The third iteration of the Handmade Bicycle Show Australia returned to a new venue this past weekend, bringing with it some of Australia’s and the worlds best custom bicycle, component and wheelset manufacturers.
With approximately 27 builders in attendance showcasing their wares, as well as some of the industry’s most desirable component and accessory manufactures, join us as we take you through our highlights of the 2021 Handmade Bicycle Show Australia.
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A relative newcomer to the custom bicycle scene, Bossi Bicycles out of Stanmore in NSW is the brainchild of brand namesake James Bossi. After first entering the market offering a range of value for money commuter bikes, James says that while interested, high- volume commuter bikes “didn’t really set the soul on fire”. After flirting with the idea of custom Ti frames, James made the pivot to custom spec titanium road bikes and hasn’t looked back.
Bossi had three models on show, including two offerings from the Strada road bike line-up and a soon to be released Gravel offering.
The Strada SS pictured features “incidentally aero” hydroformed frame shapes made up of a mixture of 6/4 and 3/2.5 titanium; the Strada SS sports a similar silhouette to the host of all-around race bikes dominating the WorldTour peloton. The frame features a T47 bottom bracket, fully integrated cabling and space for 30mm rubber. In our opinion, it looks to provide the perfect balance between current road/race bike trends and that magical ride quality that Titanium provides.
This bike, built up with an in-house RD1R wheelset, SRAM Red eTap AXS groupset, a Vision Metron 5D cockpit, and a Selle Repente carbon saddle said to tip the scales at a competitive 7.7kg.
Founded by ex-race car engineer and bicycle fanatic Mark Hester, Prova Cycles are manufactured out of the 412 facility in Melbourne that Hester shares with Bastion Cycles. The name Prova is Italian for test and development and represents Mark’s desire to continue pushing the boundaries of what is possible with handmade steel bicycles.
The Razzo featured here is a custom-built steel-framed road bike commissioned by the Drapac family as a trophy for the first non-UCI registered rider across the line in the Damion Drapac Anzac Day Classic. The bike is adorned with several engravings and badges commemorating the late Damion “Duda” Drapac, who unfortunately lost his life as a result of being struck by a driver while riding to the Anzac Day Classic in 2019.
Established in 2020, Melbourne outfit Vechter bikes debuted its all-new Genesis track/urban fixed gear frame at HBSA 2021. Priced at just AU$899 for the frameset, the aluminium framed Genesis was arguably the most affordable bike on display at this year’s show; however, that doesn’t mean it’s compromised.
While manufactured in Taiwan, the frame was designed in Melbourne from the frame-up and is said to offer a ride that is both aggressive yet not to the point of sacrificing stability. The Genesis is available in two different colourways and is available for pre-order right now.
The Lost Workshop
Founded in 2018, The Lost Workshop is another relative newcomer to the hand made bicycle scene. 2021 represents its second appearance at the handmade bicycle show, showcasing its completely custom fillet brazed steel road and gravel bikes. Each bike is completely custom from the ground up, unique to the customers' needs, from the geometry and tubing to the components and paintwork.
This bike had one of the most eye-catching paint schemes at the show. Comprised of Columbus Cento frame tubes, with custom gravel-specific chainstays and a full Campagnolo gravel friendly finishing kit topped off with purple Panaracer Gravelking tyres, this build attracted a steady stream of admirers.
Operating out of Geelong’s North Shore shipping district, Baum Cycles is arguably the most recognisable custom bike manufacturer on this list. With a long history of producing custom steel and titanium bicycles, Baum had several offerings on show at this years event, dotted around a number of different stands.
Finished in an eye-catching Baum Racing livery painted by Geelong based Cycledelic Customs, as well as a full complement of Shimano Dura-Ace goodies, this Orbis was fitting of its position at the centre of the Baum stand.
Llewellyn Custom Bikes
Established in 1988, Llewellyn Custom Bicycles are master craftsman Darrel McCulloch products. The bike pictured here is an example of just what is possible with hand-cut and hand-polished steel lugs. The lugs pictured here were estimated to take around 250 hours from raw steel lugs to the finished product. This includes cutting the intricate designs by hand, mating them to the Colombus Spirit for Life tubing and hand polishing them to the chrome-like finish.
HBSA was also showcasing several handmade component and accessory manufacturers. Handmade, high-end and unique, Geelong based Partington Advanced Engineering was showcasing its R-Series wheels.
Each R-Series wheelset is made to order and features a 21mm internal rim width, 26.5mm external width, mixed depth 39mm (front) and 44mm (rear) rim heights, tubeless compatibility and a host of unique features. Chief among them is the carbon fibre spokes that wrap around the in-house aluminium hub shell. The spokes are then bonded to two different points on the rim and. Both front and rear wheels utilise 10 wrapped spokes making for a spoke count of 20 at each wheel.
Each wheel also features a foam core. The core is there to support the thin carbon wall on the rim itself and is said to be more effective at reducing weight while increasing strength and stiffness compared to adding more carbon fibre to the rim wall itself. The result? These disc-specific hoops are claimed to weigh in at just 1150g for the pair.
Founded in 2000, with extensive background building boats utilising composite materials, Bob Parlee and his company are continually driven by the simple yet lofty goal of producing the best bikes in the world. Handcrafted by a talented team of craftsmen, Parlee is all about creating carbon fibre bikes and frames defined by their targeted performance and tailor-made fit.
Showcased here is the latest iteration of brands Chebacco gravel bike. The new bike features space for 45mm rubber (47mm with 650b), an additional bottle mount on the underside of the downtube, and mounting points for bags and fenders on the front fork.
All Parlee bikes can be specified with a custom paint scheme to suit the buyer. While appearing black/navy, this frame has a speckled blue finish that was something to behold in the sunlight, while the Campagnolo eKAR gravel groupset is a fitting addition to the steed.
Founded by a trio of engineers caught in the wake of the collapse of the Australian automotive manufacturing industry, Bastion Cycles have quickly asserted themselves as one of the biggest names in the local custom bike manufacturing market. With frames made from 3D printed titanium lugs bonded to hi-modulus carbon fibre tubing, Bastion had several bikes on show. These include the company’s first Gravel offering, aptly named the “Cross Road”, its stapled Road Disc and the Superleggera. At the 2021 show, Bastion included an offering for the #savetherimbrake crowd and a handful of steeds adorned with its all-new integrated bar-stem combination and in-house fork offering.
This Superleggera is claimed to tip the scales at a meagre 6kg for a size Small. No part of the frame has been left untouched. A smaller diameter downtube, a tweaked carbon lay-up, and a higher modulus carbon used throughout make for a bike that Bastion says is lightweight, lively, yet still comfortable. This Superleggera is adorned with a smattering of high-end weight weenie components to achieve this svelte weight figure. These include a THM Clavicula SE crank with Carbon-Ti chainrings, THM fibula rim brakes, a THM Frontale integrated bar/stem, Lightweight Meilenstein Schwarz carbon clinchers with CeramicSpeed bearings, a Shimano Dura-Ace 9150 Di2 groupset with a CeramicSpeed OSPW, and a Fizik Adaptive saddle. How much does a build like this set you back? Well, if you have to ask...
A closer look at the all-new integrated 3D printed titanium/carbon fibre bar/stem
Another debutant, Brisbane based Sugarloaf Cycles was on hand, showcasing its stunning Classic Road Custom(CRC). Each bike is said to be essentially bespoke to its buyer, designed specifically around their fit and riding characteristics. The filament wound carbon tubes are locally sourced here in Australia and mated to composite lugs printed and matched to each riders specific geometry measurements.
Look familiar? Bastion cycles featured above utilise the same carbon tubes on its range of custom bikes.
Each CRC features a T47 bottom bracket standard and a Chris King I8 headset and can be painted and ceramic coated in any colour palette you like. This white and gold CRC was a real eye-catcher.
While road and gravel bikes dominated the offerings on show at the HBSA, there was a handful of lust-worthy mountain bikes on show, including this gem, The Zenith Trail Bike from Beechworth Tor Bicycles. The steel-framed Zenith is a 130mm travel single pivot trail bike designed around 29” wheels and is said to be a “Do it all Mountain Bike”.
The bike features a mix of Columbus and Reynolds tubing throughout the frame as well as aircraft-grade aluminium on the side plates of the swingarm for a simple yet effective rear suspension pivot.
The candy apple red and gold paint scheme is courtesy of Velocraft, who also operates out of the 412 facility alongside Bastion and Prova detailed above.