Jaw Droppers returned to Ally Pally for a second year and once again wowed the crowd, with a bevy of beautiful bikes built specially for The Cycle Show – each one a unique and head-turning design with flair to the fore.
The brief was simple: dress to impress, go large, make a bold statement. And our brilliant bike makers rose to the challenge. The four-strong judging panel had their work cut out, but there could only be one winner. A few of our favourites for your consideration.
MATCHY MATCHY QUINTESSENTIAL
We loved this colab between three sets of talented craftspeople. Ben from Teme Frameworks provided the lovely hardtail frameset, Paul of Quintessential Customs oversaw the whole project, while Greenwich-based luggage company Wizard Works put their fine talents to good use, tying the whole look together with matching storage bags custom made for this one-off. The inspiration? Celebrated 1950s textile designer Lucienne Day. Lovely work.
SWOON AT SPOON
Spoon Customs took the very first frame built by founder Andy Carr back in 2017, handed it to illustrator Sam Dunn to design, then Dan Cole spent 38 hours applying this truly stunning finish – using a paint brush and cocktail stick. Wonderstuff.
In the foreground, candy green bling from Handsling, who took their fine A1R0evo road bike and went to town on every custom aspect in their armoury. Those wheels are to die for. And in the background, Ireland’s FiftyOne Bikes raised a smile with their flying fag packet paint scheme, based on the Silk Cut colours from the bad old days of cigarette ads. Their inspiration was actually a 1980’s Jaguar raced at Le Mans. Don’t @ them. Smoking!
When it came to a fabulous-looking bike that we would be happy to ride and did not scream “LOOK AT ME!” this intricate Kintsugi Mamtor by Quirk caught the eyes of the entire judging panel. Aubergine finish, beautifully applied artwork and Japanese script to finish off. So cool.
ALL THAT GLITTERS: FAT CREATIONS
Ali and Bex from Fat Creations never disappoint, even when too busy to spend a huge amount of time pondering how to follow up on their amazing 2022 Jaw Dropper winner. This time they went with a fairly standard Cannondale System Six as their canvas, then went wild! The harlequin-esque look is based on their feature wall at the Fat studios in Sussex – this we have to see… We were reminded of the World War 1 dazzle ships camouflage invented by artist Norman Wilkinson. As for the glittering wheels, cranks and decals, out of this world. Bravo!
AND THE WINNER IS!
Four judges, all in agreement on the outright winner – this doesn’t happen at Eurovision, does it? Pete Muir and Emma Cole from Cyclist magazine, Warren Rossiter from BikeRadar and The Cycle Show’s Ian Cleverly gave the 15 entrants a thorough examination but were all drawn back to this mindblowingly ostentatious Deviate Claymore Artist Edition. Built and designed in conjunction with Scottish-based artist and mountain biker Douglas Roulston, and with exquisite gold leaf finishing touches by JMJ Designs, they left no stone unturned in producing the ultimate Jaw Dropper. Congratulations, all! And thank you to every one of our fine contributors. See you next year.