Design: Meet the custom bikes with a fashion-forward spin
By WGSN Insider

From frames to wheels, these global cycling companies are taking cycle design to new heights, WGSN contributor Al McCool reports.

Jan 18, 2016

8 photos

With bicycle culture now firmly engrained in urban life, feeding the world’s growing passion for two wheels, the design of (and for) bikes continues to improve. In the custom sector, classic materials are updated into contemporary design, giving riders an edge, thanks to the personalised design.

Here we highlight four companies that are using innovative design methods:

1.Vanhulsteijn x Sotheby’s

Dutch designer Herman van Hulsteijn, owner and creator of the Vanhulsteijn brand, exclusively made nine bicycles for Sotheby’s. He used an ancient Japanese lacquer technique, the Tsugaru Nuri style of Urishi, applying layers of gold leaf onto a bumpy surface, then flooding it with lacquer to smooth it. These limited edition bikes are truly handmade and exquisite.

Urushi bike - Van hulsteijn Bicycles




Yamaha’s 0+/-0 bike uses bamboo, brushed copper and leather, and comes with both a home-charging dock and a mobile battery that you can charge while cycling.

WGSN_Yamaha_Cycle_15_0_-0_bike_by_Yamaha_01_hr WGSN_Yamaha_Cycle_15_0_-0_bike_by_Yamaha_02_hr


3. The Detroit Bicycle Company

The company specialises in classic urban bikes with copper detailing; the Land Bike features a frame with copper inserts and a laser-cut sprocket decorated with the brand’s name.

WGSN_Detroit_Bicycle_Company_Cycle_16_detroit-land-speed-bike-1_hr WGSN_Detroit_Bicycle_Company_Cycle_16_detroit-land-speed-bike-5_hr


4.Eleven Twenty Seven

Tobias Knockaert’s Eleventwentyseven Erembald also uses laser-cutting, this time to turn the frame into a lattice, carefully balancing the strength-to-weight ratio to ensure a reliable frame.WGSN_ElevenTwentySeven_Cycle_17_ElevenTwentySeven-Erembald-bike-1_hr


For more design inspiration, analysis on key materials and textiles, plus insight on the future of customisation and personalisation, join WGSN.


  • Humeera Dar

    Just amazingly beautiful work of art.

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