Remember the exhilaration of that first ride, once your dad removed your training wheels and you careened down the driveway unassisted with the wind in your eyes and, after the initial wobbles, discovered your own center of gravity? For many young Australians, that first bike was undoubtedly a Malvern Star.
Malvern Star can trace it’s origins back to 1902. The 1898 winner of what happens to be the world’s oldest existing track race, the Austral Wheel Race, was a young cyclist named Tom Finnigan. Investing his prize of 240 gold sovereigns, he opened the small shop in 1902 in the Melbourne suburb of Malvern. The shop was renowned for touring and racing bikes, which he named Malvern Stars. The six-pointed star device originated from a tattoo on Finnigan’s forearm. This path racer features three stars on the head tube, denoting a mid-range model, with premium models bearing five stars and one star for ‘entry-level’ frames. The ornate hand-done pinstriping was completed by Ray Geenslade, an artist contracted by Malvern Star and other Australian marques such as Super Elliot, and features his trademark ‘feather’ motif.
Malvern Star recently re-entered the high-end bicycle market with it’s carbon fiber ‘Oppy’ model, which is supplied to the Tasmanian UCI Continental road cycling team, Genesys Wealth Advisers. Perhaps it might consider accessing a lucrative youth market by bringing back lugged steel frames with pinstriping hand-applied by artists and an emphasis on the tattooed origins of their logo?