2024 BESPOKED x SRAM Inclusivity Scholarship Applications are Open


2024 BESPOKED x SRAM Inclusivity Scholarship Applications are Open

The Bespoked Handmade Bicycle Show has once again partnered with SRAM to offer Inclusivity Scholarships for the Dresden show this October. Below, find a note from our friends at Bespoked detailing the scholarship and instructions on how to apply!

For decades, handmade bike shows have been a breath of fresh air, a bastion of passion-driven excellence, fun, and forward-thinking design in a marketplace philosophically eroded by large-scale manufacturers who dominate cycling culture. Still, they’ve also historically been extremely white, male, middle-aged, and middle-class. None of this is inherently problematic until it comes at the expense of diversity and inclusion, which they often unconsciously do.

From our small corner of the cycling industry, which has the freedom, agility, and ambition to consistently do better, we recognise that people in our community feel excluded through a lack of representation, which, left unchecked, can snowball into a show that grows into a monoculture, which makes it even more hostile towards under-represented groups within the cycling industry, which is not what BESPOKED is about.

We aim to foster a truly creative and innovative space where exhibitors feel welcome to be the weirdest, most unfiltered version of themselves without having to assimilate to feel legitimate. Jackie Mautner of Untitled Cycles in Portland explained that “it’s all fine claiming to be an inclusive space, but if you don’t see anyone else like you in that space, you don’t feel included, and so it’s not an inclusive space.” There’s a huge amount of courage in being the first, and it’s already a super challenging industry, so we believe that extra effort in being there should be celebrated.

We’re once again working with our friends at SRAM to open applications for this year’s BESPOKED x SRAM inclusivity scholarship. The scholarship, which aims to help increase inclusivity and diversity within the frame-building and cycling communities, is now officially open for entries. Four applicants will receive full support from SRAM to exhibit at BESPOKED Dresden 2024, including exhibition space, travel, and accommodation expenses, as well as carte blanche on SRAM’s full catalogue of components, including the recently launched SRAM RED AXS groupset, the lightest and most ergonomic electronic groupset yet.

The criteria for application are simple: if you don’t see people like you fairly represented in cycling, you should apply!

If you’re unsure of your eligibility for the scholarship, there’s no harm in applying; you won’t be taking space away from anyone else. BESPOKED and SRAM are dedicated to ensuring we select the most appropriate candidates for the programme through a lengthy and detailed selection process, taking into account how we can implement genuine long-term change.

Diversity and inclusivity are core to the ethos of the show; they are key to building a better community for everyone, so please share this application with anyone who you think might be eligible!

Over the last two years of running the scholarship with our partner SRAM, several of the scholars have won awards presented by our ever-changing panel of independent experts for their outstanding and often unique work. Unique perspectives are essential for pushing the craft and keeping things creative and interesting in an increasingly homogenous world, so each year that the previous year’s scholars return under their own steam, the whole show sees a creative benefit.

2022 scholar Viola of Sideways Bikes, who uniquely builds sustainable composite frames using offcuts from the yacht building industry, said about the scholarship:

“I was awarded the BESPOKED X SRAM Inclusivity Scholarship in 2022, and I attended that year’s show to debut my frame-building work to the world. I am transitioning, autistic, and was in social care from a young age. All these are parts of my character that I wouldn’t change, however, make social situations, belief in myself, and finances very difficult.

So, receiving the scholarship provided me with a fantastic leg-up. The team at BESPOKED have been incredible and provided ongoing support as I find my feet in the industry, giving me advice on how to navigate the peculiarities of being a frame-builder.

They welcomed me with open arms into the world of frame-building and introduced me to many people who have shown me that I have a place here and I’m welcome to stay.”