The capital city of Queensland — Brisbane — is a hotbed of Australian framebuilding. A long chapter of Australia’s cycling history stems from the city’s sub-tropical climes, and there’s a new generation intent on keeping the flame burning, like Brad Marshall.
Brad’s an industrial designer whose work we’ve already seen on Cycle EXIF: his ‘Loose Goose’ funny bike caused a stir here nearly two years ago. He’s since followed his job to New York, where’s been living for a year, but here’s something he prepared beforehand.
This one is called ONPOINT PT1001; signifying, hopefully, the first of many. While this is the first frame Brad has built from scratch, he’s been modifying and reaching on bikes in his garage for years. A full frame was the next logical progression.
Brad started the build after enrolling in the local TAFE’s ‘Design and Build Bike Frames’ course, headed up by Brett Richardson of Berretto Bicycles, a shop at Chermside. He and Darrell ‘Llewellyn’ McCulloch used to make frames together at the shop.
“I’d already planned out the build,’ Brad says, “and basically enrolled to take advantage of the equipment (surface plate/torch/brazing materials/safety equipment etc.) as well as pick up some tips from a guy who can build a frame in his sleep!
“I had no intention of building the standard lugged road frame kit supplied with the course, so was thankful that Brett was totally cool with me doing my own thing and was happy to see something a little off key, I suppose.”
Brad continues: “As an Industrial Designer and having worked with engineering software for years, I removed some of the guesswork by creating a parametric computer model of the frame which allows me to input a riders anthropometric data so the model adapts to create a 3D blueprint of the frame very specific to a certain rider’s attributes.
“It’s essentially bikeCAD on steroids — this sort of technique allows infinite levels of detail such as creating specific tubing models and adjusting where the butts are positioned to manipulate the frame’s weight/strength/handling characteristics.”
“I’m very much into track bikes and ride fixed gear almost exclusively on the road (in NYC also), so this design was essentially my image of the ideal road-going fixed gear bike at the time. Some of the geometry also has a bit of early Adam Eldridge influence — I’d just helped a friend build his new HSP and loved the way that bike responded.
“The frame is built based on the output of the aforementioned 3D computer model. No frame jig was used. This was built the old-school way following the Paterek Manual almost to the letter, i.e. every joint was mitred, fitted and brazed individually by hand and checked for accuracy using a level surface plate and vernier height gauge.
“This method requires the mitres to be really accurate as the accuracy of the joint relies solely on how the tubes mate together. All joints were mitred by hand except for the chain stay/BB joints which I decided would be more accurate done by machine — I built a small rear-end jig to be able to mitre under power and tack those joints with both chainstays secured in place for more exacting symmetry.
“The frame uses Columbus steel tubing of varying series — selected for specific size and butting attributes. The frame is fillet brazed and hand filed (rather intimate filing every joint by hand, but probably not the best use of time…).
“I’ve been painting frames for a while now and like to think I have fairly high standards for painting/finishing. I did all of the painting/finishing/final build work in my shed and the finish on this frame is definitely some of the better work I’ve done.
“It’s hard to capture in photos — you might think the photos have been tweaked substantially because of the weird render-like feel, but I was watching the photos on the computer screen as Matt Leasegang shot them and that’s how they looked coming straight from the camera.
“Some other special aspects of the bike include the internally binding mast topper that I designed as part of the 3D computer model and had CNC machined/anodised/laser etched from high grade alloy. It is also height-adjustable within 15mm using headset spacers between the collar and main body. Good for letting the seat down a little when I’m not exactly in prime shape (like right now — ‘merica!).
“In addition to the topper, the frame features custom made track ends with polished stainless steel faces, inside and out, as well as polished stainless trim pieces such as the head badge and serial number plate on the seatstay bridge.
Brad concludes: “The most important detail, I suppose, is that it fits me like a glove and feels oh-so-good to ride… Can’t wait to ride it again!”
Here’s the build/component spec:
• Custom designed/built frame: Columbus tubing, custom fork ends, silver brazed stainless trim
• Leader I806TR full carbon fork
• King black-on-black headset
• ENVE Stem – refinished with black-out logo
• ENVE SES aero bars
• ONPOINT custom mast topper – Ti hardware
• Fizik Arione VS saddle
• Rotor 3D track cranks + Stainless BB
• Sugino Zen chainring
• Time ATAC ‘carbon’ pedals
• Custom Wheelset – Made to my spec Chinese hoops, Sapim CX-Rays, Phil high flange track hubs • built by Craftworx
Bicycle culture is bristling in Brisbane, and with the quality of previous generations — and the new one — it’s not at all surprising.
Massive thanks to Brad for the words and Matt Leasegang for the photography.