Global interest in custom and handmade bicycles continues to grow month by month. It’s exciting — never before have we been able to enjoy so many elaborate and well-crafted machines, produced by true artists. But what I’m most excited about, personally, is the emergence of the Australian scene. Imagine my joy, then, when I encountered Keith Marshall and Kumo Cycles, a very talented, passionate (and tall) new custom frame builder that’s located in Braidwood, a rural town in the Australian state of New South Wales.
Even in this modern era, Braidwood remains a quintessential Australian country town. It’s Keith’s home town, and the peace afforded by its remote location lets him focus on his work. Kumo Cycles opened for business on the 1st of December 2011, after a year honing his skills.
Lugged and fillet brazed frames are a specialty, and he won’t baulk at TIG welding, either. This is his personal ride, a double over-sized frame with a Columbus MAX fork, to fit Keith’s 6’4″ body. It features a relaxed geometry compared to a standard track frame, better suited to its purpose of cruising around Canberra, the nearby capital of Australia.
The polished head badge is the Kumo Cycles logo. Kumo is cloud in Japanese and Keith explains it thus: “The cloud represents the floaty, dampening quality that steel gives a bike frame, while the lightning represents the fiery, hot flame or TIG arc from which the frames are born”. Keith had his personal ride saddled with a personalized creation by Mick Peel of Melbourne’s Busyman Bicycles, another master of his craft, who perforated and debossed the cloud logo on to the Selle San Marco Rolls. The individual paint scheme was created by Keith with an airbrush, a wonderful nod to the flamboyant paint jobs of Fat Chance and Landshark bikes.
As mentioned, Kumo Cycles is now open for business and awaiting your order. If you’ve been desiring a custom, handmade frame that’s perfectly tailored to your own dimensions, ensuring the most comfortable ride possible, contact Keith through his website.