Each mention of bike polo seems to be a new round of a national championship or the victory of a team in an overseas competition. The popularity of the sport seems to increase every year and now bike builders are responding by building polo-specific frames. London’s 14 Bike Co. have contributed what must be one of the most functional and attractive frames available to the serious polo player.
The glitter-flecked, two-tone paint scheme adds a retro flavor to the frame, version three of the ‘super premium elite sicko model’, according to the 14 Bike Co. blog, and once you get past the paint, there’s a plethora of features to sate the eye. The frame has been reinforced over the left rear dropout, improving rigidity, while the curved seat tube allows the rider to sit further back over the wheel, essential for the quick maneuvers required in polo. A forward-facing brake keeps the caliper protected from wayward mallets (although a center-pull cantilever may reduce the amount of cable that’s left exposed). Paragon sliding dropouts provide rapid and steadfast adjustability to the chain, and S&S couplers enable the bike to be transported by plane and fit inside luggage size regulations. Very handy for the traveling poloist.
The branding in Helvetica Bold is perhaps 14 Bike Co’s attempt at prototype model stealth ambiguity, but it adds a utilitarian aesthetic to the grit and grime aspect of the sport. I trust Ted James is proud of the shop’s contribution to the sport, it’s an instantly recognizable frame with a dash of London flair. Special thanks to Brendan for the photos, see more on his flickr.