There’s something fairly obvious but worth remembering about custom bikes, and it’s simple: the bike is unique to you. It’s a purchase you can look forward to lasting for the rest of your driving time.
Well made, a custom bike (opens in a new tab) will likely make you fall in love with riding all over again, making you feel connected to your bike in a new way.
This is precisely the feeling I got while riding the Spoon Vars Disc bike. Although this one was not built for me but for Spoon owner Andy Carr, it was clear from the start that this was something extraordinary.
The name is taken from the Col de Vars in the Alps of southern France: Carr divides his time between the Alps and the brand’s workshop in the Surrey hills.
Spoon VARS Disc – the build
The Vars Disc has a full carbon frame comprised of multi-directional and uni-directional Toray carbon fiber primarily in T800 and T1000 and finished in a T3000 weave. The tubes are cut, packed and assembled in Veneto, Italy.
If you are unfamiliar with your carbon fiber (opens in a new tab), material from the Japanese company Toray is one of the most common in the cycle industry. T800 is considered a good carbon fiber for bicycle frames and the higher the numbers the stiffer, lighter and more brittle the carbon becomes. If the whole bike was made of T3000, it might not be as fun to ride.
Spoon manufactures the molds and the tubes are laid out in these molds in Bergamo, Italy according to his designs. Then the tubes are joined in Padua and finally they return to Spoon for finishing.
All CAD, spec and design is done in-house and Carr says Spoon will bring all stages in-house during this year, with the exception of tube production.
With this carbon composition, the Vars greatly reduces road buzz; it’s comfortable and agile. At 7.3kg, it’s light but strong enough to give you confidence; sometimes when a bike is too light I lose balance and rhythm without that weight to push against if I’m out of the saddle on a climb.
A bespoke bike – and one that you’ve specified yourself – will obviously mean you’re not limited to the OEM components that come with more traditional bikes; you won’t think about upgrading the wheels because you will already have the wheels you want. You will not upgrade the group for the same reason. Everything is exactly how you want the bike to be – as long as you can afford it of course.
There’s absolutely nothing standard about this bike: you can choose whatever parts you want, and Spoon customers also get a three-hour bike fit to not just check frame geometry, but also to determine the measurements of cranks, handlebars and stem, saddle and more. Even the wheels are custom built based on the rider’s weight and riding style.
Spoon Vars Disc – the ride
It is important to re-emphasize that this bike was not made for me. However, I’m lucky that Andy Carr, the owner, and I are the same height, so I could jump on it and ride.
On this particular build, the short wheelbase and Enve’s 4.5 AR wheels (which stands for “all road”) with big 29mm tires provide cornering confidence to push and dial.
The chunky Enve rims from DT Swiss’s high-end 180 hubs with ceramic bearings are built by Ben Sharp at Sharp Precision Wheels and weigh 1452g.
It’s unfair that I had to review this bike because from now on, no other bike will ever match the way the Vars Disc made me feel and ride on my home roads. I took this bike on my usual road test course, with lots of ups and downs and some flats; the way it handled was way above my expectations (which were already high) and better than any bike I’ve ridden on the road.
Spoon Vars Disk – value
A custom build will never come cheap, but you are buying a bike that is custom made for you. This one, as specified here, costs £12,900. The frameset with the integrated fork will cost £5,200.
Almost £13,000 isn’t an insignificant sum of money, but compared to other flagship bikes with top spec from the big brands, it’s not as outrageous as it sounds. The Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL7 with SRAM Red eTap has an RRP of £11,750 and the Pinarello Dogma F Dura-Ace Di2 of £12,200.
But with these bikes, you get what you get. With the spoon you can choose everything.
Spoon Vars Disc – Conclusion
If I was considering a bike for life, and if I had the money, it would go straight to a Spoon Vars Disc, no questions asked. It’s glorious. Surprising. Perfect.
Spoon Vars Disc – features
- Frame and Fork: Spoon Vars Disc
- Groupset: Campagnolo Super Record EPS
- Wheels: Enve 4.5 AR rims / DT Swiss 180 hubs
- Enve SES 29mm tires
- Handlebar/stem: Ursus Magnus H.02
- Seatpost: Spoon
- Saddle: Prologo Scratch M5
- Contact: spooncustoms.com