It’s only a couple of months until the 2016 UCI World Tour kicks off in Adelaide during January. Over the Australia Day weekend, cycling disciples flock to the South Australian capital for communion and fellowship with like-minded devotees.
A highlight of visiting the City of Churches is dropping by Treadly Bike Shop in Ebenezer Place, the rendezvous for breakfast, a Swap Meet, and arvo beers. This Primate Frame was hanging in the shop when I visited two years ago, and it has finally been built up.
As a frame-only, it was a sight to behold, and complete, it has surpassed expectations. Jake at Treadly completed the final build which looked to be an involved process, not to mention the work that Tarn at Primate Frames went to when creating it.
Craig approached Tarn to build him a robust commuter that could be adapted to long-distance touring, with a trailer in tow. Apparently Craig himself is building the fat-tyre trailer, which will initially carry his two kelpies, Ginger and Treacle, around town.
The inspiration for the frame came from old-school Malvern Star dragsters, the memory of which is held fondly more by our father’s generations than ours. The Malvern Star Skidstar was the Holy Grail for many neighbourhood race meets along suburban streets.
Tarn, as always, did not disappoint, building a frame that, like his steel downhill bikes, scooters, tandems, dirt jump and folding bikes, can quite easily be launched off the side of a mountain without any concern for it’s welfare.
The top tubes were curved in an arc from head tube to rear dropouts, with extra support at the seat tube. The rear shows Tarn’s experience with full-suspension MTBs, marrying a Paul Components Klamper to the frame, along with a Rohloff internal rear hub.
A set of Jones bars provide many options for mounting hardware and luggage, and is connected to a Thomson stem via The Plug stem cap for USB charging. The Paul levers and Rohloff shifter must have given Jake a headache, but the result is nothing but tidy.
Installing a Gates Carbon Drive presents challenges in itself, as the frame needs to be broken to install the belt, and an eccentric bottom bracket is required for chain length adjustability. Luckily, Tarn loves a challenge.
The bombproof double-crown forks are Tarn’s own, connected to the frame by a mango Chris King headset — which marry well to the big orange palette. Brooks provided the Flyer saddle whose stabilising bar was perfect for mounting the Supernova tail light.
As far as bike frames go, we haven’t heard too much from Tarn lately, but that’s because he’s been directing his energies to custom espresso machines, which are worth a feature in themselves, but Craig’s cruiser more than makes up for it.
Big thanks to Jake and the crew at Treadly Bike Shop for the images. If you’re thinking of heading to Adelaide for the TDU, be sure to drop in. They’ve got some big plans for the festivities, like the MAKER show, an exhibition of frame builders, craftspeople, brands, organisations and artists within the Australian cycling world. Keep an eye on their website, Facebook and Instagram for details.