In what could well have been the world’s smallest bike show, Sydney yesterday finally hosted the inaugural edition of The Makers, a group of frame builders and specialists exhibiting their wares in a Newtown laneway.
The show was a very casual and comfortable affair, despite the grey skies and threat of rain. The afternoon was warmed by the collective passion of the visitors for the craft of the handmade bicycle and the love of riding them.
What began as a conversation between Sean Killen of Newtown’s Killenbike and Rob Benson of Newcastle’s Tempest Bicycles quickly evolved into a low-key gathering of thirteen Makers. They weren’t all Sydney locals, either.
JR flew from Adelaide, bringing his Rogers Bespoke frames, Crust Bikes and Rapha cozied up in the tiny emporium next to the main garage, and The Lost Workshop and Cycle Fixation drove up from Melbourne with Egress Bikes.
A contingent from Newcastle also participated, including Rob Benson of Tempest Bicycles and Cycle Fit Physiotherapy. Zak from Skunkworks Bikes displayed some of his incredible wheelsets, and the show was also the official launch of Chimera Frameworks, a collaboration between Tempest Bicycles and Killenbike.
Chimera’s prototype flagship model, the Zenith, held us captive. Rob and Sean Killen have been developing this frame over the last few months and the result was stunning, to say the least, from the pencil-thin wishbone seat stay to the 44mm head tube.
The Zenith is a trophy road bike made from Columbus MINIMAX tubes, for those discerning riders who want something exceptionally special for their journeys. Rob loves this tubeset and his Zenith frame certainly does it justice.
Rob also had on display an Alfine Di2 commuter with Swarf carbon fenders, alongside this white TIG welded road frame from Intergalactic Bikes. Blair is based in Sydney and created something special with candy apple King, a matching Campagnolo Chorus groupset, and floor pump.
Tristan from Vale Bikes, on Sydney’s northern beaches, showed off his custom carbon creations. A successful carbon repair business was the impetus for Vale and the next evolutionary step was building frames.
One of the most striking track frames we’ve seen for a while: Melbourne’s The Lost Workshop created this wonder, painted by Bikes By Steve and built up by Bayswater’s Cycle Fixation. It would almost be a pleasure to follow that rear end around a velodrome.
Dan and Dean from Cycle Fit Physiotherapy in Broadmeadow, Sydney, were present, demostrating the methods they use to ensure your bike frame fits your physical farme properly. This is an essential part of the custom process, so it’s good to know there’s a reliable guide in the area.
It’s been a few years since we were in Adelaide for the Tour Down Under and saw one of JR’s first frames built under the moniker of Rogers Bespoke. It was good to see the new addition to the lineup: the impressive Rōnin semi-production model.
JR also brought over this exceptional Ultegra Di2 cyclocross machine, finished with matte Chris King and MCFK carbon components. The raw frame was teased on his Instagram feed recently but the finished purple to black gradient was sublime.
It was Sean Killen who had the the good grace to open up the Killenbike workshop in Newtown to host The Makers show, and I’m sure everyone who attended will agree that it was an extremely positive event for everyone involved. His Bondi Blue roadie was on display, as well as Bart’s awesome Killenbike dirt tourer.
It was also a pleasure to meet Jimmy Röstlund of Melbourne’s Egress Bikes. We’ve featured a couple of his BMX builds on The Spoken a few years ago, so it was great to see he’s picked up the torch himself — his CX bike was killer.
If you’re in Sydney, drop by the Rapha Cycle Club and see the Egress for yourself, along with the Chimera Zenith, Tempest’s S&S Coupled CX rig, and a new Killenbike bike packer.
The Spoken would like to personally thank Rob and Sean for coordinating this first Makers event, which brought us all together and inspired us for next year’s show. Big thanks to Rapha for their support and everyone who came along but especially to the Makers themselves for their time and effort.