In 1962 I ordered my first custom made frame.
I was asked just two questions 1) Road or track? and 2) What colour?
And you were frowned upon if you said teal blue or dove grey! You got blue or grey not a deluxe colour chart choice!
The frame duly arrived made of Reynolds 531 tubing brazed together with Nervex lugs and Campagnolo fork ends.
Materials such as Titanium and Carbon Fibre were only being used in the top secret world of military aviation ( the Lockheed U-2 and SR-71.)
Fast forward to 2018 and the not-so-secret world of bicycle frame construction and those products of the Cold War now are alive and well and have joined the ranks of steel as a major player in the manufacturer of both mass produced and hand built frame but to the latter saw a gathering of likeminded souls displaying their craft in Melbourne.
Firstly congratulations to all involved and the effort you all put in especially the many who came from interstate. There were frames made from traditional geometrical shapes and construction to the 'Star Wars" innovations of today.
Plus paint jobs were not to go amiss in the worlds art galleries.
Mooro frames from WA chose Indigenous artwork to tell the story of their exhibit, Queensland based Llewellyn contrasted a rich blue with highly polished stainless steel lugs.
Bastion blended the same colour decals on their wheels to match the frame.
I doubt if timber was used in a U-2 or Blackbird but Damu and Htech could show the "Skunk Works" at Lockheed a thing or two about the masterful way timber can be used in today's exotic material world.
It was good for me to see the one man operation was alive and well as displayed on the Gellie, G.Duke and Richard Walker stands as well as long established entities such as Baum.
Another Queenslander, Devlin showed their colourful range.
Canberra based Goodspeed showed us that "Schwinn" style curves are not only a shape of the past but have a place today.
The MTB was represented by the likes of Tor and Kumo.
For contrast look no further than Dromana based Trisled, it displayed a recumbent 'bullet" shaped machine and a fat-tyre single speed beach cruzer.
Also, on the work in progress was the Soyuz7 shopping /city bike.
The choice of many frame builders is Columbus tubing and this is available along with a huge range of frame building parts and carbon forks from Paul Hillbrick .
US builder Stoemper based in Oregon was the only overseas frame builder exhibiting and New Zealand Wheelworks displayed an array of product available from its Wellington facility.
The concept of a show focusing on hand built frames is relatively new and it's good that it enables this part of the industry to not get lost in the major Expo razzamatazz!
See you next year!
All images courtesy of Fyxo.
For more stunning Fyxo images of all the bikes at the show please visit http://www.handmadebicycleshow.cc/.