Return to Retro – Macini Bikes
As cycling has taken off in Australia, so too has a return to retro. Along with the latest carbon technological masterpiece you’re just as likely to find an equally impressive machine with - how should we say - one wheel in modern technology and the other celebrating the glory days of classic, vintage bike culture.
Five undeniably great reasons to ride retro:
1/ Retro stays true to the value of cycling’s beautiful traditions
Go with branding and style that is respectful of the past and embraces the present.
2/ Retro doesn’t mean compromising on technology
Look for brands that combine the best of cutting edge frame design and carbon technology . The quality and performance of the ride is paramount.
3/ Retro inspires timeless style that never looks dated
Old-school is so cool. It’s not fussy and doesn’t try too hard. It doesn’t have to. It’s the best of both function and form.
4/ Retro reminds us of the simple things we love
Retro riders just love the ride – they love to feel the sun on their back and hear the hum of the wheels. Best enjoyed together of course.
5/ Retro is better now than ever before
Brands that respect retro understand the class is permanent. A bike’s finish must remain spectacular and without compromise.
Someone who needs no convincing about riding retro-style is Brad Coulter from Macini Bikes.
Back in the 1980s when cycling was just starting to take off, all bike riders in and around Adelaide knew each other. Knicks weren’t a common sight and the small riding community was a tight one.
It was a time when the Australian Institute of Sport was based in SA; Brad and his bike riding cohorts would find themselves doing warm-ups alongside some of the biggest names of the day – Gary Neiwand, Steve McGlede, Scott McGrory, Wayne McCarney and Robbie Burns just to name a few… This was the early Halcyon days of cycling in South Australia and in Brad’s words, it was an incredible time to be an amateur.
It was also when the local bike brand Macini really hit its straps. As any Adelaide cyclist riding back then will attest; this was the brand synonymous with premium quality, great design and local grassroots connections. Everyone in Adelaide had a Macini bike, road or track, they were locally fabricated by long time frame builder and quality craftsman. Brad himself went in with a bike that he wanted replicated, and the result was a dimensionally correct exact copy– he’s still got that very bike some 15 years on.
When he wasn’t track or road cycling, Brad was working as a precision tool maker, before he eventually moved into sales. But Brad’s connection with Macini has gone well beyond retro custom bike builds; three years ago he fulfilled a life-long ambition to get into the bike market when he bought the Macini brand name. At the time of purchase, the Macini magic had waned somewhat. With increased competition and off-shore manufacturing, the name had struggled to maintain its local dominance. Brad was determined to change all that, and set about restoring the brand to its former glory.
Brad’s vast riding experience and knowledge of working materials (thanks to those years in precision tool making) informed the design process, whilst his passion and respect for the Macini brand of yesterday informed the heart and soul that went into each new iteration.
His confidence soared when the first ‘new’ Macini bikes were taken to Glenelg and put on show for the passing bike traffic. Like moths to a flame, older cyclists needed no reminding; they instantly recognised the brand and gravitated to the bikes as if they were old mates. Brad (who was responsible for designing the new-look Macini bikes) had been careful to respect a lot of the original bike and brand features including the overall classic style of the machines. He maintained the same font but slightly modified the logo to make it a bit more contemporary. Updates aside, the bikes ignited conversation and rekindled memories. They were met with instant approval. It didn’t take long for the younger whippets to cotton on either – although they’d never heard of this brand that was so dominant decades back, they nonetheless recognised these bikes meant business.
There are four main categories within the Macini adult bike range (Brad has also developed a series of kids’ bikes)
Le Grange – the cream of the crop, a bike destined to be stiff and strong but incredibly aerodynamic (internal cabling) and light (size 49 unpainted frame weighs in at 980g)
The Track Classic range – a discipline especially close to Brad’s heart, this bike is ‘designed to light up the boards’
The Road Classic – an all-round weapon made from the latest carbon technology, the kind of bike that finishes a Gran Fondo wanting more
The Criterium range – a true sprinter’s bike that is more rigid, with shorter geometry that absolutely loves corners and handles them superbly at full speed
All Macini bikes retain the retro-cool edge of their former glory days, but with the design and technology that can stand up to the very latest in bike evolution. Macini is hot about third party testing approvals, with every component of his bikes tested and approved by independent parties.
Brad’s also turned his hand to bike wheels, and is particularly proud of the elite Prophecy set (named after a decline section on a mining site where Brad once worked).
The renaissance of Macini could not have come at a better time. There’s been an explosion in people returning to the classics, and this modest South Australian looks set to be one of the country’s big success stories.