2012 has been a huge year for cycling — especially within the handmade bike scene, which seems to get bigger each month. It’s been a massive year for Aussie builders, which culminated in the Australian Custom Bicycle Show, held in Melbourne at the beginning of December. Last week I posted Part 1 of my coverage of the show, here’s the second and final, Part 2:
One of the most interesting stands at the Show was held by Gravitybike HQ and featured one of the biggest chunks of aluminum ever seen at a custom bike show. Two wheels and a composite fairing were attached, and looked fast even standing still. I’ll resist the temptation to make any jokes about gravity biking gaining momentum.
When it comes to custom racing bicycles, the Bundy family is an Australian institution that has been involved in the industry since 1940 and Jim is still building frames in his eighties. Peter Bundy had his pursuit bike on display, alongside a fire engine-red Columbus MAX road bike and one of his Australian Champion jerseys (see title shot).
Damo from the Cog Bike Cafe is a single speed legend. So is his ‘Mynd Ride’, a 39er ultra-tourer that rocks a 36” front wheel and a 29” rear. The Cog Bike stand was easily the most visually arresting, with Lemmy from Motörhead serenading ‘Purple Rain’, a fillet-brazed, disc-braked, belt-driven cyclocrosser that competed in the CX nationals, in both open and singlespeed categories. Purple Rain was accompanied by the Jimi bike, ‘If 6 were 9′, various coffee-making paraphernalia, a vintage record player and some off-road penny farthings.
It’s always a pleasure to admire the highly-detailed leather work of Mick Peel, known around the world as Busyman Bicycles. His stand provided a glimpse into his work environment, the tools of his trade and the chance to see some of his re-upholstery up close. It was also encouraging to see examples of his work on some of the beautiful bikes at the Show, like ‘Purple Rain’, the Baum bikes and the Kumo Cycles-built road bike for Gus.
Ewen Gellie combines the experience of multiple National downhill mountain bike and trials wins to his frame building business, Gellie Custom. Interestingly, there were more road frames than MTBs on display, including an S&S-coupled model. The paint on the red-to-red-fade road frame was nothing short of delicious.
The third and final room at the Show was inhabited by Baum Cycles and Llewellyn, with numerous bikes from each builder. The Rapha bike built by Baum was easily the most photographed, with good reason. It was Baum’s most exciting paint scheme to date, a celebration of all things Rapha. Darren also displayed his personal 650b Exserta MTB, the Busyman-upholstered track bike and a gold-trimmed roadie.
It’s fitting that we should finish with Darrell Llewellyn McCulloch, who introduced the weekend at Friday’s Meet the Maker evening. Darrell’s traditional, elegant, hand-carved style contrasted perfectly with the smooth, ultra-modern style of Baum Cycles — proving that Australia has a genuine diversity of cultures, extending even into the world of the custom bicycle.
Once again, I’d like to thank FYXO for the massive effort required to get the Australian Custom Bicycle Show off the ground. Thank you also to the builders for being part of it. I’m already looking forward to next year’s Show!