Bespoked - a celebration of handmade bicycles & those who make them
FRAMEBUILDER OF THE WEEK
Getting to know the people that make the bikes
Adeline O'Moreau of Mercredi
London based, Belgian framebuilder and bike racer manages to find time to answer our questions. As Single Speed European Champion she know exactly how to make a bike and make it go fast!
Adeline in the workshop
Do you remember your first bike?
Yes! My older brother outgrew it, it was blue and had cool BMX bars.
One morning, my mum went off for the day and I told my dad we needed to remove the training wheels and I’d be able to ride on my own by the time she came back. He attached a broomstick to the seat stays and we started riding up and down the road. He stopped holding the stick and everything was going great until I’d noticed he wasn’t holding on and I immediately crashed. Repeat a hundred times, but there was no way I’d give up. And by the end of the day I was covered in bruises and boasting to my mum about those sweet new skills.
How did you get into building bikes?
I came back to riding quite late. After moving to London from Belgium 5 years ago, I took the tube between Kings Cross and Old Street and couldn’t face being in a tin can for 10 minutes for the price of of two pints. I bought a step thru Raleigh second hand.
The following year, I was trying to race ‘cross on an old Nigel Dean touring bike with clearance for 30s. It was a disaster. I tried racing many other more reasonable ‘cross bikes after that, but they all seemed to fight against me instead of with me. No way I’d settle down for that. So I went to make my own at TBA.
How would you define your style as a framebuilder?
Back in Belgium, on Wednesday afternoon school is off and you can do anything you want. That’s where Mercredi comes from and the sort of bikes I make there: no nonsense bicycles for all.
‘Cross is where Mercredi begun and is still very much at the heart of what I do. A strange discipline where we’re all very serious about riding as best as we can - but absolutely not serious about anything else. Pretty much like the bikes I make!
What transpires through, when you see any Mercredi, is that the owner is surely about to swing their leg over the bike and go for it. Probably with a smile from ear to ear on their face.
Every decision in the business is made asking the same question over and over and over again: will this make the rider want to ride this bike harder or with a wider grin? Unless the answer is a clear and roaring YES, then I have to stop myself from doing it.
That’s my building ethics and how I ended up building in batches and not filing my fillets.
It’s an integral part of the driving energy in Mercredi now.
Who or what has inspired you along the way?
The thing that never fails to give me a huge kick in the butt is seeing riders on their Mercredi and what they get up to. That’s the real fuel for me.
Of course, there are also heaps of influences coming from all sorts of places. From within and mostly outside of cycling, from my design background, from friends and jokes and art and the world outside.
But the one thing that made me start and keeps on keeping me going is all the mad things people do on the bikes we made for them.
What can we expect to see from you at Bespoked 2018?
Knobbly tires of many sizes!
The first couple of Good Vibes Only team bikes!
Bum bags! the return of the Sausage Dove!
Where is your favourite place to ride?
Why pick one, I want to ride everywhere!
And finally, if you weren’t building bikes for a living what would you be doing?
Drinking hot chocolate out of my SSCX European Champion trophy.
And when that doesn’t feel novel anymore, there’s this idea I’ve got for an illustrated book...
On Wednesday afternoon, school is off and you can do anything you want. At Mercredi, we make bikes for everyone to do just that. Ride far and win races and the exact opposite too. All about the ride, built in batches, never a filled fillet.
Maker - Adeline O'Moreau
Designer - Adeline O'Moreau
Where - London