You’ll find various frame materials and riding intentions in this fourth and final gallery. From Bastion’s limited-edition Arch Angel to The Lost Workshop’s flawlessly simple creations, to a modern classic from Serk, and the incredibly skilled builds of HTech – there’s something for everyone with an inkling of inner bike geek.
Do you have a favourite from across the four galleries? Let us know in the comments!
Are you viewing on a mobile-sized screen? This gallery is best experienced on a bigger screen. If sticking with your phone, please do these builders a favour and turn your screen sideways.
Auren Bikes returned to the show, this time also offering demos on its new commuter e-bikes. Auren bikes aren’t made in Australia, but they do design full custom titanium frames which tend to find particular appeal amongst the tall crowd.
Shown here is a gravel bike with an interesting dual-crown rigid truss fork, a design that was made popular most recently by Jeff Jones (Jones Bicycles).Hayden Francis of HTech is always a talking point of HBSA. Based in Perth, Hayden’s preferred material is wood, and he combines this with carbon fibre to produce fully functional bikes with a unique ride quality. Of all the builders at the show, it’s Hayden’s work that impresses Darren Baum (Baum Cycles) the most.
Hayden showed his first hardtail mountain bike at the 2019 edition of the show, and so this first full suspension has been a long time coming. It replicates the dimensions and suspension layout of a Merida One-Forty trail bike.Hayden uses a number of different techniques to produce his bikes. As shown here, the two hollowed-out halves of the frame are machined to have an interlocking interface that is then bonded together. It’s simply mind-blowing when you consider the number of hours that would have gone into this creation.Just wow.Of course Hayden could have used all the removable hardware from the Merida One-Forty, but instead he chose to compression-mould his own carbon fibre rocker links. The bearing bores are CNC-machined into the carbon.More carbon is found where wood isn’t ideally suited. Hayden 3D-prints his own moulding cores (with HIPS plastic) that are used to wrap the carbon around. The part is then compressed and once set, the 3D-printed material is then dissolved out.
Hayden shared that the hardest part of this frame was creating the carbon rear end components (which include a floating linkage), along with getting the bearing dimension correct and square. The front end of the frame was ready for last year’s show, but it took a further year to get the back end functional.Hayden is starting to produce bikes that could reach more widespread appeal. That’s exactly the case for this lightweight, hollow-tubed road bike with carbon lugs. The goal was to build a bike that’s competitive with more traditional bicycle materials, but with the damping qualities and aesthetics that wood offers.The hollow wood tubes are made with a method similar to what we’ve seen previously with Lyrebird Cycles, where layers of wood veneer are wrapped around a mandrel in a method similar to wrapping carbon fibre. These tubes feature layers of reinforcing carbon fibre, with the main tubes of the bike including about 80% wood, while the smaller chainstay and seatstay tubes are closer to 50% wood. Hayden varies the thicknesses of the veneers and the number of layers based on the design requirements of each tube.All the carbon lugs are produced by Hayden using the same 3D-printed core method as covered above. The carbon lugs and wood tubes are bonded together with a good amount of material overlap.“So Close” is painted onto the chainstay. This is nod to Hayden’s goal of building a frame that weighs under one kilogram. As shown, this one ended up at 1,027 grams with hardware. So close indeed.Moulded thru-axle dropouts.Even the headset bearing seats are moulded (and then CNC-machined for tolerance) into the carbon. This is all super impressive, and even more so when you consider Hayden is in his mid-20s. The rate of progression here is astounding.The wood used is Brown Mallet, a variant of Eucalyptus native to HTech’s home state of Western Australia. With an incredibly high strength-to-weight ratio, this wood is commonly used in the handles of mallets.This frame was competed just in time for the show. Testing will follow.HTech.Dirk and Mike from Passchier flew across the pond to be at the show. Made in New Zealand, Passchier handlebars use a bamboo laminate construction that aim for (and achieve!) a huge amount of comfort-producing flex. The company offers various shapes of flat handlebars, and I can attest to them doing what they claim.As the first to market with a bicycle frame made with 3D-printed titanium lugs, Bastion Cycles is often one to draw a crowd. At this year’s show, the Melbourne-based manufacturer had a single bike on display – the limited edition Arch Angel. Bastion intends to produce 88 of these fully custom and eye-wateringly premium bicycles.The Arch Angel’s titanium lugs feature a unique wing-like pattern print. New for Bastion, these lugs feature a Cerakote (ceramic) finish, with eight colours to choose from.
Also note Bastion’s own cockpit and fork, something the company introduced in 2021. This is included as part of the Arch Angel’s premium build kit. Other items such as the matching CeramicSpeed 3D-printed titanium OSPW derailleur cage and Lightweight wheels are also part of the specification, while customers can choose between the three main top-tier groupsets and what saddle they’d like Busyman to create the leather covering for.With two Renishaw 3D printers buzzing around the clock, Bastion Cycles produces everything in-house. Yes, even the carbon fibre tube production is handled under the same roof.Last year, Bastion Cycles teased the release of its own 3D-printed titanium cranks with matching SRM spider. Of course, the Arch Angel features these.Handmade, custom, and coffee – the perfect fit for this bike show. Specht is a Melbourne-based company that has reached global notoriety for its customised coffee machines. They were an unexpected surprise exhibitor at the 2022 edition of the show, and from that did a handful of collaborations with a few local bicycle makers.
This custom-made Specht x Bastion coffee machine isn’t included with the bike, but it sure is lovely.Specht got its start with wooden accessories for making the perfect brew. The company still offers such products today.Specht had a number of incredible customised La Marzocco machines on display. I still can’t figure out where the Nespresso pods go in this one.Shannon Bufton of Serk was at the show with a handful of custom titanium builds. Serk Cycling was founded in Beijing, China as a cycling advocacy and event coordinator business, and in 2017 expanded into a range of custom titanium bicycles.
Shown here is fresh build for a Beijing-based customer that wanted a modern-vintage bike. That is, a bike with a vintage aesthetic but the comfort, fit, weight, and lower-gearing of a modern bike.The build involves a number of Australian makers. Serk commissioned Melbourne-based CycloRetro to assist with adding the vintage flare to many of the components. CycloRetro are specialists in polished and custom-pantographed components, as visible across this build.The owner of this bike stands at about 160 cm tall, and Serk sought to keep pleasing visual proportions of the bike. Part of that meant Campagnolo cranks wouldn’t do, and so Appleman provided 155 mm-length crank arms. The use of these shorter cranks allowed Serk to avoid toe overlap on the shortened-reach frame.Shannon shared that he lost sleep over the sourcing of many of the components on this bike. For example, that Campagnolo Super Record 11-speed cassette isn’t an easy thing to find these days!A Specialized Power Pro Elaston with Mimic saddle hides beneath the leather covering by Melbourne-based Busyman.The bar-end plugs are engraved with the GPS coordinates of central Beijing.More polishing-to-match with the Chris King headset.The customer’s initials are engraved into many pieces of the bike.That’s a wrap on the 2023 Handmade Bicycle Show Australia. The builders are back in their respective workshops creating new masterpieces and planning what to showcase in a year from now. Escape Collective will be there when the time comes.