London-based industrial designer Ben Wilson of the Wilson Brothers is at least as passionate about contemporary bicycle design as we are, between his collaborations with the likes of Brooks and Rapha and his art projects such as the "4H."
His latest work, the "Pocket Rocket 2"—a collaboration with goldleaf specialists Melliard's—falls somewhere between the two disciplines: it's a sort of miniature cycle with handpainted details and 20” wheels. While the stylized goldleaf mimics lugs, they're actually painted over the fillet-brazed joins.
For PR2 we collaborated with Melliard's modern pinstriping and lettering to create a paint scheme inspired by traditional bicycle lugs. Butting up to the hand fillet brazed steel frame, they hand applied 23 carat gold (machine turned) leaf accents to emphasize the honest workmanship that went into building the bicycle. We used 20” wheels with 2 speed kick back SA brakes and to top it off, a one off hand tooled Wilson/roofer special Brooks saddle!
Other features of the "ongoing investigation for the ultimate urban bicycle" include a pursuit-style top tube, fully integrated (i.e. brazed-on) seatpost and saddle, and integrated cockpit, which means that the geometry is completely fixed... though it still looks a bit more comfortable (and conventional) than, say, Joey Ruiter's take on the very same "ongoing investigation."
More detail & process photos after the jump...
Wilson's been posting teaser images on Flickr since June, including a handful of process shots:
The custom bicycle is one of over a hundred works in the V&A and Crafts Council exhibition Power of Making, which is billed as "a cabinet of curiosities showing works by both amateurs and leading makers from around the world to present a snapshot of making in our time."
Wilson also has an older bicycle project in the exhibition, a diamond-encrusted low-rider, "covered in approximately one hundred and ten thousand Swarvoski crystals." Damian Hirst would be proud.
Power of Making will be at the V&A until January 2, 2012.