Welcome to the fourth and final gallery covering the best bikes of the 2021
Handmade Bicycle Show Australia. And what a show it was!
This last gallery looks at bikes from a few builders and brands that are perhaps lesser-known on a global scale, but certainly no less interesting and/or skilled. Here we look at new creations from
Gellie Cycles, Geisler Cycles, Bossi Bicycles, Egress, Curve Cycling and a little Irish creation from FiftyOne. Be sure to check out all past and present coverage from HBSA via the link.
Geisler Cycles is the creation of Jesse Geisler, a veteran mechanic, machinist, toolmaker and frame repairer. Pictured is Geisler’s latest creation, a bike he built for himself with ambitions of setting a personal record up Melbourne’s infamous 1 in 20 climb. According to Geisler, this stainless steel frameset is built to be competitive in all-around performance with anything else out there on the road. There aren’t too many builders in Australia offering frames built with Columbus XCr tubing. “I’ve always been fascinated by this particular tube set,” said Geisler. “It’s a tube set that [many] builders do struggle with as it is on the very thin side … it’s hard on cutting tools and so thin in the weld zone.” Geisler’s frames are 100% TIG-welded. Even the cable stops are welded onto the tubes. That’s no easy feat when dealing with tubes like Columbus’ XCr stainless. “There are certain areas that are well under .5mm in thickness,” Geisler said. “There’s some stuff going on inside of the frame that only I know about.” Geisler describes himself as a “machine builder”, and by that, he means he’ll use any number of specialist machinist tools to create a product that nears perfection in terms of integrity (strength and durability) and alignment. “The goal of this bike was to challenge myself in terms of my capacity to build a bike in a business-like manner in a timeframe that I thought was achievable and repeatable.” I caught up with Geisler prior to the show and saw the frame in its final stages. We weighed it at 1,400 g (approx, due to the scales used). Here he is in his workshop, a place that sees all kinds of work, including cutting-tool sharpening for many of other makers including Baum, Prova and Curve. Geisler butted the tubes himself and relieved material wherever possible. The head tube is incredibly thin. Geisler’s bike alongside his beloved 1960 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia. He has some big plans for the Ghia, including adding some serious performance to it. You can bet his warehouse of machining tools will be put to use.
Ewen Gellie of Gellie Cycles is now one of the veteran custom bike builders of the Australian scene. His TIG-welded steel frames are always a mix of simple clean lines and careful detail. Darrell Llewellyn McCulloch and Ewen Gellie are both attributed as the reason why the Handmade Bicycle Show Australia exists. Shown here is the Tracka, a road-slanting gravel bike that can handle a little bit of everything. This is a build for a Melbourne-based customer. The frame features slender Columbus SL seatstays with an S-bend for comfort. Likewise, the selected top and down tubes are slightly on the slim side for further comfort. Gellie moved his paint in-house to control the whole production process. The little details on the dropouts are a nice touch. A tapered head tube sits at the front and displays a stainless steel head badge. This custom build is based around Campagnolo’s new Ekar 13-speed drivetrain. A careful look reveals one technique unique to Gellie: a raised lip for the flat-mount brake so that the painted surface doesn’t get chipped. Another neat feature is seen with the T47 bottom bracket that hides both the rear brake hose and rear derailleur housing. Pictured is Gellie’s own hardtail mountain bike. Gellie has a deep history in mountain bike racing and making mountain bikes that go far further back than Gellie Cycles. Gellie’s own mountain bike offers room for some very meaty rubber.
Jimmy Rostlünd works at Curve Cycling as the lead designer and in his spare time, he makes frames under the Egress brand. Here his day job and moonlighting met a match with an Australian-made Curve Kevin of Steel. A brass version of Curve’s wonderful head badge graces the frame. This Egress and Curve collab frame is said to be a one-off, but Curve also hinted at the fact they have a few spare tubesets. All Egress bikes feature fillet brazed steel construction. Many of Rostlünd’s creations keep the brazing visible. Curve had a prime position at the Handmade show and used the space to show off a number of yet-to-be-released bikes. One of those was the Big Kev, a bigger-tyred version of its popular Kevin. You can read more about Curve’s Big Kev and other bikes in the dedicated article.
Bossi Bicycles is a Sydney-based company specialising in titanium bikes with modern design elements that sometimes push the boundaries of what you’d think possible with the material. Pictured is the Strada SS, an aero-inspired road race bike that features cast titanium lugs to achieve some impressive shaping. The Bossi Strada SS is something I’ve looked at previously. The cast lugs allow for similar shapes to what 3D printing achieves, but they allow easier mass production to assist in affordability. Launched at the Handmade Bicycle Show Australia is Bossi’s new gravel bike, the Grit SX. The Grit SX features a new fork with an adjustable 52 or 47 mm offset. This new model also moves to a T47 threaded bottom bracket and adds an extra bidon cage mount beneath the down tube. Bossi claims the new Grit SX will fit up to 700 x 50 mm tyres. A key part of that is the CNC 6-Axis milled yoke that sits between the chainring and tyre. Bossi outsources the manufacturing of its unique frames to China to keep the pricing accessible. For example, a Grit SX frameset (including fork) will be AU$3,920 in stock sizing, with custom geometry available for extra.
There was a small collection of international brands at the show, one of which was FiftyOne out of Dublin, Ireland. FiftyOne specialises in custom carbon frames made with tube-to-tube construction. This particular bike belongs to Andrew Oosterweghel, the owner of the Melbourne-based store Kaos Custom Bikes who sells the brand in addition to Parlee (and other more mainstream options). The twin, uninterrupted seatstays are a signature feature of FiftyOne frames. FiftyOne sources many of its carbon tubes from Enve. The paint is intended to match BMW’s Messing 621, effectively a brass metallic that goes grey in most light. FiftyOne’s bikes often feature rather spectacular finishes. Oosterweghel is known for unique wheel builds. He builds a number of wheels with Marwi titanium spokes, creating something that’s both light and comfortable. The stencilled paint around the 3K carbon is a nice touch.
That’s a wrap on the best bikes from the 2021 Handmade Bicycle Show Australia. We’ve still got a few more related features and articles to come, including a small handful of “meet the builder” videos.
Note: Some images in this series show close crowds of people who aren’t wearing masks. This is in line with local regulations – Victoria had no community cases of COVID-19 at the time of the show.