Melbourne Whip Issue #1
Melbourne Whip is about the people and bicycles of Melbourne. There’s a passion behind them, whether you’re drawn to pure functionality, design, or a combo of both. Some hard work goes into them to makes them our own. Melbourne Whip was born from a love of bicycles. They excite us, and we’re thrilled to be able to capture the growing community. This magazine is our way of showing off what we’re proud of. Melbourne Whip is a work of love and we hope you enjoy it, Thank you for supporting us! Kip Jordan Editor
Simon / Steel
Dean / Cannondale
Sara / Sup
Adam / Northcote
Hunter Bros Cycling
Cam Smith / Merckx
Dave / Parallax
Faith / Madison
Leeana / Gazelle
Atticus / Repco Vertex
Simon’s Italian Steel Frames A lot of people have trouble with pronouncing this, but it’s “Che-och” (Ciöcc). Apparently it means ‘poker-face’ and was Giovanni Pelizzoli’s nickname [Pelizzoli was a professional cyclist and the brand’s creator]. In keeping with that idea, the logo for Ciöcc is the four Aces. I was seeing a girl once who had a beautiful Ciöcc and I guess I wanted one of my own. When this came up, and after doing a little bit of research, I found out Pellizoli had done frames for the Polish cycling team. This particular frame was in Poland so I thought it might be one of theirs. The Shamal rims were from eBay; lots of watching, waiting, bidding and losing. You can end up getting desperate sometimes, but luckily I managed to get the Shamals at the price I was willing to pay. The only thing was, they were 8-speed and I had a 9-speed groupset I was wanting to put on it. My Dad was a marine engineer so he machined the freehub. In the end, all it took was a washer to change the freehub over. Now, it can run an 11-speed cassette if needed.
The amount of people that have wanted to buy the Shamals! The Faustin is actually a Contini frame. Contini was another Italian rider. My Dad had bought me an old Malvern Star I used as a commuter, but I wanted something that matched the aesthetic of where I was now at with cycling. This came up on eBay - I’d never seen a frame that had the exposed Cinelli lugs and a time-trial aerodynamic seat collar. The BB shell is also lugged, and there was just something about it that screamed out at me. When I first got this bike all set up it was fixed gear and I was desperate to ride it. On the second day of having it I actually had a pretty bad crash and broke my wrist. I thought to myself, “Never again”. I’d ridden track before, but it was just one of those stupid accidents. I went to skid, and instead I was bucked over the handlebars. I must have done a nose-wheelie for a couple of metres before actually going over. Two days after getting the Faustin I was in hospital with plaster on my hand and wrist.
Finally the Tommasini: my first steel frame. This is the bike I will never part with, it’s my pride and joy. The funny thing was that even though this was my first foray into building up my own bike, in the end I actually had to take it in to get Dan Shifter to finish it for me. I like steel frames. To me there’s just something pure about them. The golden era was all steel there’s a longevity to it. Nowadays, there’s a lot of carbon fibre, but in the end it’s just a plastic bike with a lifespan.
Dean’s CAAD9 The frame came about whilst searching the internet for something different to replace my trusty Giant. Having cracked a carbon frame in the past, I was looking at alloy frames simply for the durability and the CAAD was high on my list. When one of the last made in USA CAAD9’s was listed, I jumped on it without hesitation - before I could even justify it. These particular frames don’t come up very often, so I was definitely stoked with the purchase. I’ve always been a fan of SRAM groupsets. They just work for me and I feel more comfortable on them. It also doesn’t hurt that they make some fine-looking gear. My initial plan with this build was to transfer my previous generation SRAM groupset from my Giant over to this one, but I decided that I may as well use the opportunity to upgrade. After finding myself in the hills all too often and screaming for more gears, I made the switch to compacts and a 32 cassette and it’s been the single best bike upgrade I’ve ever done. I can literally climb up walls with this gear range, and you know what they say, “spinning is winning”.
I first spotted the turquoise Chris King Hubs whilst browsing some of the builds at ShifterBikes and the colour just popped. Iâ€™ve always been a little obsessive when it comes to the small details on bikes that often get overlooked and I knew that as soon as I saw this colour it would be the defining feature of this build. Also, my previous bikes were blue so I wanted to maintain that aspect in this build. I went down the hand-built wheel path due to breaking one too many spokes in the past and for the ability to customize them according to my riding style. Over the past few years Iâ€™ve gone through numerous bikes to find out exactly what I wanted out of a road bike. I found myself enjoying long days in the saddle both on and off-road, so comfort and durability were more important to me than just speed. The CAAD9 ticked all those boxes and more.
I ride most days commuting to and from work. It’s a 40km round trip which meanders along the Maribyrnong and Yarra trails so it’s the perfect way to start the day. I also enjoy the weekly suffer fest served up by the Hells500 #RFWYA crew and the post-ride banter. On most weekends I meet up with a few mates and we do our favourite loops around town, including Mt Pleasant and out to the Dandenongs. My most recent riding experience was out in the Adelaide Hills for the Tour Down Under, it was amazing to see how close the hills were in proximity to the city. Over the week, we climbed picturesque hills and traversed through forests, wineries, farms and all of the bakeries. It was truly cycling heaven and I highly recommend anyone who enjoys hills to get out there. I love the mateship and camaraderie of cycling; you just can’t say that about driving a car. I feel that you can really get to know someone just by riding with them and watching how they ride. In the four short years of cycling I’ve met some of the most genuinely awesome people and I hope to meet many more! I’ve recently joined a little project with a few mates called the Admiral Cycling Collective. It’s come at a time where cycling in Melbourne is booming and we’re hoping to capture this, whether you ride road, CX, fixed or anything in between. My cycling goal is to keep on riding and ride more than I did the previous year. I also have plans to make a return to racing cyclocross because it’s a lot of fun!
sara’s sup When I first moved to Melbourne, I’d never ridden more than 20 kilometres in one go. I quickly bought an entry-level track bike and set it up for street use, which suited my needs at the time.I rode the poor thing into the ground, using it to explore around Melbourne. As soon as I started working as a bike courier, I knew I’d be needing something a little more reliable. I was first introduced to courier work after following a friend around a day on the job. One afternoon, they got quite busy and I ended up helping out by taking a few jobs. From there, I started filling in for people on their days off. Now I’m properly part of the Cargone Couriers team, Melbourne’s only strictly bike courier company. I absolutely love my job, my workmates; I get excited to go to work. The courier scene here is great even though we all work for different companies. Most of us hang out when it’s quiet and we’ll go for beers after work. The whole MDMA (Melbourne District Messenger Association) crew have all been super welcoming.
This is the first bike I ever built up from scratch so I gathered a lot of advice from friends. I lucked out on the frame, finding a 42cm Surly Crosscheck on clearance. With me being so small, many of the frames I was interested aren’t made in my size, so I took what I could get. Honestly though, I’m not that in love with the frame, but the rest of the bike slays! The moment I saw the limited edition Chris King sour green apple colourway I was in love and knew I needed it. Paul hubs, H Plus Son rims, loud White Industries freewheel. I bought the Cetma front rack off of a retired courier and soon learnt that I was its fourth owner in eight years. This bike has proven to be a reliable workhorse. It handles the daily grind, carries slabs for post-work drinks, hits the trails and hauls simple camping gear for overnighters. There’s not much that it can’t do. After I bought it, I painstakingly sat with a razor to the frame, carefully scraping off just enough of the decals to rename my bike from ‘Surly’ to ‘Sup’. I really liked the clean look of an all-black frame I struggle not to cover everything I own in stickers. I decided that was a good use for the fenders, aside from keeping my butt dry. I’m really looking forward to truly putting it to the test at Easter for t the Cycle Messenger World Championships in Melbourne on April 2nd - 6th. Couriers and bike enthusiasts from all over the world will be in town and I’m excited to test my skills to see how I stack up. When it came to building up my bike, my courier skills were put to the test. I took everything with me to build up my bike at my friend’s shop; a backpack full of beer and bike parts, the rims around my body and the frame strapped to the outside of my bag… that was good fun!
Adam’s Northcote I was at Ceres when I saw the frame, fork, stem and handlebars hanging in the back corner, looking pretty dusty. I made some enquiries about buying it. Apparently, it’d been there so long that they didn’t really know it was there and in the end, I got my hands on it for pretty cheap. It was made locally by a framebuilder called W.A. Bolwell of the Northcote Cycling Club. He was the President back in the ‘50s. He built it on High St, presumably for a racer, whose name is on the top tube. Unfortunately, you can’t tell what the name is because of the wear. I’d never get it repainted - it was all done by hand and the detail is amazing. I’ve tried to keep most of the original components I found with the frame. It was missing quite a few parts, but it’s stayed a vintage style with what I’ve replaced it with. The original bottom bracket failed catastrophically and I replaced it with a Phil Wood bottom bracket which should now last. There’s the chainring that could have been an item on it when it was built. I had the headset pieces, the stem, the bars all re-chromed. It came up exactly how I wanted it.
I went to a place in Heidelberg called Sterling Plating, they have a good reputation and the quality of work was unbelievable. It took four weeks which was a surprise, but I’ve waited longer for bike parts in the mail. Even though I was itching for it, it was definitely worth the wait. The wheels were built by Will at Jetnikoff, with H Plusson rims and Grand Cru hubs; he did a great job on those. There’s the Bell saddle, which is new old stock made in Australia sometime in the ‘60s. As far as I’m aware, Bell were the Australian equivalent of Brooks. The saddle gets a lot of attention, I’ve had people offer to buy it. Twice, I’ve been riding around and people have even wanted to buy the whole bike.
The Northcote came out looking really clean; I wanted to keep some of itâ€™s essence, the way it was when I found it. I also play bike polo. A few weekends ago, I was down playing in Tasmania. There were sixteen teams from around Australia, it was good fun. Editorâ€™s Note: Northcote Cycles was once located at 102 High Street. This is almost directly across from Westgarth Cinema. The space is now occupied by Base Camp, an Indian restaurant which serves great food.
Hunter Bros James Hunter: After spending a long time in the men’s fashion industry and had an idea to begin designing cycling apparel. I’ve always had a thing about florals and all-over patterns, like a Liberty print, so we combined those elements together. I had a few ideas for the design and had wanted to include what I was doing with my music. Hal said, “Yeah, it all sounds good”- but that it wasn’t actually that cool. He had a much better idea, was starting to really build up his artwork and was getting more of a profile in that area. We took little motifs from his art and started working with a couple other designers to come up with the idea of an allover pattern. We spoke with an old friend who gave us the insight to take the design a whole lot further. He loved our gear, but felt it needed more. That was the turning point for when it all really came together. We met with the guys at Small Studio; Alex and Paul. Our concepts had been fleshed out, but after sitting down with them we generated the all-over pattern. Alex did a whole lot of work around graphics, font and type for us. It wasn’t something we had experience in so we wanted to work with someone who had and from the start Alex had a really strong point of view in that area. The ‘Geo Flower’ kit was the first we designed.
Since day one, the feedback has been fantastic. When we rode Beach Road, middle-aged guys kept wandering up saying to us asking, “Where’d you get that kit?” Hal Hunter: I’m an apprentice tattoo artist at Wakefield Tattoo in Hawthorn three days a week and I work on Hunter Bros for the rest of the time. I do a few tattoos and mostly painting, which is what I was working on before we established Hunter Bros. I bought the hillman from The Spokesman in Preston. I paid around $300 for it which came with the frame and the forks. The rest of the parts were sourced from Gumtree. The forks eventually broke, but we got a replacement at Saint Cloud. We ride it around the Teardrop in Kew, and have been up to Tawonga Gap with it once. The Giant is a hand-me down to my Dad. It’s the bike he recently took up to Bright over the holiday period. The Colossi is Ray’s, but it was a gift from me. It’s got full Thompson: stem, seatpost... seatpost clamp. Whittling away at those grams. I bring the bikes into the Hunter family and hand them down once I’m done with them.
cAM’S mERCKX I bought the frame online from Belgium at about 3am in the morning. I reckon I bought it within twenty seconds of seeing it. It then sat on a shelf for about a year, originally I was going to leave it as something to just look at. The previous seller didn’t tell me much about the frame, but the story was that the previous owner, rode it extensively. You can see corrosion on the bike where his knees were rubbing the tubes and where his hands were changing gears. On the top tube, you can see the corrosion from his sweat dripping as he was riding. The 50th anniversary Campagnolo groupset came up and I thought, “Well now it deserves to be built”. While I do some maintenance myself, anything that requires talent I get Shifterbikes to do. Dan built this one for me, he put so much effort into it; spending months sourcing the right bits. The groupset works great after a service. I’ve only ridden it a couple times since it was finished it, but it’s beautiful. I can do a 60 kilometre loop averaging 30 kilometres an hour on an old heavy steel frame.
I wouldn’t get it restored unless I could get it done by Eddy Merckx. It shows that it’s been loved anyway. Walking around with it I get a lot of looks, very few people would have seen one of these and even fewer realise the rarity. This is the only one I’ve ever seen apart from in the Eddy Merckx brochure from ‘81, where it was a centrepiece. There were gold Colnagos and gold De Rosas back then, but I haven’t seen a photo of another gold Merckx. There might only be a handful. My collection is getting a bit out of control. All up I have a bit over thirty. I’m lucky in that we’re doing renovations at the moment, so I’ve got the bottom half of the house to store them. I’m actually building a basement as well, so we can fit them all in. I’ve always been into cycling - I go through phases with it, like everyone I suppose. In the last three to four years I’ve been doing a fair bit of road riding. I don’t have a particular favorite spot, just anything around Melbourne really; we’re lucky with the amount of rides we have around. I ride earlier than anyone else I know, leaving my place at 4:10am to meet a friend. We get to Richmond station at 4:40am, and we’ll normally go down to Mordialloc and back, arriving at a cafe by 6.15am. I work from home and have three kids as well. After doing 50 or 60 kilometres in the morning, I get home and wake them up to start their days.
Dave’s` Parallax The Cinelli is named ‘Chelsea’. Your bikes have got to have a name in my opinion. The Cinelli is more of a weekend bike. I’ve got a Hillbrick as my daily driver, but it depends on how I’m feeling. I just love track bikes. I got into fixies later than most and I’m doing my best to bring this community back to life. I’m working with some friends over at the ‘Fixed Gear Melbourne’ Facebook page and @fxdgrmlbrn on Instagram. I got into fixed gear riding back in Brisbane, it was 2012 and the fixed gear scene was kind of dying after it took off in 2010. I met some guys and girls who ride with #becausefixie, which is a social group ride that happens in Brisbane every Sunday night. They have a Tumblr, but that’s about it. I bought a cheap Reid Harrier and went on my first fixed gear ride. It was terrifying, but exhilarating at the same time.
I moved to Melbourne about this time last year. It didnâ€™t take long before I decided to upgrade, so I built a Leader Kagero. Mainly because they look sweet and lo proâ€™s were all the rage. I rode that thing for about six months before deciding to go all out. I sold the Kagero to build up something better. I was originally going to build up a Vigorelli but the Parallax had just been released. I did my research on the geometry of the frames and it sounded perfect. Spent about four months saving and buying parts. It was put together by Nick at Saint Cloud, who had built my Kagero the previous year. The spec sheet was drool-worthy and the ride was no exception. I throw myself into what I love. Before bikes it was cars, but bikes are relatively cheaper and better for the environment and my health. The Parallax is now my weekend masher.
Faith’s Madison I was riding a 1975 Malvern Star ‘All Bright’ which I really liked, but I started wanting something a bit different, a bit special. I went to my local bike shop, Commuter Cycles, and talked to Hugh. Hugh showed me this frame and straight away we were saying to each other, ‘We could do this and we could do that...’ We started simple, but it grew with the addition of parts, like the porteur rack. There’s lovely wiring on the inside of the frame, and because I don’t like cluttered handlebars, instead of the Shimano shifter they found a simpler one, made in the States. I wanted a coaster brake for the Madison. In Amsterdam, I grew so fond of them. I remember when my son would be sitting in the front and his dummy would fall out, I’d throw it back in while trying to stop in the snow. The coaster was so practical; especially when you’ve got kids. You’ve got to guide them, feed them on the way to swimming, or simply indicate to cyclists and drivers. Hugh was a bit perturbed by having to do that wheel build (mechanics don’t like them), he didn’t have the happiest look on his face.
Treadlie is the last in a long line of completely unrelated careers. When I came back from Amsterdam and reintroduced myself to riding in Melbourne, I felt really disappointed. Overseas, I’d grown used to the ease of putting a kid on a bike and riding as transport. In Melbourne, I met people who were into cycling but not the transport side of it. I started a blog about my frustrations over it. A friend who knew about my writing mentioned there was a search for an editor of a cycling magazine. I went and met the publisher and his wife. Initially, I was worried it’d be another naff Australian magazine. I wanted it to look beautiful and be about normal people. I learnt that they were the same publishers as Green Magazine, one of my favourites. Green made sustainable architecture look beautiful, not just pragmatic. In the end it was the perfect fit. I’ve now been editor of Treadlie since it first started, back in 2011. Cycling has been something I’ve always loved: it wasn’t so much about getting into cycling, as it was about never stopping. I think I was about five, when I went out in the backyard and Dad was in the garage painting a bike. I don’t know how, but I knew it was for me. It was either for my birthday or Christmas. He bought it second-hand and painted it with housepaint. He took me out in the street and taught me how to ride. I didn’t fall off when I was learning as a child and even now I never fall! Sticking at cycling has always easy living in inner Melbourne, and later in Amsterdam. I never ended up getting my licence, I’ve ridden everywhere. Cycling isn’t something I’ve felt was a conscious choice: it was just easy and fun.
Leeana’s Cruiser I found this bike and I had to have it. We’d just spent about four or five weeks on a holiday in Europe and I had seen all these amazing bikes in Paris, Berlin and London. When we came back, I decided that I just had to have a beautiful new bike. And as soon as I got her - I stopped catching the tram; I stopped catching public transport and never looked back. She is my freedom machine inspired by Europe. I’ve taken this bike to and from Frankston a couple times. She’s very heavy, close to 25kg, maybe even more. This is the bike that transitioned me into my road riding, which started after the husband left me. I actually bought a bike to try and win him back. He was into cycling and I had started to get more into it because of that. I wasn’t into lycra, but I bought a fast bike, a Specialized Secteur, and got into wearing it. We had another go at being together, which didn’t work out; but the road bike was something that came out of that.
After a while I started riding with a crew. They said I had powerful legs and suggested I race. I couldn’t with my disc brakes on the Secteur but Andrew from 99 Bikes said he’d like to get me on a carbon bike, so he set me up with a Merida Reacto 907. It was a weapon when I started racing. I won a few and became completely immersed in the world of cycling the fashion, the culture; now I’m even working in a bike shop. It’s so easy to fall into, especially in Melbourne. Within eight months of having a road bike I’d done an Everest. The trickle-down effect I’ve seen from fashion trends into cycling has been so interesting. With my involvement in the fashion scene: teaching textiles and knowing about trend-forecasting, I see how those elements make their way into it. I’m into looking at the influences that subcultures work with, spring from or are informed by. That’s what I’m really enjoying about the cycling scene right now, seeing what’s happening in the wider scope. The Everesting, the hour records; all these massive epic events the general public are just beginning to catch onto.
Atticus’ Repco I found the frame window shopping on eBay. The pursuit frames I saw were $1500 and over, but I came across this Repco Vertex TT from Brisbane and it was absolute bargain. I really like Repco bikes of that era, they’re a bond between Japanese and Australian cycling before the company went under and resurfaced as a relatively cheap brand. Back then, the Vertex frames were highly sought after and there were only a limited amount of them produced. I’ve only seen two others in the wild - a road and a pursuit frame. I used to ride a BMX with my good friend in primary school. He was in a very bike-involved family who had heaps of bikes. We would go into their shed and the ceiling was lined with bikes; you could choose which one you wanted to take out that day. My friend’s brother was quite a successful racer in Australia at the time, so I’d go along to competitions with them and we’d ride the bikes around. I never took cycling too seriously until I visited a friend in Osaka and went to a bike store called Gira Gira Chariya. I hung out with the guys there and found that style of cycling appealing; the street culture element, people taking track bikes and modifying them to their own taste. It was also about the functionality of it, I’d always wanted to work on cars but it was too expensive to get into it, bikes were a good option and accessible mechanically.
As soon as I got back from the trip, I bought an old Shogun frame and turned it into a single speed. Later, I built up a fixed gear and have now been working on this bike for about two years, slowly collecting pieces. It was initially going to be fixed gear but I thought it would be interesting to do a geared bike. I hadn’t done that yet and I wanted to rise to the challenge of learning a new skillset. On a tangent one day, I was looking at groupsets in the same era as the frame, and made the year I was born. I thought it’d be appropriate to try gather a full groupset from that period. I came across the Shimano 600 Ultegra, made from ‘87 to ’92, and thought it was perfect. Functionally it’s outdated, but I’m happy for it to be that way. I have some friends that drive old cars because they like the style, and while they could upgrade to make it more functional, it’s a choice of theirs to keep it the way it is. If I wanted pure functionality, I’d buy a different bike to fit that. I love the appeal of the late 80s to early 90s ‘new vintage’ style. This bike is a bit of a mix between a glory bike and something I like to ride around often. I take it on the longer rides I can’t do with a single speed or fixed gear. At the same time, it’s very special to me and I like the exclusivity of only taking it out every now and again. The fact that I’ve only ever seen two other pursuit frames being ridden on the street adds to that. Usually my bikes don’t get any attention, but the first time I rode this people were turning their heads; it’s super shiny with a vibrant colour scheme.
We hope youâ€™ve enjoyed Melbourne Whip Issue #1. There are still plenty of stories to be told, so keep your eyes peeled for Issue #2!
A big thank you to all our contributors, Oliver and Jarrad of MAAP, Van of Creux, the folks at Temple Brewery, Will Jetnikoff, Nick at Saint Cloud and Brad at Tekin, who has inspired me greatly. Last but not least, Suzy for her time, patience and writing skills; Caz and Andy for their time, support and stunning photography. The best part of Melbourne Whip is having the opportunity to meet a whole range of wonderful, energetic and interesting Melburnians. Weâ€™re glad to be part of the community as it continues to grow. Check out more snaps at melbournewhip.com and follow us on Instagram for updates @melbournewhip
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