Could it be that this is a bespoke frame (lower case "b") rather than a Bespoke frame (upper case "b"). In fact, until I read your email, I thought the whole "bespoke" thing was some sort of joke. Anyway, it is merely a "bespoke" frame, anyone could have built it and it might explain the 56cm top tube.
Of course this assumes that the entire auction is an honest one and, given the rest of the story, that seems in doubt.
Fred "owner of 2 bespoke bicycle frames and
1 bespoke suit" Rednor - Arlington, Virginia (USA)
> Hello Paul..Thanks for airing this matter on the List. I
> feel I should
> offer some reply if only to save some part of my reputation.
> There's quite a story to this frame. The seller listed a
> complete bike
> sometime back in May. It looked dreadful with its sloping
> down saddle,
> handlebar stem pulled up above its limit., bars canted back
> in "boy
> racer style" and a mish-mash of gears and chainset that did
> not fit what
> is supposed to be a racing frame Add to the mix dreadful
> poor description and a starting price of £300...it was not a
> crowd-puller. The bike did not get a bid.
> The seller sent the whole same thing round again but reduced
> starting price to £100...and there followed some interest,
> etc..but no sale. I asked a couple of questions about
> provenance, and
> how did he know it was a "Bespoke"? Were there any engravings
> on the
> crown, top-eyes etc?
> He replied that he knew it was a Bespoke because his father
> had ordered
> it made-to-measure from the framebuilder, and it had been
> painted blue
> when new. I checked through my order sheets and although
> there were a
> lot of blue frames I could not find one ordered by a Welshman
> Swansea, or anywhere else in Wales.
> After revealing that if the frame was as claimed..then I
> would have been
> the builder, I offered to buy it from him..and put in a bid
> to win the
> The seller who had advertised his willingness to post
> immediately asked me when I intended to collect the bike from
> his home.
> I advised him that I would require it sending. He made quite
> a fuss and
> dance about this, but then demanded £60..this being the
> cheapest rate
> offered by Parcel Force in the UK or so he claimed. I replied
> that I
> would arrange for Parcel Force to pick the bike up..and sent
> him a copy
> of the company's tariff which indicated a price of £17.
> He then emailed me to say that he could not take less than
> £60 for
> post and packing. It was at this stage that I noticed his
> very odd email
> address which appeared to be in Portugal...maybe it's
> possible for a
> seller in Wales to have a Portugese address. His vocabularly
> and general
> use of language were bizarre to say the least..always on some
> sort of
> At that point I refused to buy the bike unless I was allowed
> to have it
> collected.to which the seller replied that he would complain
> eBay..give me dreadful Feedback etc etc. ...And so that was
> the state of
> play when I departed for France.
> This time the seller is selling just the frame with a modest
> price of £50..so far so good. I asked one of my friends to
> put a
> couple of questions to the seller, using my Christian name in
> question. Someone else asked about the weight..which was
> given as 4 kg
> or about 8lbs for the frame and fork..for a small Columbus SL
> frame !
> The description of the frame resembles many of the road
> racing and
> crtierium frames I built during the 80s..and I had virtually
> adopted a
> deep acquamarine blue as the "house team" colour in a blatant
> of the colour used by the La Redoute squad in France on their
> Motobecanes. But any such Bespoke would have had acres of
> in all the usual Italian places.
> The other matter that puzzles me is the length of the
> top-tube that the
> seller has given. It seems far too long for the type of
> as I would have chosen to build it. Bearing in mind that all
> frames I
> build are "one-offs" to individual specification, I could
> have built a
> long-in-the-top-tube frame...but.. I would remember it.
> There is something decidedly odd here..both with the frame
> and the
> builder and I would advise anyone who might be interested if
> it is put
> up for auction again, to avoid it. I have known, as all
> do, that some of my frames have ended up with other builders
> on them..and I know that one of the finest short-wheelbase
> testers that I built as an exhibition frame in 1981 is
> sporting Argos transfers, but I never supplied spare
> transfers to the
> companies who sprayed my frames..only just enough to do the
> there isn''t any way in which spares can be stuck onto
> something else.
> Any way I intend to approach the seller with an offer to buy
> on a
> cash-back basis if the frame is not one of mine. If it isn't
> then he's
> going to get a right b********g".
> Assuming that the frame is a Bespoke..I reckon that the
> postage price of
> £25 wouold have been sufficient to put off anyone but a very
> bidder. The normal rate is about £11.
> Thanks for the opportunity to get this off my mind
> Norris Lockley..settle UK
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