Bespoked UK 2021: Quirk Cycles Superchub
In his first report from the 10th edition of the Bespoked UK Handmade Bicycle Show, Matty Waudby shares a detailed look at the Superchub hardtail from London-based framebuilder Quirk Cycles, which features one-of-a-kind cable routing, self-anodized bits, and more. Take a look here…
Words and photos by Matty Waudby (@getwildmatty)
Rob Quirk only brought one bike to the 2021 Bespoked show from his London workshop, opting for a “less is more” approach, but it’s one that certainly caused quite a stir with its super clean internal cable routing, custom anodized parts, and 3D printed dropouts and seat cluster. By the time I’d queued to have a good chat with Rob about his creation, his voice was pretty hoarse from the number of conversations he’d had with admirers. Luckily, Rob has an infectiously fun personality, so he didn’t miss a beat explaining all the Superchub’s intricacies to me.
Rob built this steel hardtail for himself to use in the notoriously rough Atlas Mountains Race, an event he’s completed before on a custom-made rigid mountain bike. This time around, he opted to go for a bit of comfort at the front via a RockShox SID fork. He said he really believes a flat-bar bike is the best tool for the job in these kinds of rides, and the extra control and comfier position are crucial in sleep-deprived states.
The most unusual thing about the Superchub is the routing for the brakes and rear derailleur. All the cables enter the front of the stem in a Dr. Zoidberg fashion with the rear brake and derailleur cable routed around the steerer and into the downtube via a custom 1.5-inch oversized headset (manufactured by DWARD Design), eventually popping out from the chainstays close to the dropouts. The front brake goes into the top of the fork steerer reminiscent of a hollow star fangled nut used in BMX and pops out in the fork crown to route externally to the brake mount. This is quite common in the high-end aero road bike world but less common on mountain bikes. Rob explained that he didn’t do this for aero gains but “because it makes the bike easier to clean.” I know people will be screaming that this only adds complication for repairs in the field, but there’s an argument to be made that if the cables aren’t exposed, it’s nearly impossible to catch and damage them. Just to be extra safe, he used braided hoses and compressionless gear cable. The clean aesthetic is certainly eye-catching as well!
Speaking of the bike’s front end, the oversized headtube was custom machined by Andrew Bentley at his workshop in North Yorkshire specifically for this bike as both the top and bottom headsets have to be the larger 1.5-inch diameter. The seattube cluster with integrated clamp and the minimal thru-axle dropouts were 3D printed from stainless steel by a company in New Zealand. Apart from the crisp visual lines, Rob was keen to point out that even with these parts being overbuilt, they were still lighter than conventional dropouts and clusters while also streamlining the build process in some of the most complex areas of the frame. Connecting all these pieces together is a mixture of Columbus Life, 29r, and Dedacciai tubing.
Rob stripped and anodized the green parts himself. On their own, I have to say they’re not my cup of tea, but in combination with the gold/battleship grey frame, I think they look absolutely spectacular. According to drop, the whole process wasn’t without its challenges. When the SRAM GX Eagle derailleur was stripped, the aluminium was too poor a finish to match the rest of the anodizing. And, due to the current shortage of parts, Rob subsequently dissected a road derailleur and amalgamated the parts to create this unique derailleur that still retains the same pull ratio. The parts customisation didn’t stop there, though. The bars, seat-post, and rims were stripped raw with the decals custom painted to match the frame.
To give you an idea of the sizing, Rob’s quite a tall chap at 188cm (6’2″). The bike features a 68° head angle and 433mm chainstays. It’s built up with 29 x 2.35″ Schwalbe Racing Rays, and the total build, including sealant, comes in at a more than respectable 10.3 kg (22.7 lbs). The Garbaruk cassette and derailleur cage, Hopp carbon reservoir lever caps, and Chris King hubs laced to ENVE M525 rims show that no stone has been left unturned by Rob in building up his dream bike. He’s planning on getting some custom-made bags for the bike, and I’m looking forward to seeing how they enhance the quirky colour scheme.
As you see it, the Superchub frame would set you back around £3,525 ($4,850), including paint, headset, 3D printed parts, and custom geometry.
Quirk Superchub Show Build
- Frame Quirk Superchub
- Fork Rockshox SID Select SL 100mm
- Rims Rawed ENVE M525 with custom decals
- Hubs Chris King
- Tires Schwalbe Racing Ray 29 x 2.35″
- Handlebars Rawed ENVE with custom decals
- Headset DWARD Design custom machined
- Crankset SRAM GX Eagle custom anodized
- Cassette Garbaruk
- Derailleur SRAM Eagle GX with Garbaruk cage and pulley
- Brakes SRAM Level T with Hopp carbon reservoir caps and anodized levers
- Shifter(s) SRAM GX Eagle
- Saddle Fabric Scoop Ti
- Seatpost Rawed Enve Seatpost with custom made and anodized binder and custom decals
- Stem FSA custom anodized
About Matty Waudby
Matty Waudby is a Yorkshire-based photographer and creator of things. He aims to create multidisciplinary imagery that documents human interaction with nature and to show that there is always more outside the front door. You can find more of his work at MattyWaudby.com or on Instagram @getwildmatty.
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