Variety is the spice of life, as the saying goes, and nowhere is that more evident than in the custom bicycle scene. Almost by definition, we turn to custom bikes because we can’t find what we want in the mainstream market, be it a level of craftsmanship, a certain color, or something so outlandish that no major brand would dare touch it.
Chris Bishop certainly falls into the category of builders that buyers turn to because they want a particularly special steel road bike. Bishop builds less than 20 bikes per year, though, and in order to help get just a few more riders on his bikes, he’s teamed up with Carl Schlemowitz (of Vicious Cycles fame) for a new range of steel frames that will bear the Item4 label. These will still be fully custom, but exclusively TIG-welded instead of using Bishop’s signature brazed construction, and will also feature a more modern aesthetic.
Also included in this round of coverage are two especially unique dirt jumpers/pump track bikes from Ground Up Speed Shop and Altruiste Bikes, a fantastic 29 Plus hardtail from Colorado builder Peter Olivetti, a sweet steel road bike from California builder Aaron Stinner, some randonneur bikes from Coast Cycles and Chapman Cycles, some shiny and colorful parts and accessories, and more.
Want more from the Philly Bike Expo? You can find our complete coverage here, and if you want even more custom bikes, make sure to check out our comprehensive catalog of showstoppers from the North American Handmade Bicycle Show, too.