Ricardo MTB Tourer

Ricardo MTB Tourer

Readers outside of Australia probably won’t recognize the Ricardo marque, and that’s fair enough. It’s the Aussie equivalent of a poor man’s Schwinn, manufacturers of road, triathlon and ‘entry-level’ mountain bikes, cobbled, albeit by hand, from nothing fancier than high quality Tange tubing.

Last week we featured the Naked Bicycles BBQ Butterfly, whose tubes were finished with a heat treated effect not unlike anodizing. A commenter reminisced about a similar ‘sooty tigerstripe effect’ that was seen on vintage Diamondback frames and I wondered what on earth he was talking about. Today, I came across Melbourne designer and bicycle polo player Chris Tomoya’s Ricardo MTB frame that he converted to a long distance tourer, and I was enlightened. The effect is achieved by forcing carbon deposits of soot on the frames surface using a candle, then applying a clear coat.

Chris has proved that it’s possible to polish the proverbial turd, and worked with Mark and Anthony at Melbourne’s Born Again Cycles to turn what was once a sluggish, confidence-expiring mountain bike into a reliable long distance tourer with trez-retro cool.

Chris proved the worth of the Ricardo’s construction and the ease of low-budget touring on a fully laden, 1,500km tour around Tasmania, which he documented on his excellent blog, hopskid. As the name subtly implies, it’s a commentary on two of life’s most important aspects, bicycles and beer.

Ricardo MTB Tourer
Ricardo MTB Tourer
Ricardo MTB Tourer
Ricardo MTB Tourer
Ricardo MTB Tourer
Ricardo MTB Tourer
Ricardo MTB Tourer
Ricardo MTB Tourer
Ricardo MTB Tourer