Winner – Brooks bespoked bike Bristol – the dream cargo bike


From brooks blog

We are sad to report that our John Boultbee Patented Drool-ometer took its final tour of active duty last weekend in the West Country. It sustained irreparable damage, and succumbed to its injuries shortly after Dan Titchmarsh rolled in to Brunel’s Old Station from York on his Titchmarsh Scorpion Cargo Bike.

The Drool-ometer’s fuses quickly blew and its transistors did duly melt, while the needle repeatedly pounded against the housing wall in an apparent attempt to denote a new upper limit for Drool, ultimately snapping completely from its axis.

This is all by way of saying that Dan and his bike were the unsurprising winners in one of several prize categories that Brooks sponsored at this year’s Bespoked Bristol.

Since its first instalment in 2011, Bespoked has quickly become a popular fixture on the European circuit of boutique bicycle shows. With an always thoughtful roster of exhibitors, it allows a handful of the bigger industry names to rub shoulders with a host of markedly less global operations.

Party at the front, business at the back? Or vice versa? Or both?

The emphasis is decidedly on the independent, though, and the show draws crowds who are pathologically keen to talk at length with builders and designers on the finer points of lugging and brazing, geometries and materials, paintjobs and pricing, tax returns… no subject is off limits.

In these respects and others, it bears much resemblance with the North American Handmade Bicycle Show, and as we asserted in a piece for this year’s Brooks Bugle, Bespoked seems well on the way to emulating its Transatlantic counterpart as a Centre of Excellence in all things two-wheeled and human-powered.

We once again took a stand ourselves this time out, and as mentioned, were also involved in the competitive end of things. Brooks was happy to sponsor prizes in several categories at Bespoked this year. The award for Innovation in Product and Design went to the above mentioned Titchmarsh Scorpion.

This is high-end, hand-built haulage, and has understandably been priced as such.

“This was the bike I wanted to build”, the ex-courier tells us of his prototype steel-tubed load hauler. Tipping the scales at a relatively meagre 22kg, and still with ample opportunity to shave off a few pounds before it goes into full production, his Scorpion can be described as the culmination of 12 years of R&D, the final touches having been applied mere hours before the doors opened in Bristol last weekend.

The Scorpion differs from most other two-wheeled cargo bikes in its use of a hub centre steering system, as opposed to the standard solution of a single-sided steering shaft running the entire length of the loading area’s underside. Still with us? For readers who wish to go deeper, Dan explains in some detail on his website the rationale and execution of this move.

One place where he fortunately refused to deviate from tradition, however, is up on top of the seatpost. He took a Titanium Team Pro to finish things off, as will hopefully his drooling line of customers, who are already waiting for him to complete an initial short-run batch of production models.

Here and elsewhere, Brooks has frequently celebrated the Cargo Bike’s resurgence outside of its traditional Scandinavian strongholds, so we hereby extend our warmest congratulations again to Dan on a fine job of work, and on being the recipient of our Brooks Innovation Award at Bespoked 2013.