Pony Bikes Enigma

Pony Bikes Enigma

It’s called an Enigma because it’s one of those frames one happens across on eBay with a vague description by which you’re captivated enough to buy because it’s cheap and no-one else wants it and the seller can’t give you any more information about it (they can’t even remember where they got it) and when it finally arrives, you discover aspects of it that are enchanting but leave you infuriatingly ignorant as to it’s origin. The mystery only gets deeper.

This is the latest assembly from the hands of Sasha Strickland at Melbourne’s Pony Bikes: an Australian-made frame purchased on eBay by Matt, one of Sasha’s loyal clientele. Over time, Matt patiently collected the components which Sasha assembled on the prepared frame, including the Brooks Swift, Phil Wood / Velocity wheelset, Sugino cranks and Cycle Underground chain ring.

In accordance with the enigmatic nature of Matt’s new bike, both he and Sasha are still at a loss as to the origins of this frame. There’s a stamp on the bottom bracket shell that reads R 8 2 which could be a reference to Ron Blundell, an Australian builder whose work we featured in April 2011. This is a track frame, which leads Sasha to believe that the forks are not original, and it can accommodate a 27″ wheel, which dates it in the late 60s or early 70s. It was purchased in Melbourne but at the same time, there was an identical frame for sale in Queensland. Can anyone shed some light on the Enigma?

If you can, or you have a similar project, contact Sasha at Pony Bikes via the website.

Pony Bikes Enigma
Pony Bikes Enigma
Pony Bikes Enigma
Pony Bikes Enigma
Pony Bikes Enigma
Pony Bikes Enigma
Pony Bikes Enigma

  • Murphy

    Beautiful machine, whatever it is.

    I’m most intrigued by that bell though! Where can one get one like it?

    • japanese universal brass bell. you can get them thru asahi cycle base in japan.

  • Jack Luke

    I’m going to guess Cecil Walker. (Just cause)

    Plus the seat cluster lug looks a little like the one on my 70’s cecil.

    Very nice!

  • Shanewarild

    beautiful work… seems long in the back end for a track bike?

    • yeah i agree. after i saw it built i was really surprised by the rear wheel clearance.

  • Actually not an ebay frame, but looking at a very badly photographed different track frame on ebay led to a nice family of Philipino folks, whose kids are mad for track bikes (and not your standard day-glo bullshit, we’re talking old brompton hubs & obscure stuff). I wasnt keen on the ones they had advertised but they dragged this one out of the shed, and chucked in what were almost certainly bianchi forks to go with it. They claimed it was Nervex lugged & reynolds 531 tubes. Not sure about the tubes, but certainly looks like Nervex lugs

  • Personally my guess is that it’s a hillman frame – i’ve seen hillmans with the same nervex lugs. Maybe time to take it around the corner to the hillman shop & ask them..