It was not a surprise to anyone to hear that Chris Bishop would take home the People’s Choice Award for the 2017 Philadelphia Bike Expo. His iridescent pink laser bike had a way of stopping everyone in their tracks as they rounded the back corner of the hall. The bike’s customer collaborated with Bishop and his painter for the elaborate visual finish, working in 3D platforms to ensure that the prismatic effects would wrap properly around the different surfaces of the frameset and cockpit. And while the finish had a way of easily winning attention, it is Bishop’s detailing and immaculate execution of the frame itself that continued to draw show-goers in.

But Bishop’s show winner was far from the only stunner in his booth; he brought a slew of stand out creations.

Philadelphia Bike Expo 2017 Chris Bishop Bishop Cycles

Philadelphia Bike Expo 2017 Chris Bishop Bishop Cycles

The finish encompassed the frame, fork, Silca frame pump, and Pro EVO Stealth handlebar.

Philadelphia Bike Expo 2017 Chris Bishop Bishop Cycles

Philadelphia Bike Expo 2017 Chris Bishop Bishop Cycles

The paint theme continues into the custom machined stainless seatstay bridge and the stays of the stainless rear triangle.

Philadelphia Bike Expo 2017 Chris Bishop Bishop Cycles

A lovely technical feature of this bike is the way Bishop integrates the dropouts into the chainstays. Rather than have a joint at the end of the tab provided by Paragon on this dropout, for example, Bishop wraps his stays around the outside of the dropouts and carves the ends to match up with the window for a more integrated transition.

Philadelphia Bike Expo 2017 Chris Bishop Bishop Cycles

And while the prism bike was exciting and all, this pink bike was sitting right next to it.

Philadelphia Bike Expo 2017 Chris Bishop Bishop Cycles

Philadelphia Bike Expo 2017 Chris Bishop Bishop Cycles

This head joint is deceptively simple. To make these oval Vari-Wall tubes (one of which is a Chris Bishop custom design) work with the tapered headtube, Bishop constructed special, oval bi-laminate transitions.

Philadelphia Bike Expo 2017 Chris Bishop Bishop Cycles

Internal routing interfaces on the non-drive side.

Philadelphia Bike Expo 2017 Chris Bishop Bishop Cycles

Another smooth transition to a bi-laminate interface on the seat tube. Again, more dramatically shaped shorelines and thinned points.

Philadelphia Bike Expo 2017 Chris Bishop Bishop Cycles

A lightened Bishop seat stay bridge.

Philadelphia Bike Expo 2017 Chris Bishop Bishop Cycles

A clever and minimal wiring port on the driveside. Bishop flipped the cap to wing the wire over the QR- another nice detail.

Philadelphia Bike Expo 2017 Chris Bishop Bishop Cycles

The dropouts are modified and thinned Paragon QR flatmount dropouts. As you can see, Bishop again pulls the chainstay around the exterior of the dropout for a more integrated visual and structural effect.

Philadelphia Bike Expo 2017 Chris Bishop Bishop Cycles

Last but not least is this beautifully executed randonneur.

Philadelphia Bike Expo 2017 Chris Bishop Bishop Cycles

For this frame, Bishop modified a rare and not commonly recognized set of Nervex lugs. He added length to the lateral points so he could carve in his long, Bishopian shorelines and added smooth brass fillets into the transitions. And, again, every point is thinned.

All of the lugs are finely lined in a subtle gold. In person, this striping was so perfect that it was difficult to see in the show lighting.

Philadelphia Bike Expo 2017 Chris Bishop Bishop Cycles

For the fork crown, Bishop wanted a biplane construction without the stripped-down appearance of a traditional biplane lug, so he hand machined these subtle slots in an existing casting.

For the cluster, Bishop constructed these wrap around caps. In this process photo, you can see the brass line border of the extended top tube point as well as the top of the seat cluster. Also visible are the centerlines scribed into the material to allow him to keep the wrapped capped points perfectly on center (a challenge of this style of end-cap).

Philadelphia Bike Expo 2017 Chris Bishop Bishop Cycles

The rear of the seat cluster had some nice detailing as well. Bishop machined the clamp assembly for symmetry across the bullet bolt and pinch nut.

Philadelphia Bike Expo 2017 Chris Bishop Bishop Cycles

The filled lugs extended to the fillets of the bottom bracket.

BishopBikes.com

23 COMMENTS

  1. That’s the name of the game at these trade shows, I guess. The most over-the-top show samples rake in the orders. Not my scene..

    • Have you been to PBE? Its not a tradeshow… its about a small community of like minded bike nerds coming together to celebrate the craft of making a bicycle by hand… Alot of these builders barely make ends meet with their bikes and for many its their hobby/second job.

    • @mudrock, it’s okay it not being your scene, as you put it, but if you’re going to comment on it, let me at least tell you a little about it. Some of the most successful companies like Moots and Seven are significantly less elaborate in their designs than the more flamboyant companies like Bishop or Peacock Groove. Richard Sachs, who’s at the top of the tree among frame builders, makes a relatively plain looking bike, and that’s all he takes to shows. One of the main features of the handbuilt custom industry is the astonishing diversity of design and fabrication genius they display at these shows, and for this reason they remain the guiding light for the cycling industry as a whole (the big mass production companies send designers to these shows to get ideas). Also, as Doug points out, PBE, like NAHBS, and the Portland show, New England Builders Ball, Bespoked, Berlin, is a consumer show and not a trade show. Although a lot of the custom builders will sell through retailers, mostly they prefer to sell direct because the profit margins are a lot lower than for mass-produced bikes in a similar price bracket. You should go along and check out one of these shows some time, broaden your horizons, you might be pleasantly surprised!

  2. What a time to be alive; when there are so many out there keeping bikes both purposeful and beautifully constructed. It makes me wonder how any buyer with deep pockets (most of whom do not race) would choose a production-line frame of the same price over a custom machine tailored for them by one skilled builder. Hopefully it is a craft that never dies.

    • I have a great custom bike. That said, my carbon bikes that don’t look as cool are far lighter, stiffer, more aero(I don’t race anymore and don’t care but I do care about getting blown sideways). Regular riding is fun on my custom bike. Its not as fun descending a mountain at a high speed with switchbacks so I just don’t have as much fun on my custom bike.

  3. > It makes me wonder how any buyer with deep pockets (most of whom
    > do not race) would choose a production-line frame of the same price over
    > a custom machine tailored for them by one skilled builder.

    Well for one, there’s a much higher level of engineering in (some) factory carbon frames.

    • Please note that “more engineering” is not synonymous with “better”. What’s best is entirely subjective and up to the rider in question.

    • ride a road bike, you must race grrr! why do people think this? use the internet u must play minecraft! you dont buy a bishop to race, caad10s are for that!

  4. lovely bikes and very well executed but nothing new or not seen before… for jewel like custom insanity i recommend the columbine cycles with their beautiful lug work and perfect paint work… so many new, that is younger cyclists weren’t involved decades ago when the common italian bikes from builders such as grandis turned out filed lugs and pantographed gear regularly… the work of some new builders is over the top with detailing routinely fine… it is indeed a worthwhile effort by these keepers of the tradition we see and more the better…

  5. Yes, “more engineering” is not synonymous with “better”! The 1908 Ford Model T was the best automobile ever! What’s best is entirely subjective and up to the driver in question.

    • A completely off the mark analogy. Snark doesn’t a fact make. And you have yet to provide empirical evidence of how the big manufacturers’ bikes that have had “more engineering” are better. Snark’s boring. Thinking is better.

    • When was it decided that a bike’s a weight was a measure of superiority? Perhaps you’re confusing your metrics for bike superiority with the non-existent standards for bike superiority. FWIW, I invite you to do the physics and figure out just how small the influence of that 1000g increase in weight is for the vast majority of riders. You can use analytic cycling dot com to do the math for you.

What do you think?