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Donhou creates Rapha + Liberty steel road bike and town bike with special paint jobs

Donhou builds two special bikes with iconic Liberty paint work

Here are two lovely looking bikes to get you through Monday morning. They are the latest creations by Tom Donhou and marks a collaboration with Rapha and Liberty, with a custom road bike and town bike featuring Liberty’s iconic print design in the paint job.


Rapha’s Liberty women’s collection launched this autumn and is inspired by prints from Liberty’s archive., and Tom Donhou has created these two special bikes to go with the clothing collection. The Rapha + Liberty collection is “a nod to the shared history between cycling and fashion” and features archive print from the 1930s which "evokes beauty, fluidity and speed through an elegant dot configuration."


Both bikes are designed for women, as is the Rapha Liberty clothing range, which includes caps and jerseys. The road bike is built from Columbus HSS and Spirit tubing with geometry penned for fast road riding. According to Donhou, the frame highlights Liberty’s longstanding connection to cycling, with the Liberty Cup, an annual women’s race run for Liberty employees from 1901, inspiring a piece of unique design.


Tom "took the illustration from the winner’s cup and turned it into a drawing, did a stainless steel laser cutting from it, and then brazed it onto the frame. It has been placed between the seat stays so it is quite hidden, reflecting the hidden stories in many items of Rapha clothing.”


It’s been built up with top-draw equipment. Shimano Dura-Ace, Enve wheels, stem and handlebars.


At the other end of the riding scale is the Town Bike, designed for London and built in London. It has a custom fork and swept-back handlebar and stem design and utilises a Gates carbon belt drivetrain for simplicity and clean cycling. It’s fitted with disc brakes and mudguards for year-round cycling.


The bikes are currently on display at the Liberty store if you’re in London and want to take a closer look. If you love the paint work, you can order a custom Donhou frame with this paint job.


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David worked on the tech team from 2012-2020. Previously he was editor of and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes

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oliverjames | 8 years ago

Be interesting to see how long one would last, chained up in a city street. That aside, while there are some nice details the glaring omission is the lack of dynamo lighting and a security system (inbuilt GPS).

joemmo | 8 years ago

My PretentiousTossometer was hovering around the red line from the title but it blew into tiny angry but beautifully crafted fragments when we reached the 'hidden stories' bit.

The road bike is undeniably pretty but making a 'town bike' that fancy is like gilding a potato.

pedalpowerDC | 8 years ago

That's a great looking road bike!

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