then the other. they are no doubt working on it, but its not that they need to wake up, i imagine its a technical nightmare.
  • + 2
 @landscapeben: I don't see lack of dropper a huge problem on a downhill bike. Reverb AXS / Vyron if you're desperate?

As for Pinion trigger, I've often thought one lever on each side of the bars that both pull could be plausible (if unconventional). Or just Di2 it and let a motor take care of it?
  • + 1
 @landscapeben: cinq make an aftermarket trigger shifter setup authorised by pinion...
  • + 1
 @tomhoward379: thanks that's great to know!
  • + 1
 @secondtimeuser: that's true I didn't think of using a remote dropper!
  • + 1
 @inked-up-metalhead: seems like everyone else have managed it Wink
  • + 3
 @landscapeben: Is the Pinion shifter really that terrible? There's a huge amount of vitriol thrown at it, usually by people who possibly haven't used it for any significant amount of time, but isn't it just a case of grip shift being different rather than awful. The majority of people have grown up using trigger shifters of some description simply because that's what been most readily available, rather than it being the absolute best (I could easily be wrong, but grip shift hate is usually appears early in the comments of gearbox- related articles, so much so that it seems like an automatic knee-jerk reaction).

Also, I'd hazard a guess that if the shifter is the only thing putting off "potential" customers, then it's possible that there's little chance they'd suddenly change their minds if a more preferable shifter was offered (the exception to that might be people with a disability or injury that would prevent them from using that style of shifter).
  • + 1
 @inked-up-metalhead: ok? And that’s an excuse? Seems like an electronic shifter is 100% the best option and so much easier.
  • + 2
 @landscapeben: The only reason you say that is because you don't understand the primary design considerations. It requires so much cable to be pulled(more per shift than Rohloff even) that a trigger needs either a very large spool(= BIG single shifter), or gearing to translate a short lever throw into the correct cable pull. Cinq makes an aftermarket system, but my understanding is you get one shift at a time and a lever on BOTH sides. It also includes a different shifter spool attached at the gearbox. All of these solutions are expensive, and a shifter that looks modern would be even more so.
  • + 1
 @bonfire: where did i say it was an excuse? theyre probably more than aware that the grip shift is more disliked than liked, and again, theyll probably be trying to address that, but if the system is literally nigh on impossible to get it to work in a practical package, they shouldnt be told they 'need to wake up'.

and an electronic shifter thats taken 2 of the biggest companies in mountain biking literally years to develop? so much easier, your right, pinion should hire you as their head engineer and youll crack that shit in seconds, yes? there is a thing called practicability, and your seeming to ignore that factor. yes, in an ideal world it would be perfect, but also in an ideal world thered be no religion, famine, poverty or wars, but thats unrealistic.
  • + 2
 @bonfire: why is it "100% the best option", and how is it easier? Easier for the rider? Easier for R&D, easier for production, easier for cost? If it was really that easy, wouldn't Pinion have gone with that option originally? Wireless electronic controls have only recently become available/viable options, and Pinion has been around for, what, ten years?
Also, a large portion of the MTB community is notorious for it's dislike of gearboxes, new technology and increasing prices (at least it seems that way from comment sections), so would Pinion be likely to add new tech and cost to their already premium niche product?

Don't get me wrong, the idea of wireless shifting on a gearbox sounds awesome, but I don't think the process of producing it is as simple as your comment implies.
  • + 4
 @Gackt: having ridden a pinion several times, I don’t get the hype and am not a fan of the feeling nor the performance. Then the shifter is some bullshit, it’s gripshift, the cables get in the way of brake levers, impacts your grip choices, it also put the casing in a spot that impact is catastrophic. Running the cables is also annoying as f*ck with their little set screws and the clocking.

I mean effigear seemed to figure it out with their gearbox being able to use a trigger.

Electronic, wireless or not would be so simple. Ever played with a Di2 Alfine cassette joint? Super simple design. If they’re capable of building that gear box, I’m sure they should be capable. Could be some patents in there, but if they want mainstream compatibility and to crack into some useful OEM markets they’re going to need to get that figured out.

But I’m willing to bet the vast majority of gearbox supporters have never ridden one. I’m waiting for shimano to just toss their planetary system into a gearbox housing. Zerode g1/g2 just used their hub and it was simple and worked real well. Better than the pinion in their taniwha.
  • + 1
 their site is still active.
  • + 2
 @Gackt: Pinion's are really good for some things, but they have two major drawbacks. The first is the drag, they do have it and it is noticable, it more or less goes away after you have put a couple of thousand kilometres into one, but it never goes completely and you have to put up with it for a couple years worth of riding for most people. The second is the weight, they are still heavy. The shifter is fine, Gripshift is not as good as triggers and the set up is fidly (over and under the brake lever) but it's fine. Pinions are popular with tourers and bikepackers because they're so reliable, but MTB will always be a harder sell.
  • + 1
 @bonfire: An electronic Di2 type shifter for Pinion would be great, maybe one of the only places I would want to see electric shifting.
  • + 1
 @seitenryu: 2 shifts at a time. I'm a fan of the up/down on different sides of the bars, feels more intuitive to me, so much so thats how I've set my AXS up.

As It happens, I've pestered Cinq, Pinion and SRAM about getting together to make a wireless pinion shifting system. as i see it, a servo, receiver and battery would sit in/at the gearbox, linking to a wireless shifter. not easy to package, but not impossible. Pinion and cinq didn't rule it out....
  • + 1
 @bonfire: There're definitely compromises, just as there are with derailleurs. I think it's more of a case of choosing which compromises you can live with whilst enjoying the benefits of either system.
Out of interest, what was the Pinion bike you've ridden and for how long, or how often? I think getting the real measure of a component or a bike or something can take several months of ownership and use. That's not to say that you opinion is in anyway invalid. You've had hands-on experience, which is more than the majority of people have had.

I have no idea on the inner workings of either gearbox, but just because they do the same thing, doesn't mean they do it in the same way. A solution that works for one isn't automatically going to work for the other.

Electronic shifting would definitely be possible, but if it's as simple as you're implying then it's likely they would have done it by now (they could well be working on as we speak, though). With all the resources and expertise at their disposal, it still took Shimano and SRAM years to get to the point to where they were able to release a viable product.

I'm sure that's true. I certainly haven't. I've always loved the idea of gearboxes, but I've no idea what the reality of living with one is like.
The same could be said for gearbox opponents, though. I think people on either side of the fence are talking in pretty definitive terms without the experience to support it.
Again, if it was as simple just throwing an Alfine into a gearbox casing, they likely would've done it already. It might be better to say "X seems like a better, simpler idea; why don't they do that?" rather than "They should just do X, it's easy".
  • + 1
 thankgod it was hideous @dhmtbr777:
  • + 2
 @Gackt: I have ridden a couple Taniwha’s. Probably 15-20hrs of ride time on one. Living in NZ they’re more common than they are anywhere else. I’ve worked on them quite a bit and likely more than the average bear (like 3-5 times a month). Have had two guys punch holes in their casing. Majority of the customers who owned one, have since moved them on for other bikes. Citing the gearbox as their main reason, among others.

I mean I get the “there are always compromises” argument. I just haven’t really had an issue with derailleurs. The Zerode is sweet as it’s suspension is better optimized by having a constant cog size and less unsprung weight. So it does track really well. These new Eagle cassettes if you keep on top of chain wear, last for essentially forever. Especially the higher end ones. Just eat jockey wheels.

I’m not opposed to gearboxes, I’m just not satisfied they solve any issue or provide significant useful benefit. Then combined with the shifter it’s measurably worse. If they can make the parasitic losses better, the gearbox lighter, and the ability to shift under some load, give me a normal shifter, I’m keen as hell.
  • + 1
 @bonfire: Well, I can't argue with that. It's pretty shocking that those guys managed to puncture their casings. Did Pinion have anything to say about that, and did they replace them under warranty?

I have heard good things about the Eagle stuff. If I had to only ride traditional drivetrains for the rest of my life it's be no great hardship, but I find the negatives of them irritating. When the running perfectly their great, but my experience with them is that they're temperamental to conditions and getting knocked, so that great initial performance is not consistent.
I think part of the reason I don't mind the idea of gearboxes is that I'm not a high performance rider and I'm not particularly fast, either up or down. I'm a heavy dude, and climbing always sucks, so the extra weight and friction isn't going to make much more worse, and I feel like the extra weight low down could help make the bike feel planted.
  • + 2
 @Gackt: for sure not a pinion warranty, should’ve ran a bash guard, impact isn’t a failure of the product.

In terms of efficiency gains or losses, I’m in a similar boat. I’m a heavy guy, but ride a heavy bike, heavy casing tires with cushcore and 18psi, I ride big rotors and wide bars. But the pinion has this sensation that I’m pedalling in sand.

I rarely see a derailleur that’s boned from a knock. Rock strikes that peel the paint off? Yes. Slamming the bootlid trying to fit your bike in the back of the car? Yes. But an eagle mech on a modern frame, the hangers are so stiff now and the higher end stuff is made of some pretty sturdy stuff. The vast majority of shift issues I see are due to shitty jagwire housing or just dirty cables and housing in general. Which on a pinion you have the same failure and need two of everything. Which is where wireless electronics would be brilliant, never touch the tune, zero degradation of shifting over time. So good.
  • + 1
 @dhmtbr777: Was the coating "scraped" or did you mean the project was "scrapped"?
  • + 5
 Re the Mawis Bikes, bike...so by "tinker with" a Cannondale headshock, you mean keep the steerer tube and spring stack and make everything else new? Cannondale didn't have a fork crown looking anything like that.
  • + 2
 Yes, it seems they managed to reinvent the already reliable bits on the top and bottom half, while keeping the seriously iffy bits in the middle! I don't want to be a Headshock hater, as I think the design has merit, but if the bearings and cartridge are unchanged, then they are missing the boat.
  • + 1
 @thekaiser: And it looks noodly.
  • + 8
 A few Butcombe hair-o-the-dogs will sweep you right off your ass.
  • + 1
 Your really hairy ass if you need a butcombe
  • + 5
 The beauty of the steel and Ti bikes then the ugliness of carbon
  • + 4
 "That Mawis bike was built by a brit?" Stares confused for a while, scrolls to caption. "Ah, that mskes more sense".
  • + 2
 Been lucky enough to race that sequence DH bike. What a bike it is and it is a thing of absolute beauty tbf. Vlad is also an awesome guy!
  • + 1
 Can someone explain why they often braze steel bikes rather than just tig welding them? is it some hipster shit just to say 'look what i can do'?
  • + 1
 That Sequence downhill bike is gorgeous Drool If a Specialized Demo and Pivot Phoenix mated, this is what their child would be!!!
  • + 1
 Prova just won best in show for the blue roadie in the background too. Maybe now we’re famous for more than just drinking beer
  • + 12
 Nah...just drinkin', under arm bowling, and stealing the recipe for Pavlova off us...
  • + 2
 That XR-650 looks like an...uhh...Morewood Izimu.
  • + 1
 That paint on the Prova hardtail reminds me of my old 1986 Cannondale m800 with the m2000 paint scheme.
  • + 1
 I hope the Headshok comes back. Standing in line at whistler, just drop the cover and we can all compare "internals"
  • + 1
 GCN featured a badass titanium XC bike with 3d printed features from Sturdy Cycles, I'd love to read about it a bit more.
  • + 1
 If I had to pick my last and only bike ever, that Prova would be it. Probably.
  • + 0
 steel/ti hardtails? yes please!
but raw steel dh bikes? ehhhhh not quite the same.
  • + 1
 They look like latice frame Orange bikes...which at least is an improvement to the aesthetics...
  • + 0
 I still havent seen a steel full suspension bike that looks better than the Sturn did. Man that is a sexy bike.
  • + 0
 Who is interested in this weird rubbish apart from the freaks on the stw forum? The dh bike looks decent though!
  • + 1
 There's a lot more out there than the forum remember it's a relatively insignificant number that post on forums to the number of people who are out there being silent , a lot think bespoked will launch their business , reality is it's a boys club where you kiss the ass needed I haven't paid any heed to it for years it's a party piece
  • + 1
 Is that a carbon Turner DHR? Does anyone else see it?
  • + 1
 I hope so, 29er cabron turner dhrs for all. Please Dave bring us some new legit turner product plz.
  • + 0
 Still. Nothing is more sexy than Antidote Antimatter. Nothing.
  • + 4
 Darkmatter Wink
  • + 1
 @polok: 100% Agree. Dream bike. In Aluminum. With a threaded BB. Im gonna go take a cold shower now
  • + 1
 That Prova tho
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment

You must login to Pinkbike.
Don't have an account? Sign up

Join Pinkbike  Login
Copyright © 2000 - 2019. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv65 0.385037
Mobile Version of Website