There's no denying that the handmade bikes Rob English crafts are beautiful, from aggressive, angular time trial cycles to swoopy cruisers and mountain bikes. But English, a U.K.-raised, Oregon-based builder with a master's in mechanical engineering, didn't win top honors at this year's North American Handmade Bicycle Show on looks alone. His bikes are designed for performance: an elite cyclist himself, English has won three state time trial championships riding his own machines, like the Time Trial Mk2 pictured here.
If you want a bike from English Cycles, be prepared to be patient—the wait time for one of Rob's creations is almost two years. In the meantime, here are nine custom builds to drool over.
This cruiser features a Gates belt drive and an internally-geared NuVinci hub for a silent, smooth ride
Each of the twin toptubes on this geared big-wheeler houses an internally-routed cable, the right shifter on one side and the brake line on the other
A close-up of a single-sided road frame by English, with custom art by Geoff McFetridge
Superlight Road Bike V3
With a custom-made carbon integrated seatpost and head tube inserts, this featherweight road rig weighs in at just 10.8 pounds
Folding Road Concept Bike
Designed in response to rising airline fees for oversized baggage, this race bike is built to fold into an airline-ready case without sacrificing performance
Parker's Tri Bike
Designed for a customer, this distinctly Batmobile-ish frame is built for stiffness and speed
Custom 29er Recumbent
One of English's more unusual builds, this full-suspension recumbent is equipped with shocks from Fox
Black Rainbow Divide Ride
English poses with one of his latest creations, a long-distance mountain bike built for the owner of bag maker Black Rainbow Project
Next Up: 2013 Bike Commuting Essentials