Bikes of the Bunch – Gellie Custom Travel Bike
Now here is a bike that I find interesting. Ewen Gellie is an understated framebuilder who designs and handbuilds some magnificant steel bikes in his workshop here in Melbourne. He’s an ex-Downhill mountain bike champion and has combined his hardcore riding experience with his automotive engineering expertise to create some of the most beautifully crafted bikes in Australia. Anthony Reeckman from Rutherglen, VIC had this custom steel travel bike built for him by Gellie and tells us all about it (I think he put the Lightweights on just to show off!).
I originally got Ewen Gellie to build the frame with road riding and travelling in mind and to have some off road capabilities. It has Shimano BR-R650 Ultegra longreach brake callipers and I’ve had a 32mm cyclocross tyres on the bike no problems. After riding it I was so pleased that I use it pretty much as my daily riding/training bike. I just change wheels to what ever style of riding I’m doing at the time.
It’s just as happy riding down dirt roads as it is on a fast bunch ride with the Wangaratta boys. The groupset apart from the brakes is SRAM Force with compact 50/34 front chainrings. My thought behind this was if I was going to travel to Europe to do some of the big mountains then I was going to make it as easy as possible. The seatpost is a Thompson Elite, the saddle is SMP Dynamic and the bars are 42cm FSA K-Force Carbon Compact. As you can see in the photos it has S&S couplings which means the frame comes completely apart. It is built from Columbus Life steel tubing and the fork is also custom built from steel.
You will also see in the photos, cable splitters, so disconnecting the cables when pulling the bike apart is easy. S&S have really thought of everything and their website albeit a bit dated is a wealth of information. The bike owes me about $5000 without wheels and pedals. Weight with the Dura-Ace C24 wheels, pedals and bidon cages is 8.4kg and as I’m nearly 195cm the frame size is close to 63cm.
The travel case is also from S&S and is 26x26x10 inches and is the maximum size you can check in as normal size luggage so no need to visit the oversize baggage section. Also makes fitting the bike into a taxi etc a breeze.
Takes me around 1 hour 15 min to pack it including fitting the frame protecters also from S&S. I’ve only done 2 trips with it so am still perfecting the packing unpacking part. I’ve ridden it around the L.A Canyon roads near Malibu and also climbed the Hors Cat Mt Baldy used in this years tour of California. I love the ride of the steel frame and as it’s not as harsh as my Carbon Supersix which is also a wonderful bike to ride.