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Lovely Bikes



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In Lovely Bikes

By Gavin Bannerman

Happy New Year

On 08, Jan 2014 | No Comments | In Lovely Bikes | By Gavin Bannerman

I learnt one of my biggest lessons of 2013 while playing cricket. It was the final of the Chronicle Cup, vying for this fine silverware.

I was facing the opening bowlers: a new ball with a bit of swing and seam. I saw off a difficult few overs, then I tried to up the scoring rate. I played a rash shot to a ball on leg, that wasn’t nearly as short as I thought. Bowled. I got out playing the wrong shot to the wrong ball. I’ve thought about it for a while now (and watched a lot of cricket since.) There is something magical about an appropriate response to a situation: just the right beer for a thirst, just the right tyre width on a gravel ride.

This bike build is a true example of propriety – it is done right. It’s not a slog to cow corner (or a horribly mismatched fixxay unsuited to its purpose.)

This Eric Hendren-built Hoffy track frame was bought direct from the first owner, Alan. Hoffy order books show that he had the frame made from 708 Reynolds tubing in Sandgate. The year was 1991.

I’ve done a bit of research on Hoffy Cycles, one of Queensland’s most significant bike manufacturers. You can see the interview I did with Eric Hendren here. Or flick through the order books here.

These hands made this bike.

Just recently, this frame has been built up by one one of Brisbane’s savviest bicycle mechanics. With a real feel for this piece of Brisbane cycling history, this bike has been put together with a mix of French, English, Japanese, Czech and Italian parts. While not an exercise in period correctness, it is an example of each piece exactly complimenting each other. Parts as follows:

Frame/fork: Eric Hendren built, Reynolds 708 tubing
Headset: Stronglight
Stem: Nitto Pearl
Bars: VO Porteur / VO Cork Grips
Seat Post: Campagnolo
Saddle: Brooks B17
Bottom Bracket: Campagnolo
Crank: Campagnolo Pista
Chainring: Sugino<
Chain: Izumi
Pedals: Campagnolo Pista / VO Leather Singles
Wheelset: Velosteel Coaster/TB14 & Campagnolo Pista/TB14
Tyres: Michelin Dynamic Gumwall

The paintwork, all original, is in remarkable condition. The pearl of the top-tube glimmers, the red and black positively radiates in the sun. This is a prime example of a locally made frame kept in good hands.

We photographed this bike in a West End factory. They factory had just been emptied. We were lucky to get in and utilise the brilliant light case through the windows. Two pieces of Brisbane history in one. You can read more about this bike on Cycle Exif and view more pictures on Flickr.

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