With gold suspension links and oodles of Kashima, Coal Bicycles' shiny bright ‘84’ model was a real head-turner at Bespoked.
We finish off our showcase of the best mountain bikes we saw at this year’s Bespoked handbuilt bike show with this none-more-bling Coal Bicycles ’84.
Coal Bicycles ‘84
Gavin White’s brand name is a nod to something darker dug up from the ground and the mining community he grew up in. ‘My dad were a miner and my Grandad went down the pit at twelve – it’s all a big part of my heritage.’
Anyone old enough will know 1984 as a landmark year for the Nottinghamshire industry that’s no longer a big employer, and many younger lads like Gavin ended up doing jobs like fabricating. Working in oil and gas and also welding bikes for other UK brands built skills to make something as beautifully crafted as this, and Gavin ended up setting up Coal 18 months ago to, ‘do his own thing and make something distinctly different and contemporary compared to most UK steel full sussers’.
Like at Howler, Alex Desmond consulted on suspension design, and delivered a twin-link layout with floating shock with linkages machined by independent UK brand Rideworks. A flip chip on the lower shock rocker can convert the 29-er to mullet without affecting geometry, while also upping travel 10mm to 170mm for the smaller 27.5in rear wheel.
The 84 uses Reynolds 853 tubing throughout, except 4130 Chromoly seat stays and braces. Gavin chose geometry that’s, ‘not particularly out there’ as, with a BMX background, he prefers something a bit more playful and lively, rather than super long bikes that can be a bit ‘one dimensional’.
The stunning Coal Bicycles 84 on show certainly doesn’t look unfinished, but the first production run of 20 frames that will be even more refined with, ‘an extra brace and ovalised tubing zones’. Gavin is hoping for the frame cost to be around the £2600 mark including shock, and we’d love to sling a leg over this one once he steps up production as planned.