Australia’s southern state of Victoria has a long history of custom frame builders that have serviced the country’s demand for crafted road and track frames. Names like Kenevans, Cecil Walker, Paul Hillbrick, Paconi and Hillman spring to mind, but most of those belong the old school. There’s a new name on the scene, however, that is intent on reviving that institution: KRES Cycles.
The partnership of Nik and Michael, based in the Melbourne suburb of Preston, stems from a mutual love of two-wheeled vehicles, both motorized and pedal-powered. Michael is the primary fabricator, with over twenty years experience in working with steel and carbon fiber for the automotive industry, while Nik is the ‘creative director’ of the team.
This pista model is the first of a range of frames offered by KRES Cycles and it has an interesting story: “The inspiration came from the aero tubing. It’s a 4130 chromoly used in the aeronautical industry, and for motor sport chassis construction, for its lightness and rigidity. It has a very slim profile but is extremely rigid. Columbus MAX may be lighter, but did not provide the profile that we wanted.
“By combining the 4130 aero tubes with Columbus Thron tubes we found a compromise between the final design and weight saving. We wanted the final look of the bike to reflect the use of the 4130 tubes in motor sport. Sleek, fast and minimal. Our choice of color, components and finishes also kept this in mind.” It’s probably the finest interpretation of the Gulf Oil color scheme I’ve ever seen.
Nik continues: “So that we would not interrupt the profile of the seat tube we did away with the conventional seat tube/post arrangement. The seat binding was then machined from a solid piece of stainless and welded to the seat tube.” It’s a slick machine—the perfect local alternative for Tuesday night track training at the Darebin International Sports Centre…
There’s also a strada version on the way, based on the same tubing and layout, accompanied by a lugged urban frame. Head over to the KRES Cycles website for more information—and if you subscribe to their email list before Sunday, December 1st 2013, you’ll have the chance to win one of their bespoke frames.