For 7 years now I’ve watched the NAHBS evolve from afar. What started as a small scale show held in a hotel conference room has grown immensely. It has also helped revitalise a part of the bike world I have long held close to my heart. Hand made bicycles.
Locally, a resurgence of frame building talent has been growing to the point where it was time Australia had its own show to illustrate to the local audience and the world what amazing things are happening south of the equator. The show will no doubt foster the frame fabrication trade and inspire new builders just as the NAHBS have.
Thanks to the constant support of key builders, the Australian Custom Bicycle Show (ACBS) is my own interpretation, being held in a photography studio, free of the structured booths associated with expos, and in Australia’s cultural HQ – Melburn.
For those who come, the ACBS is an opportunity to see a flourishing range of high quality hand constructed frame offerings, all ‘Made in Australia’ and cater to the desires of passionate cyclists.
From Frame builders and painters to hand crafted cycling accesories, come meet established & emerging exhibitors, their custom products and fall head over pedals in lust with their offerings.
The response from builders has been nothing short of amazing, and they will feature frames from many disciplines of cycing including: Road, mountain, touring, city, track, randonneur, & gravity.
The variety of frame materials and construction methods is diverse, and each builder is working on projects to reveal at the show to woo those who attend.
Tyre kickers welcome.
Australian Custom Bicycle Show
1 & 2 December // 10am – 5pm
167 Gladstone St, South Melbourne
Tickets $10 at the door.
For more information go to www.acbs2012.com
As well as the show, a boutique evening event ‘Meet the Maker’ is being held Friday 30 November – a chance to hear first hand the story of two of Australia’s leading builders, and pick their brains about custom bicycles over food and wine.
The list of ACBS exhibitors includes:
In a relatively short space of time, the Baum Cycles brand has gone from boutique producer to a brand on a world stage synonymous with perfection. Darren has gathered a highly skilled workforce of 6 employees (plus himself) at Baum Cycles. Recognising early that Australian manufacturing would have to find advantage at the boutique end of the market, the company has focused on specialist expertise and personalisation since day one.
The focus on perfection has paid off in people, the product itself drawing quality craftspeople to team. “Great workers want to be somewhere they can be part of great work. We have people now who are more skilled than me, and just as passionate. It’s fantastic.”
Working from his home studio in Carlton, Melbourne, Mick Peel has been designing and making custom leatherwork for bicycles since 2008. His work consists primarily of recovered saddles with custom detailing often accompanied by matching handlebar tape. Other works include toe straps, stitched on handle bar wrap, saddle bags and the occasional motorcycle saddle.
Peel’s leather of choice for saddles is vegetable tanned kangaroo skin, selected for its strength, durability and tendency to age gracefully. He also uses various cow skins for bar tape and on occasion other leathers such as kid skin and ostrich leg leather. He has developed his craft through adapting and applying many of the skills and techniques learned through his formal training and career in fashion design, a discipline in which he is also currently undertaking a practice based research PhD. He works full time as an academic at RMIT University and runs his Busyman Bicycles practice from home in the evenings and weekends.
Cycle Design Frame Painting
Joe Cosgrove of Cycle Design specializes in fine quality, award winning bicycle frame paintwork, and complete graphic details, complimenting this service with complete structural repairs. Joe is the exclusive painter for Llewellyn frames and has won Best Paint in Show at NAHBS in 200
Luke Laffin describes his pathway to frame building ‘I’ve had many jobs over the past two decades, some interesting and some leaving me wondering. I’ve made mounts for museum objects, done geophysics surveys, been an arborist, shovelled snow, operated heavy machinery, inspected power poles and sold beer, bicycles and toilets (some esoteric link in there), and more…all so I could work out that I like making bicycles.
Fikas will be displaying a touring bike, a cyclocross bike, and a single speed road bike at the ACBS.
Ewen Gillie makes steel bike frames and complete bikes, pursuing a craft in which the frame and bike can be tailored to each customer to give years of pleasure and dependable use. To be able to have a product made just for you is a rare thing these days.
“My expertise is in competitive riding, framebuilding and manufacturing: my designs are a finely tuned blend of proven designs and the careful adoption of only the best framebuilding innovations. I bring to my work the knowledge gained as a professional mechanical engineer working at the last Australian bicycle manufacturer, GM-Holden, Ford and Toyota.
A Gravity Bike is a specialised two wheeled bicycle propelled by nothing other than gravity. Without pedals or a chain, Gravity Bike riders rely on steep gradients and gravity to reach incredibly fast speeds. Historically, Gravity Bikes evolved from modifying a traditional BMX where a rider would add weight, alter seating and handlebar positions and change a bikes aerodynamic characteristics in the pursuit of greater speeds. More recently, Gravity Bikes have evolved to become highly specialised and purpose built machines capable of reaching speeds over 130kph from a standing push start.
Gravity Bikes are ultimately built for speed. The steeper and more technical a road or dedicated racing circuit, the greater the adrenaline rush for riders. Fitted with full protective gear including leathers, helmets, gloves and boots, Gravity Bike riding combines the thrill of speed with a love of bicycles.
Ken Evans has spent most of his life with bicycles as a racing cyclist and a framebuilder. Last October marked the 40th anniversary of his Sun Tour victory.
Ken started building frames in 1976. He learnt the art of frame building by an old master of the art (George Mcdonald) and from there put his own style to his frames. Many Professional and Amateur cyclists have relied on kenevans frames and bikes over the years, winning National and World Championships.
The tight geometry and finish make the frames stand out. Today the same as in the past the production is still hand made to the same strict standards, with only the best quality material and workmanship used.
Keith Marshall is KUMO and is part of the new generation of Australian builders, and has risen quickly the task – from road, track to divine city bikes.
‘I grew up on a farm outside Braidwood, a small country town and have always been involved in making things, especially with metal, and have always ridden bikes. My frames are influenced both by Japanese sensibilities and the ethic of the master builders, such as Nagasawa san, and the western masters of the craft, especially the work of Darrel McCulloch of Llewellyn cycles. I intend to display one Road bike and one Track bike at the Australian Custom Bicycle Show, as well as a few stems, shown raw as an example of my work and some merchandise in the form of T-shirts and bottle openers.’
LLewellyn Custom Bicycles
“In the construction of Llewellyn road, touring, track, and randonneur bicycles as you’ll see at the show, I use my experience to blend the best of traditional steel lugged construction with the best of contemporary design and materials such as hand polished stainless steel frame lugs and Columbus tubing. Steel is a beautiful material to work with as it provides freedom of design, unmatched durability, with a timeless aesthetic. I work alone, so you will talk only to me, I will design your frame and only my hands do the metal work. My desire and goal is to create a bicycle that gives you many years of enjoyable riding, so with each passing year, your Llewellyn bicycle gives you greater value and you come to Cherish your Llewellyn.”
Patebury is a partnership founded and run by Joram Salisbury and Cameron Paterson, established in 2009.
In 2008, after a particular restoration, toe-straps were hand made to complement a re-upholstered saddle. Shortly after riding the new straps, one of the attached toe-cages snapped. Mindful of the wear toe-cages have on footwear and feeling single toe-straps were insufficient in offering even support, they headed to the drawing board. The brief: A cageless strap for classic pedal systems that promised a greater foothold and zero stretch.
Having next to no experience in leather, several years of work followed consisting of constant prototypes, local material sourcing, different production methods and various design changes, resulting in a robust performance-based design.
Peter Bundy Cycles
Our frame building history started in 1940 when Jim Bundy got his first job as bicycle frame builders assistance in a bicycle store called Lynch and Gray. Since then he has built frames continuously teaching me all of his knowledge since 1981. Now I (Peter) have taken over all the building of our frames after running our retail store since 1983.Now this passion of frame building has now passed down to me I want to continue with the same standard we are known for. Handmade lugged steel bicycle frames. I will be displaying a small range of frames and forks that we build using Reynolds and Columbus tubing.
I began a bike building apprenticeship with John Bozefski from Cycle Underground 10 years ago. Seven years ago I went out on my own and established Primate Frames. I still work closely with John to create my own unique CNC’d fixtures and fittings.
When I work I endeavour to create something unique for each customer, I revel in interesting and offbeat builds. My speciality lies within fillet brazed lug less frames but I’m also completing a lot of lugged and tig welded frames.
I will be displaying board range of bikes, custom fittings, tips, fork crowns and bottom brackets.
Recently, Peter Teschner has begun mentoring Tristan Tucker,TESCHNER’s newest member, to pass on his knowledge to while “taking TESCHNER back to its roots and to new levels.” Tristan commenced his career building custom racing yachts and has since transitioned his skillset working with advanced materials to his passion of cycling.
Tristan highlights the point, “It is exciting times in the carbon/composites manufacturing industry, with continual advancements of new products and techniques we are able to explore the unique properties of this material.”
TESCHNER will be showcasing Tristan’s collaborative impression of our Australian made, custom carbon, road bike offering.