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.