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

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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

Words:
Enigma

Sixties throwback

 

For his 60th birthday, the Enigma staff presented the company’s founder and owner, Jim Walker, with this Elite HSS bike. The colours and paint scheme are a copy of Walker’s very first racing bike, bought for him second-hand by his dad 45 years before. Further personalised touches were added to ensure the end result was very specific to the owner.

Rolo

Clubbed together

 

What better way to demonstrate your club loyalty than ensuring both you and your bike are impeccably turned out in club colours. The Rolo Bikes customer in the photo founded a Stockholm cycling club and wanted to blend seamlessly with his bike when wearing the club kit.

 

Read: Why designing pro cycling team kit is such a tough job

Custom frames feature

Guidelines

 

The paint scheme of this Genesis Volare was a collaboration between Poland-based cycle tour operator, Podia, and Genesis, who supply them with bikes. Podia commissioned Rob Nicholas of Colourburn Studios to paint two Genesis frames in Podia colours for their ride leaders – a 953 and 853 Volare respectively. “The only boundaries I was given was that they must both have the stock Genesis branding, be in the Podia colours, and the 931 model must be a bit more intricate than the 853, to reflect the model’s hierarchy,” recalls Nicholas. “I didn’t really have a set design in mind – I just knew I was going to be doing block geometric shapes of solid colour, to tie in with the design of the Podia jerseys.”

 

Read: Beautiful frames – the rise of the custom paint scheme

 

Custom frames feature

Prized possession

 

Owen Bryne of Donard Bikes built and painted this model for himself with a strong intent of making an impression at the Bespoked 2017 show. The dazzling green marble finish certainly had that effect.  This was one of two striking bikes that persuaded the judges to award Byrne with the gong for Outstanding New Frambuilder. Picture courtesy of Bespoked/Ben Broomfield.

 

Custom frames feature

Standing out from the bunch

 

A customer of Rolo Bikes – a semi-pro rider living in Paris  – wanted a bike that would stand out in photos, so the Luxembourg bespoke frame manufacturer opted for a design inspired by the kaleidoscopic paint schemes pioneered by Klein bikes in the 1980’s and 1990’s in the United States. “As you can see” says Adam Wais of Rolo, “it is rather eye-catching.’

 

Desire: Reynolds 531 & 753 Clothing Collection

Fat Creations

Inside job

 

Juxtaposing the primary colour of the frame with a different colour or motif on the internal sides of the seat/chain stays and forks is a common ploy to enhance a monochrome looking frame. Ali McLean of Fat Creations took it up a level when he was approached by bespoke framebuilder, Vaaru, to come up with a paint scheme that was quite simple overall, but contained some elaborate detail.  McLean borrowed the ‘V’ from the Vaaru logo as the starting point for an intricate pattern that he then used on the inside of the forks. Each ‘V’ had to be removed with a scalpel – an intricate and laborious process. “That’s why the frame, forks, bars and seat post took over 60 hours,” recalls McLean.

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