Jay Pond-Jones is no ordinary bespoke bike builder. Visit the ColourBolt website and you won’t find any photos of him standing moodily behind a dusty workbench, with Columbus tubing and industrial machining tools strewn all over the place. In fact, he splits most of his time between his two other jobs as a top advertising creative director and a TV comedy producer – escaping from them to indulge his long-held passion for bikes by way of ColourBolt.
The process of getting a ColourBolt built – and these bikes are available only as bespoke one-offs – is a collaborative effort, with handpicked experts each lending their skills at every stage of the development. As such, Jay is more design director than bike builder.
There’s another unusual thing about ColourBolt machines; something missing that you’ll find on virtually every other high-end bike in the market. There is no branding, anywhere. No elegantly crafted headtube badge, no bold logotype on the downtube, not even an artfully placed ‘signature’ somewhere on the rear triangle. These things are the stealth bombers of bikes.
The only way you’d know it was a ColourBolt is if you looked at the crankset. On each of their bikes, the brand replaces one of the chainring bolts with a coloured version – hence the name. A sign of provenance so subtle even a professor of semiotics could miss it.