Back in February, some of the UK’s top young frame builders — all good mates and alumni of The Bicycle Academy — congregated in a muddy Somerset wood to race very rudimentary klunker bikes. There was blood, mud, beers and tears, and now, finally, there is a short film as evidence of the event.
The Hack Bike Derby is an annual event organised by The Bicycle Academy, and this year’s theme was klunkers. There were strict rules regarding the bikes’ construction:
All builders were given the same brief; builders must race the bike they have built, stock car rules apply (if another builder thinks you have an unfair advantage you have to be prepared to swap bikes for a race), all bikes must conform to the event rules:
• Frame and forks must be made by the rider from steel, specifically for this event.
• The bike must be made cheaply (under £300, all in)
• Dropouts must be made (‘hacked’) by the rider
• The bike mustn’t be painted but it can be clear-coated, raw or painted using pens, paint brushes or rattle can, by the rider (basically, no expensive paint jobs!)
• All bikes must use the same tyres (and hence wheel size) Bontrager have provided 26” x 2.35 XR4 Team Issue tires for every rider
• The bikes must also be built according to this year’s brief; 1x gear, 2x brakes (1x front + 1x rear, no hydraulic or disk, ideally not V-brakes), and the bike must look like a klunker.
Although we featured a few of the bikes here, and the event was recorded on social media using the hashtag #HackBikeDerby, film director Alex Rankin just released a short movie that visually describes the extent of the mud and fun. Have a look below:
To accompany the event and the film, illustrator Adi Gilbert created a logo and movie poster in his unique, highly-detailed, hand drawn style. There are already plans in place for next year’s event, and talk of an edition in the US.
Photo © Adam Gasson 2016