More Than Just Handmade Bikes at HBSA 2021

Melbourne, Victoria

As the name suggests, the stars of the Handmade Bicycle Show Australia (HBSA) are the frame builders who craft works of art that people can ride every day.

But a growing contingent of other exhibitors also take the opportunity to show their wares to a keen public audience, sprinkled with quite a few bicycle shop owners and other bike industry members.

After two cancelled attempts to run the show during 2020, 7th– 9th May 2021 saw first event in two years. There was clearly strong demand because visitor numbers exceeded the 2019 record. They saw a wide range of beautifully made and presented custom bikes and equipment plus parts and accessories from many supporting exhibitors.

It was the first time the HBSA has been held at the Seaworks museum in Williamstown. This venue is significantly larger than the previous historic Melbourne Meat Markets venue, so the show has scope for expansion in future years.

Nathan Lorkin Co-Founder and Director of HBSA reported, “We had close to 2,500 attendees, which was awesome. Our inaugural year in 2018 had 1,534. Our second year in 2019 had 1,632. We’re looking forward to a successful fourth edition in 2022 on 21st to 23rd May.

“I had probably a dozen and a half frame builders from overseas – North America and Europe saying, ‘Beyond covid, we’ll be there!’ In 2019 we had eight internationals, who couldn’t join us this year due to covid, but we know we could easily double if not treble the number of internationals and the vast majority of our local builders are welcoming that. They say, ‘Bring it on. Let’s showcase the craft.’ It’s a case of a rising tide lifting all boats.”

Here’s a photo essay summary of some of the craftspeople and their products on display this year.

Photo Gallery

Adrian Olasau
Adrian Olasau is a master cabinet maker who usually makes and sells furniture such as the stool upon which he’s sitting. But he also makes these elegant bike racks, for ‘money is no object – bicycle as artwork’ clients. The handmade racks are made from laminated timber which is glued using the same structural epoxy that’s used for laminated timber beams in house construction. Sold in American Oak, American Walnut and locally sourced Otway Blackwood. The racks retail for $692 each.
Will Young and Hannah Liddell
At two metres tall, Will Young, pictured with his partner Hannah Liddell, had trouble finding a bike that fitted him perfectly so started designing his own and founded Auren Bikes. The bike pictured here is not Will’s personal bike but another tall customer’s.
Bastion Bike
This Bastion Superleggra costs $5,000 per kilogram: that is $30,000 for a 6.0 kg road bike. The frame and fork costs $12,000. Clearly there’s a strong market for super-high end custom bikes. Bastion are currently adding for more to their team making a total of 11. The company was founded by some automotive engineers whose jobs disappeared when Australia’s car manufacturing industry closed down.
Curve Cycling
This all-rounder from Curve Cycling certainly has a retro Americana automotive vibe.
Darcy Ellerm-Norton and Allan Iacuone
Darcy Ellerm Norton (left) is Rapha’s Head of Australia and New Zealand, pictured here with former national champion in both road and cyclocross, Alan Iacuone. As well as selling online, Rapha is sold via several bicycle dealers across major cities. Rapha was purchased in 2017 by Steuart and Tom Walton, grandsons of Wallmart founder Sam Walton and part of the world’s richest family. In February 2021 the Rapha Foundation donated US$150,000 (A$194,000) to Ride Nation, AusCycling’s participation initiative.
Evan Howard
Evan Howard, founder of Terra Rosa Gear started hand making outdoor equipment and now employs a small team in Melbourne’s northern suburbs who make a wide range of products including top tube bags, sandbag pairs and frame bags. He can also make custom designs for order of 10 or more.
Johann Odou and Sam Knight
Sam Knight (right), pictured with Johann Odou (left), is the founder of Jigsaw Jumps. He invented this system during covid lockdown as a way that kids in particular could get out and have some fun. The interlocking pieces fit into three sizes of backpack, one of which Sam is holding that can be carried to any site. Jigsaw Jumps is still in product development but Sam hopes to be able to sell them both direct and via dealers.
Darryl Llewellyn McCulloch
Darryl Llewellyn McCulloch invested about 300 hours into making this frame which sell for around $15,000 (for the frame, fork and stem).
Llewellyn Stem
This close up gives you some idea of the painstaking hand work involved. The lugs are not chromed, but hand-polished stainless steel.
HBSA Crowd 2021
This was part of the crowd on opening night of the HBSA 2021. Entry is more expensive on opening night, but with the bonus of a free beer for every attendee.
Paul Hillbrick
Paul Hillbrick supplies many of the handmade bicycle builders with their tubesets forks, frame fittings and tools they need to make their frames. A veteran frame builder himself, Paul has recently started building again after spending years focused upon his busy wholesale business.
Tim Ottaway and Marie Penny
Tim Ottaway and partner Marie Penny, inventors of Project Flock a tail light that partly shines onto the rider’s legs rather than solely to the rear. They say the moving legs ‘biomotion’ are seen up to 5.5 times sooner by approaching motorists. The sample here is a prototype. They’re looking to crowdfund their first production run.
Stephen Hodge and Tim Dawson
We Ride Australia’s Stephen Hodge (left) with Shimano Australia’s Tim Dawson.
Warwick Edgington and Mike Baddeley
Kiwis Warwick Edgington and Mike Baddeley of Passchier took advantage of the travel bubble to fly across ‘the ditch’ and show off their handmade bamboo handlebar collection.
Secure inside visitor bike parking is a popular feature of the HBSA.

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