Geoff Scott is a living legend of the Aussie custom frame industry. He’s a gruff, straight-up bloke who doesn’t suffer fools gladly, and has built frames for Olympic and Commonwealth Games gold medal winners, under his own branded Gefsco bikes and, later, for Clarence Street Cyclery’s Clamont brand.
Clarence Street Cyclery, Sydney’s oldest bike shop, just celebrated it’s 40th anniversary. Geoff can count over thirty years of work for the Clamont brand. Now he’s back, torch in hand, making frames for a new generation of riders who appreciate his skill, like this track bike for Henri Le Comte.
One of the most famous bikes that Geoff has built, and one of his favourites, is the white track bike he built for Gary Sutton, who won gold for Australia in the 1978 Commonwealth Games. Henri’s Clamont is a stark throwback to that frame, and can already be called a ‘modern classic’.
Henri had become aware of Geoff’s reputation after acquiring an early funny bike, which he’d restored and presented at the 2014 Sydney Classic Bicycle Show. Geoff confirmed it was one he’d built, and Henri had the thought that he’d like a new, Geoff Scott-built Clamont road bike.
Henri has been racing ‘on the boards’ for about five years and, after loving his Clamont road bike, decided to replace his carbon track racer with a matching Geoff Scott-built Clamont track bike. “I called the shop,” Henri recalls, “we agreed on a price, and I came in to meet with Geoff.
“We were talking for a bit, and he mentioned that he didnt really want to use the plain extra-oversize tubing that I wanted. It came up that Geoff had been putting together this special tubeset over the years to build something with.”
Henri continues: “(It consisted of) bits and pieces that he couldn’t get a hold of any more, like the Columbus Max BB shell. That was his last one and they don’t make them anymore. He said it will be really trick, and that with a few geometry tweaks, and the tubing profile, it should ride brilliantly and omit any hop from the rear wheel when putting the power down out of the saddle. Done deal.”
A month later, Henri came into the shop to have a look at it, mocked up with a carbon fork that Geoff had as well, and the build was approved. The paint scheme must have been an easy one; having a matching pair of Geoff Scott-built bikes — for the road and the track — is nothing short of an honour.
Geoff’s frames can easily be spotted by the Ace cutouts and, in places, drilled lugs. Geoff, a true Aussie builder, incorporates the Aces as a nod to Australia’s heritage as a British penal colony, when the convicts wore prison clothes emblazoned with the broad arrow, to signify government property.
Geoff has led a life as hard as the steel he works with, and this strength — and resilience — is an essential ingredient in his frames. Henri’s is about to carry him for many seasons of track racing, continuing Geoff’s legacy, and will prove to be a hard and fun ride.