Our approach to Testing
We like to go in-depth with our bike testing. After all, if
we're going to recommend a particular model we need to have
absolute confidence that it's the best choice. We're very picky
about the brands we partner with, and in the (thankfully rare)
event that a particular model is a disappointment we're not shy of
Just as importantly, this allows us to use our real-world
experience of each bike's performance, handling and ride quality in
tandem with our proprietary Fit App - combining all of the above
with the frame geometry and your fit data to ensure that you end up
with exactly the right bike for you, perfectly fitted.
Throughout the blog you'll find news articles taking a "First
Look" at a new bike. These summaries are intended to help keep you
up to date with the latest models. But we also like to delve a lot
deeper, and that's where our 'ridden and reviewed' blogs come
Independent and informed
We buy the bikes that we test. They're not 'loaners' from the
manufacturer; we buy them, we build them up and we test them
completely independently. This allows us to be entirely honest,
we're under no pressure to talk up the results.
The correct size is chosen for the tester based on their fit
data, then the bike is set up in our Bespoke workshops. This gives
us consistency, and ensures the bike gets a fair deal, it will be
brand new and properly set up, not a secondhand "Press" bike that's
already been hammered by numerous other testers.
The bike is then tested over a period of 2-3 months. We'll often
have first impressions up within a few weeks, followed up by a look
back at the end of the test period. Even the first impressions
don't come until it has had a thorough workout (often at a major
event such as the Haute Route).
We mimic the kind of riding that our customers will be doing,
everything from training rides and weekend coffee runs to sportives
and races. Naturally the testing is tailored to the specific bike,
so a TT bike will have a very different regimen to a gravel
The common thread is that all our test bikes get an in-depth
test over a long period of time, by a rider with years of
experience of riding similar models. This is a lot more than just
PR, our reputation depends on it!
what do we do with these amazing bikes after TESTING?
Whilst it'd be lovely to have a barn full of nearly-new world
class bikes (and yes, there's an element of that - we do this job
for a reason!) we do need to make space for the constant stream of
new models as they come through.
After 2-3 months on test rotation the bike will generally be
returned to Bespoke HQ for a full strip down, overhaul and
inspection. We're then able to offer the ex-test bike to our
customers for a hefty discount.
Bespoke Founder Barry is also our chief tested, and his test
bikes are usually a 56 or 58cm frame.
So, if you're interested in one of our test bikes, drop us a line and when it
becomes available we'll be sure to email and let you know!