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  • Custom paint (part IV): five design schemes inspired by nature

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    Behind every spectacular custom paint scheme there is a customer brief. In this four part series, Dave Nash unearths some outstanding examples of handiwork and what inspired them


    You wood?


    Skilled frame painters can replicate almost any design idea imaginable, so when Parlee were challenged by one of their customers to produce a frame that appeared to be made of wood, they duly delivered, balancing the motif with a maple leaf inspired design.


    Cole Coating Beach Marble

    Beach cruiser


    Cole Coating Beach MarbleA holiday snap of sunlight on a blue sea taken by the owner of this Saffron Frameworks build was the inspiration for this paint scheme.  Rather than try and reproduce an abstract interpretation, Cole Coatings Workshop in South-East London set out to reproduce it as closely as possible, using a complex multi-stage marble of silvers, greys and whites to mimic the light dappling on the rippling surface of the water and the shadows cast on the seabed. The branding of the bespoke framebuilder, Matthew Sowter of Saffron, was applied in a complimentary sand colour. Photos: Saffron Frameworks


    Read: Riding the new Colnago C64 in Lanzarote

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    Mountain bike


    This was one of two striking bikes that persuaded the judges at Bespoked 2017 to present Owen Byrne of Donard Bikes with the gong for Outstanding New Frambuilder. The detailing is inspired by the outline of Slieve Donard, the highest mountain in Northern Ireland and within riding distance of Donard’s HQ on Strangford Lough. Built for a local cyclist who also runs the independent Belfast bike shop, Velo Cafe Magasin, the carbon frame features a green version of a design that Byrne has adopted as the Donard paint scheme.


    Custom frames feature


    Night rider


    The owner of this custom-built Quirk Cycles frame wanted a design inspired by the Aurora Borealis, so the team at South-East London paint specialists, Cole Coatings Workshop, came up with a treetop and mountain skyline design beneath an abstract interpretation of the Northern Lights.  “It was our aim to try and emulate the effects of the Aurora whilst still including the traditional figurative elements that provide context, and at the same time as avoiding making a garish neon coloured mess!” Photo by Nikoo Hamzavi


    Gallery: Arctic Race of Norway 2017, the most beautiful race in the world

    Custom frames feature

    Dogged handywork


    Custom frames featureThis award winning CX bike, featuring a ‘candy’ sausage dog camouflage design secured the Columbus Choice award at 2017 Bespoked Hand Made Bicycle Show for Adeline O’Moreau of Mercredi Cycles.  Illustrator Thomas Slater provided the sausage dog graphics and there are 87 of the little canines dotted all over the frame, built up between layers of moss green candy to give a sausage dog camouflage effect. The playfulness does not end there, however, and in an inspired touch, the Columbus Steel logo featuring a dove in flight was replaced with a sausage dog . . . with wings. Photos courtesy of Bespoked/Ben Broomfield


    Custom paint (part I): six stunning personalised frames and the stories behind them

    Custom paint (part II): six schemes with an arty theme

    Custom paint (part III): frames inspired by cars and motorcycling