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The Handmade Bicycle Show Australia

James and I are fresh off the plane from Melbourne after exhibiting at the Handmade Bicycle Show Australia and as I settle back into my regular desk my mind is still processing the whirlwind weekend.

The show was a mix of new and established builders.  The Old Guards of Aussie framebuilding like Baum, Darryl McCulloch of Llewellyn, and Euan Gellie were of course in attendance but looking down the exhibitor list for the first time left me googling names I’d never heard like Moora and Tor.

The Meat Market in Melbourne
There was a wide range of materials:  Carbon fibre, titanium, steel, and both plywood and hardwood!  Steel is the quintessential framebuilders material because it rides well, looks good, and is relatively easy to work with.  Titanium seems to be making a big of a resurgence and in addition to the faultless Baums the TIG welds and anodized artwork on Moora’s offerings were incredible.

A lot of people have asked what my favorite bike from the show is and I’ve struggled to give an answer, however these are my top five:

Prior to us selling a pair of wheels to Prova’s main-man Mark I had not heard of this new brand but I was impressed with the clean lines, the attention to detail, and the subtle addition of 3D printed sections.  Plus I’ve got a thing for purple bikes and a thing for slack bikes.

This Prova was wearing a pair of our Flite Carbon Trail wheels

 Just looking at this bike made me want to go to the beach and eat an icecream.  Baum’s welds are so tidy it almost seems a shame to cover them up, even with such a cool scheme.

I’ve been a fan of wishbone seatstays since seeing some on a Dekerf 20-odd years ago and I loved the modern take on them.  That chameleon paint needed to be seen in real life:  it’s stunning.

Sean’s Devlin was wearing a pair of Maker SL clinchers

This Stoemper was super clean and the blue colour really popped.  Disc brakes plus Campagnolo makes me happy.

The Maker AR Disc being used come with a Campagnolo freehub 🙂

I’ve liked Bastion since day zero.  I love the use of 3D printed titanium lugs to provide customisable geometry and the matt titanium finish makes my heart flutter

All photos pinched from David at CyclingTips

Coincidence that most of these have our wheels?  You decide 😀

The biggest surprise of the show was how many attendees were existing clients of ours and it was great to meet so many of you in person!  It was also nice to hear so many “my friend has a pair of your wheels and loves them” stories.  As a business owner I always hope we’re heading in the right direction but hearing so many complements confirms the excellent work that Gavin, Liam and James do.

I’ve never spent a lot of time in Melbourne:  I’ve holidayed there, attended the F1 around Albert Park, and I mechanic’d at the Herald Sun Tour with it’s Yarra River opener, but I’ve never become familiar with the city.  This short trip reaffirmed what I knew:  the weather is good, there are bike lanes everywhere, and the food is fantastic.

The lighting in the Meat Market was incredible in real-life with a mixture of sunlight and warm incandescent bulbs giving the bikes a beautiful colour, however almost every cellphone photo I took or saw was washed out and flat so I suggest you take a look at the professional’s photos.  David from CyclingTips put together two great galleries:

CyclingTips – The bigwigs  (ps: when did Wheelworks become a “bigwig” ??)
CyclingTips.com – The newcommers

Various bicycle shows have been organised before but this one is the first under the organisation of Corporate Cycling who did a simply fantastic job of bringing together the exhibitors and the public in the beautifully restored Meat Market venue in North Melbourne.  Nathan and Michael did a simply fantastic job and no detail was overlooked: our carpeted booth was vacuumed every morning before we arrived, and there was a cargo bike delivering beer and pizza to keep us fed and happy.

All up this was an incredible show.  I’ve got no doubt it will be run again next year and I’d highly recommend making the trek to Melbourne for it.  Were you at the show?  What did you think?

Tristan

The HBSA exhibitors
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