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Aussie tri and bike brands, deceased and current.


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On the weekend I saw an ad for a "new old stock" Headway helmet and also someone selling a Teschner and some Velocity rims. 

It got me thinking of all the Aussie brands that have come and gone over the years.  I had a headway helmet back in the day, pretty sure  Welchy wore an Airflow to his Kona win,  there was a time, in the steel tube days, when most bike shops could hook you up with a custom frame from a multitude of local frame builders. My first road bike was a Europa, made in Sydney but Bundy and Hopkins were also making frames just a short drive from my place and you could talk to the guy that was building your bike. 

Then when aluminium became the material of choice there were aero Tri frames available stock or custom from a few local manufacturers, including guys like Peter Teschner who was building road and Tri frames for world champions and pro tour teams.  There was also Evolution and Curloo as well. 

It looks like Velocity is still going but has decamped to the US, these wheels were a staple of the Aussie market for many years with their Aerohead rims. 

Cannibal is one bucking the trend and still going strong despite some pretty fierce competition. 

So what brands do you remember? Any still going locally? 

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  • roxii changed the title to Aussie tri and bike brands, deceased and current.

My first real race bike was an Eric Hendren. It was built by Darrell McCulloch at Hoffy cycles. 38 years later & Darrell is still making steel frames under the Llewellyn name.

I wore Erica Bates Tri gear from the Gold Coast. She sponsored a few such as Fidler & Croft.

My Dad made my helmet, by taking a mould off a fibreglass aero helmet & making one in Carbon Fibre. In those days there was no requirement for a standards sticker. :) He also made my wheel covers.

 

Other local bikes on the Qld tri scene were Beretto. Brett Richards now makes Penny Farthings, and even teaches classes at Tafe on building Penny Farthings.

Kenevans was another big name in the 80's, building "funny bikes" for the triathlon market. He's also still building frames down in Vic.

 

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52 minutes ago, Bored@work said:

Hey @Roxii is the Europa brand still going?

I have one sitting in my garage that I want to get done up.

There is still a shop in Kensington, Sydney that bears the name, but not sure what level of bike shop it is these days. 

It was the Abeni family that ran the shop originally, early bikes used to wear the Abeni name before the Europa name came to be. 

Not sure if anyone is still building them. 

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1 hour ago, Peter said:

This once rumored great club seems to have died off.

Nothing happening in the last 2 years it seems.

http://eastcoastcycos.com.au/news/

 

Actually that looks like the site has been recently revamped as it looked unused a few months ago when I checked it.. no new content but maybe he is refreshing and going on a membership drive

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3 hours ago, roxii said:

 My first road bike was a Europa, made in Sydney .... 

Not quite. John Abeni imported 'generic' frames from a big Italian factory called Technotrat. He then stickered them as either Europas or Abenis.

There were only a handful of Sydney framebuilders ... Jim Bundy, Geoff Scott, Paul Blom, Ron Bates, Ron Bismire ...as well as selling frames under their own names, they sold their frames unbranded to all the Sydney shops. My dad had a Durban from Endeavour cycles Sutherland, I think it was built by Blom. I own a Lennie Rogers which is probably built by Bundy,  a Laurie Rogers which is an imported generic Japanese frame, and a Blackman which was built by Ken Evans. Ken Evans like the other builders sold bikes under his own name, those ones have pantographing on them. The ones he built for Blackman and everyone else dont have that. In addition there were thousands of frames imported into Australia by bike shops from the Japanese firms, these frames usually start with serial number M for Miki or N for unknown Japanese builders.

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2 hours ago, Bored@work said:

Hey @Roxii is the Europa brand still going?

I have one sitting in my garage that I want to get done up.

You can have it repainted and decals are available at Cyclomondo. Youre looking at $200 for paint and $60 for decals. Then maybe a nice Shimano 6400 groupset which are still plentiful and cheap.

Bear in mind that Europa are just a generic frame and have little value on the open market where the interest is in the hand made stuff from Australia or Italy. That said they were always a decent bike and it it has sentimental value to you, why not restore it and hang on to it.

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1 hour ago, Derny Driver said:

You can have it repainted and decals are available at Cyclomondo. Youre looking at $200 for paint and $60 for decals. Then maybe a nice Shimano 6400 groupset which are still plentiful and cheap.

Bear in mind that Europa are just a generic frame and have little value on the open market where the interest is in the hand made stuff from Australia or Italy. That said they were always a decent bike and it it has sentimental value to you, why not restore it and hang on to it.

It only holds sentimental value. It was my Grandads last race bike. 
 

Not the bike I have but this is a cool old school photo of him. 

4BB90031-8A35-4139-99DD-8225B6571B72.jpeg

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8 hours ago, roxii said:

There is still a shop in Kensington, Sydney that bears the name, but not sure what level of bike shop it is these days. 

It was the Abeni family that ran the shop originally, early bikes used to wear the Abeni name before the Europa name came to be. 

Not sure if anyone is still building them. 

My Europa bike from the Liverpool shop...loved it...early 90s

Same bike....just got pimped.....then stolen 🤬

FB_IMG_1517470784119.jpg

FB_IMG_1581328183369.jpg

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I still have my Peak, although it seems to have shrunk several sizes. it is sleeveless with zippers from the ankle to armpit on each side just pull both zippers up at once and it falls off at your ankles, don't know why the idea never caught on.

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I still have one of the custom outfits I got EB to make up. Flouro yellow sluggos with the sponsor on the back, and a cropped singlet top, short at the front, extended to fit a pocket like a bike jersey at the back & mesh sides. It was really cool & practical for IM. Then rip it off & a short mesh singlet top for the run. 

I also have a late 80's Piping Hot wetsuit that I was still wearing until about 3 years ago when Roxii sent me up his hand me down. :) 

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My wavelength transformer is alive and well, use it for club races, just two weeks ago. First outing in it was Coffs Harbour tri in 1990. Also had a Headway helmet, the 701 and then a Headway aero (702?) with the visor that velcroed on. Had plenty of Hot Designs clothing and Cannibal and still have Velocity rims (Deep V) on my '96 Cannondale Caad 3 roadie.

A great thread reliving all the gear from the 90's.

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I rode the bike with the Fly disc at the Jackie Fairweather race a couple of months ago, got a few looks, was only pased twice and managed to win my age, didn’t feel like I was too disadvantaged using it

8C0CCD60-3F40-40BE-9946-1E0EC9BAA024.jpeg

Edited by batman
Forgot photo
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16 minutes ago, bert40 said:

Also had a Headway helmet, the 701 and then a Headway aero (702?) with the visor that velcroed on.

I had a flouro yellow 701 with the Velcro visor. I had a black airflo, which was the aero one.

What about the Cannibal sleeveless jerseys. Gee didn’t they send roadies into a tizzy. Until Cippolini wore one. 

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1 hour ago, roxii said:

Oh remember the helmets that headway and others made that was just styrofoam and you put a Lycra/ mesh sock thingy over it as the colour. 

That's what I'm wearing in the pic with my Hot Designs kit, supposedly the lycra cover also held the styrofoam in place in the event of a crash haha

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Pretty sure I still had my old Headway somewhere. A little bit battered as my boys used it for a few years when they were learning to ride, so I think got thrown on the ground a few times. Might try it at a club tri for a retro day. No sign of the visor that velcroid to the front though. Dont have any of my Hot Designs fluoro stuff anymore unfortunately.

Helmet 1.jpg

Helmet 2.jpg

Edited by bert40
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Guest Jim Shortz

Talking of those headway helmets... 

 

My mate at high school had one and a wicked set of Scott Tri bars on his bike. I was so envious of him. This was back in 1994-1995 so not "that" old school compared to some. 

 

 

Edit- this reminiscing gets my juices flowing. Thanks @roxii

Edited by Jim Shortz
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Not an Aussie brand but here is a tri watch circa 1991 or 92

it was clunky as all hell to use, you had to input the estimated times for your splits beforehand. Somehow it worked ok, and it was pretty much all you could get back then. 

How’s the colours? Went perfectly with my sluggos. 

IMG_0695.jpg

 

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Wavelength Transformer wetsuit and Headway helmet and Hot Designs tri suit at '92 Forster IM. Wetsuit still in use for club triathlons and bike (Cannondale 3.0 Series Criterium frame) and ZIPP 440 wheels still current Tri bike. Have upgraded from the Ultegra 7 speed to (drum roll!!), Dura-Ace 9 speed 😀. I wouldn't of thought bike and wetsuit would be still part of the scene 28 years later. I've a long sleeve wettie but am finding the sleeveless bit more comfortable, so it's my main one, except for the few winter months in the river. 

Like the tri watch Roxii, my wife still has a yellow version. I wish I still had the Cateye Mity 2 that was my first bike 'computer'. Think I still have my Polar Edge, first HR monitor. 

image.jpeg

image.jpeg

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1 hour ago, bert40 said:

I wish I still had the Cateye Mity 2 that was my first bike 'computer'.

Kids will never understand the amount of time and effort spent trying to install a wired speed/cadence setup neatly. 

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57 minutes ago, roxii said:

Kids will never understand the amount of time and effort spent trying to install a wired speed/cadence setup neatly. 

Or moving one to a new bike and accidentally cutting the wire 

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Ripcurl transformer wetsuit with the ankle zips.  Loved it. 

Ken Evans Evolution bike - handmade fat tube aluminium. Great bike. Son has it these days and rides it. 

Hillman bikes.  Had a few made by a Graham. Still got my 91 team issue soft ride

cannibal clothing, always liked it. Hot Tuna used to make some great Tri singlets back in the day. 

Nike Air Mariah racing shoes. Best Tri running shoe I've used. Nike stopped making them in about 1988. 

Jetstream pressurised water drinking system. Great idea, good for about 20 races and then the valve in the mouth piece would start to play up. Usually sprayed you with water for a few seconds after you had a drink. Not flash if race morning was cool.

seatshifter - forward / rearward lever actioned seat adjuster. Never had one.  Most guys I know who used one said they were great and let you push big gears from the ultra forward seating position. No coincidence most of those guys have farmed knees today.

lastly - ironman wetsuits. Great wetsuits. Repaired mine several times and still got it. It lives down the coast these days and gets used a few times each year. The makers of ironman wetsuits are the same crew that became Blue Seventy wetsuits after ironman took back the license to use their name. 

 

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