An exciting thing about bike shows is the sneak peek you get at new products, brands, and models. Melbourne’s recent Handmade Bicycle Show at the iconic Meat Market had plenty of new work from established builders, and it wasn’t short of surprises, either,
Jesse Geisler’s name will be familiar to a few, but not via social media or advertising. 90s-era mountain bikers will have seen him and his ‘Lady Luck’ Holden ute at races when he garnered a reputation as one of the most thorough mechanics in the business.
Other cyclists will remember his iconic shop, The Bike Bar, in Surry Hills, Sydney, which seemed to be a temple to both bicycle mechanics and rock ‘n’ roll. He moved from there to Melbourne and wrenching for pro road cycling teams.
However, Jesse’s heart and mind have always been focused on precision engineering. His ‘side business’ is called Geisler Tool & Gauge, some examples of which were exhibited alongside his first foray into commercial frame building.
Jesse is a perfectionist, and the extremely good-looking frame on the stand with him at the show is the result of many years of research into the systems and processes necessary to manufacture frames to his exacting standards.
In pursuit of producing the finest road bikes possible, Jesse designed and machined every tool and fixture used in the critical construction phase. You can be sure that a Geisler will ride as precisely as the fixtures he designs.
Geisler Cycles is ready to begin production, turning out TIG-welded masterpieces that combine superior construction with an understated sense of style. There’s no buzzy social media account yet, but you can contact Jesse through his website.
Every year, Australia commemorates ANZAC Day on April 25, in memory of the personnel that died in military service of their country. The dawn service is a solemn tradition, after which everyone attempts to drown their spirits.
Perth’s Mooro Cycles build exceptional titanium bicycles and remembered our fallen heroes with a particularly significant and poignant frame and custom design. The soldier’s own slouch hat and medals were on display with the bike.
Mooro’s customer is a veteran of the war in Afghanistan and requested a scheme that portrayed the names of the 41 Australian soldiers that died in that arena on the down tube. The top tube depicts a ‘digger’ looking over the crosses of his comrades.
Now that the show has wrapped up, this important Mooro will circumnavigate Australia by the Australian Army vet on a ride to raise awareness of the mental and emotional health of our returned servicemen and women.
Geoff Duke is immensely proud of his time-honored and traditional style of framebuilding and, it has to be said, after all the ground-breaking technology and boundary-pushing, his work was a welcome reminder of what a proper frame looks like.
Well-sculpted lugs, ‘less-is-more’ construction, matching quill stems and retro graphics are guaranteed to be viable after this season’s ‘standards’ have become passé. Geoff is also a top bloke with a long racing history, which he instills within each frame.
There was a tangible buzz around the Baum stand, the same buzz that seems to hang around every Baum seen on the road. This time it centered around Phil Anderson and his new titanium Orbis road bike, painted to match his recently restored 1982 Peugeot.
Darren Baum is one of Australia’s most renowned custom frame builders and has obviously not shied from the challenge and advantage of working with digital technology. He had a range of multi-functional frames on display, including this Orbis +.
The Orbis+ model utilizes a 3D printed chainstay yoke to increase tire width without sacrificing chainring clearance. When you see them up close, it’s no wonder these exceptional machines are so highly desired by the road riding crowd.
Modeling a pair of ZIPP wheels in front of their stand, however, was this spectacular Orbis X, a chunkier variation of the Plus model, that may entice a whole new mountain biking market to the Baum brand.
Not only does it looks good on paper — rack mounts, clearance for 45c tires, thru-axles, G-Series ENVE fork, personalized geometry, and individualized butted tubing — it looked good in person as well.
Yet another Baum could be found performing modeling duties, this time for Schwalbe: the ironically-named ‘Darren’. While still in the prototype stage, it will be one of the most exciting additions to the Baum stables in years.
This is an adjustable test model so that Darren and the team can nut out the final geo. Up front is a Cane Creek Angleset, allowing .5° incremental head angle adjustments, there’s sliding dropouts to check chain length and an eccentric BB to achieve an ideal height.
Canberra’s Goodspeed Bicycle Company have nailed a unique business model based around a unique frame inspired by the Malvern Star Skidstar — a design that will be fondly familiar to older Australian cyclists.
Re-imagined for a modern generation, their Type 1 frame is a production-focused design that uses the same jig for both the standard and step-thru configurations. A subtle brass sleeve and contemporary color made these understated bikes an affordable favorite.
Goodspeed has streamlined their production processes to be able to turn out a number of these frames at a time, so if your company or hotel need a new vehicle fleet, get in touch with them — there’s a great opportunity for personalization.
Shane Flint hails from Beechworth in Victoria, a beautiful and mountainous part of the country that is also home to the Beechworth MTB Park. A fabricator and mechanical designer by trade, a year ago he satisfied his love of bikes by building one.
His workshop, Tor Bikes, debuted at the 2018 HBSA with a 29er and he returned this year with a very awesome candy green, single pivot, full suspension enduro frame that was as simple as it was beautiful.
You’d needn’t worry about whether it’s stiff enough. The pivot’s burly roller bearings are wrapped around a 15mm axle, while the panels on either side of the swingarm were cut out from 1/8” 4130 sheets.
The 4130 laser-cut chainstay gusset vastly improves the stiffness as well. Having an Aussie maker confident and ambitious enough to build full-sus MTBs is a good indicator of the industry’s health.
The presence of local painters and finishers able to apply world-class artwork to these world-class frames is another sign of how positive the Australian custom scene is these days. One of those qualified to do so is Bikes By Steve.
Steve Gardner of Bikes By Steve had painted a number of the frames exhibited at the show, and they all looked spectacular, but the most spellbinding was this Hetchins, which Steve has restored for a customer — including all the lug lining. To be continued…
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See also: HANDMADE BICYCLE SHOW AUSTRALIA 2019: PT. 1
HANDMADE BICYCLE SHOW AUSTRALIA 2019: PT. 2