25th August 2020 / Comments (0)

5 Deep Custom upgrades we’re drooling over

Deep Custom builds in cycling

There’s some really great bikes and kit on the market these days, but there’s nothing quite like something that’s totally unique. We’re taking a deep-dive look at some of our favourite deep custom creations, from doodles and embroidery to absolute masterpiece builds, and the incredible characters behind them.

Just what do we mean by *deep* custom though? We’re not just talking about choosing your build spec, or some comfy insoles formed around your foot shape. These pieces are just as much about the artwork as they are brilliant fun to ride.

Tim Wilkey’s sketchy 90’s lid, Bristol UK

Deep Custom designs

Tim brought his 90’s vibes to this otherwise plain helmet

By day, Tim Wilkey is the owner and mechanic at Forever Pedalling in Bristol, maintaining and upgrading local steeds as well as building up the masterpieces that his neighbour and framepainter Colourburn Studio creates. Besides being pretty handy on the tools, Tim is pretty creative himself, which you can see in his own lines of shop merch and his 90’s vibes doodles.

‘My creative side comes out in waves, and sometimes I just have the urge to make something colourful. I find it much more satisfying to scribble on something with you can actually hold, rather than a flat piece of paper or a screen, no matter how simple the design, it just feels best in 3 dimensions.’

What’s your favourite bit of #deepcustom that someone else has done in cycling?

‘For my fave bit of deep custom it would have to be Shifter Bikes’ hand built carbon balance bike. Rarely is a kids bike high end, so I absolutely love to see attention to detail & passion go into bikes for the next generation, even more so when it’s for the creator’s own mini shredder!’



Check out more of Tim’s artistry on Instagram

Christopher Raymond’s exquisite Spray.Bike frames and stencils, Poole UK

Deep Custom designs

The attention to detail on Chris’  Spray.Bike paint jobs is incredible

‘I’ve tried to paint bikes for friends before and found it tough to get a good finish, this was back in the early 00’s. Then, years later I did a project with Endura called endura.me, where you design a jersey and they print it. I did the promotional design for this and part of the marketing was that the frame painter Fat Creations took that jersey design and painted a bike with the same design elements. I never saw that bike in the flesh, which killed me, and I also regretted not specifying how that bike was painted because there were some things I would have changed.

So my plan was to get my own bike painted by Fat Creations this time to my specifications, then I simultaneously found out how much it would cost and became aware of spray.bike. This reignited the idea to paint my own.

Straight out of college I worked with an artist called Ben Johnson on a cityscape of Liverpool. Ben uses a vinyl cutter to produce his paintings, so I knew how to cut my own masks or stencils. So then two years ago I started painting my first bike, a Brother All Day, I had a design in mind which took me four months to finish! It wasn’t entirely successful but I eventually got the design I had set out to make. I usually find whilst working on a project it fires off loads of alternative ideas, so I took these (which have been progressively more complicated) and bought as many cheap steel frames as I could, with the aim of learning how to get the paint perfect. This is why Insta communities, especially spray.bike are so good — the ideas and processes are so easy to access. It is an amazing feeling riding a bit of your own custom artwork, next level bike enjoyment.’

Deep Custom designs

Chris is now making masks so that home sprayers can easily have a go too

How did oooweiyew come about? Was this frame a tester for your stencils?

‘About three months ago I did a time lapse video of applying masks, painting and then revealing the masking, to describe the process. Honestly, I love the satisfaction from the process. Enough people got in contact with me or Gareth from spray.bike asking where they could buy the stencils that it was worth trying oooweiyew. The 12 stencil designs were refined from the bikes I’d already experimented with.’

What’s your favourite bit of #deepcustom that someone else has done in cycling?

‘Paint wise I love the vivid opaque quality of spray.bike, and here are a few of my favourites’

Emily from Squid’s tracklocross frame


The Vicious Cycles train bike


Velo_grafica. Why is Copenhagen always spot on?


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Next stage of the paint job on @las_schneider tracklo cross frame. #spraydotbike #bikepaint #tracklocross

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Check out Chris’ personal account here, get some inspiration from his masks or check out the many varied designs on @spray.bike for some ideas.

Matty Waudby’s Get Wild x Wizard Works collaboration, York/London UK

Deep Custom designs

This gorgeous collaboration from two friends of ADVNTR.cc couldn’t be omitted from this collection

Matty is no stranger to us here at ADVNTR, in fact he made us some awesome #DeepCustom embroidered tees, which unsurprisingly sold out quicker than sugary welshcakes at a gravDURO feed station. We really love his first collaboration with Harry from Wizard Works bags, and this snack pouch and cap have to have been some of the best. 

‘On both of them, we picked the colours of the bags to suit the illustrations, and the wizard cloak has a sparkle thread which was a real pain! Harry has been living on his bike with his partner Veronica for the last few years and like me has recently returned to the UK and is making some really awesome bags. We tried to convey the sense of freedom we have when riding bikes and all the good things that come with it!’

Deep Custom designs

The inspiration behind the design came from Harry and Veronica’s travels

What’s your favourite bit of #deepcustom that someone else has done in cycling?

Ooooo it would have to be the retro direct bike that Ricky Feather built! Literally everything was custom! Crazy bike!’


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Retro Direct. Ultra custom.

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Check out more from Matty and Harry at @getwildmatty and @wizard.works, and read James’ review of the Wizard Works Lil Presto! bar bag here

Dear Susan’s Meerkat Hooptie Dynaplug bike, Kent UK

Deep Custom builds in cycling

This bike, just like the rest of the Dear Susan builds, is simply one of a kind

The custom bikes built by Peter Georgallou of Dear Susan are just as much works of art as they are machines for transportation. The first time we met, Peter rocked up to the Thundercross CX race in a hearse, and pulled out a tall fat bike to race on in a hawaiian shirt and a pair of jorts. Peter’s crafted numerous incredible builds including the Bicycle Pubes collaboration ‘Pubesmobile’ and the brilliantly named ‘Mike Rotch’ bike.

‘The Dynaplug bike was born from my anxiety before going to NAHBS (North American Handmade Bicycle Show) a couple of years ago… Ryan and Sheryl of Dynaplug were in the UK for the Icebike Show and so we met up for fish and chips in London to chat about it. They assured me that I would probably get a visa, and that a valium melatonin and bloody mary cocktails would make the flight ok. We chatted about movies and a bunch of other stuff and just got on really well, and have kept a dialogue going since. Sheryl got in touch a few months later about building a cosmic steed for their creative director-come-janitor, who’s an intergalactic meerkat. Naturally this bike would have to be custom, as meerkats don’t usually ride bikes. Inspired by hooptie culture, and influenced by my travels of the previous year, the bike has the swoopy form of a Schwinn cruiser, the fanciest paint EVER from Cole Coatings which is gloss black to clear fade with gold sparkles, because we wanted something subtle and classy that would make the build kit really shine.’

Deep Custom designs

The paint comes courtesty of Cole Coatings in London

‘Dynaplug is a small family business based in Chico, California, the same town as my favorite radio DJ ‘Cosmic Kev’ and Paul Components who make magic happen in so many ways. Trevor at Paul was goodly enough to assemble for us the parts required in a special ‘bucket of lego’ colour scheme. We were also lucky enough to use the only set of steel Paragon Machine Works toggle drops I’ve ever seen, which are super special because each dropout has around 9000 parts which are individually whittled from stainless steel, aluminium and titanium. They are more mad and AMAZING than anything that’s come out of my workshop (yet). I’m also truly grateful to have been supplied magical rainbow fruit loop wheels with a one million pawl freehub that just kind of makes a weird non bicycle noise, like the scream of a garden gnome, rather than clicking, by the assumedly tall shaquille o wheel at Industry Nine. S&M cruiser bars  felt like the essential icing on the MUSA deepcustard cake.’

Deep Custom designs

‘Magical rainbow fruit loop’ wheels were supplied by Industry Nine

‘I really wanted this bike to be a chilled fun comfortable cruiser for my new furry friend to bomb around Chico and the surrounding trails. I also felt like as a bare minimum it should also be a magic unicorn because dynaplug are pretty much the nicest people I’ve ever met, and also super cool and also geniuses (geniei) – so they deserve their custard to be deep. Deep Custard is an exchange and it works well when there’s dialogue and an exchange of ideas – it should be collaborative and fun. Expect some Deep Custard Dear Susan Dynaplugs soon.’

What’s your favourite bit of #deepcustom that someone else has done in cycling?

‘There are too many incredible designers and makers, I can’t pick. Sturdy Cycles and Prova always blow my mind and make me feel deeply inadequate, Pedalino has taken her maximal aesthetic to heady heights I can only dream of and I’m pretty sure Peacock Groove invented deep custom. Ted James is some kind of legendary pirate Deep Custom madman who gets up three hours before he goes to bed to machine 100 custom head tubes before he starts work and BTR’s best known for their pioneering geometry, but Burf’s frames are riddled with cool little details and design quirks. How the hell could I pick between Ted and Sturdy? There’s so much good stuff being made.’

Feast your eyes on Peter’s eclectic mix of award-winning custom builds at Dear Susan.

Jen Green’s incredible head badges, Philadelphia USA

Deep custom designs

Jen’s intergalactic meerkat for Dear Susan’s Dynaplug bike caught our eye and lead us down the road of custom head badges

After seeing the incredible Intergalactic Meerkat head badge on Peter’s Dynaplug bike, I had to check out Jen Green’s other work. As you’ll see from just a few of her other custom designs, I was not disappointed.

‘I have a degree in Fine Arts for Jewelry and metalsmithing, and I’ve been a jeweler since 1995 after graduating. The headbadges are more of a side project that I fit in between the custom jewelry work that I currently do. Although with the pandemic it’s been more like 80% badge work and 20% jewelry since I am working from home a lot more.’

‘I got into making the badges when a friend asked for one for his custom Moots he was building. Since I am also an avid cyclist I was totally on board for it. That was the first badge I ever made and he still has it even though the frame is long-gone. When that badge was mounted it was advertised on a mail order website called Speedgoat. It got a lot of traffic so I decided to advertise custom badges on a mountain forum called mtbr.com in the classified section. For $2 you could run an ad for a month or so, and that’s how it all started.’

Deep custom designs

Jen is a huge fan of Black Sheep Bikes, owning two herself and making headbadges for quite a few

‘I suppose my favourites are the mixed metals, more personalised badges… there are over a thousand I bet by now that I have made.  It’s hard to wrap my head around it sometimes, and to pick a favourite might be impossible.’

What’s your favourite bit of #deepcustom that someone else has done in cycling?

‘I’d have to say my favourite custom bikes have been by Black Sheep. That might be partly because I am lucky enough to own two, but the ride, the look and the craftsmanship is absolutely top notch. The welds are impeccable, and the fit for me is ideal – that bike floats over everything. [James’] newer travel frames have a seamless connection to take them apart to fit into a smaller airline case to avoid fees. He’s my favourite custom frame builder and a heck of a great guy to boot.

Check out more of Jen’s incredible creations (and her dog Hazel) at @jengreenheadbadges.


Do you enjoy creating or customising cycling related kit or are you a proud owner of some #DeepCustom cycling gear? Tag us on Instagram to share yours with us.

Last modified: 25th August 2020

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