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cicli spirito

11

Jul
2015

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In Happenings

By Gavin Bannerman

On The Couch

On 11, Jul 2015 | No Comments | In Happenings | By Gavin Bannerman

We always like to do a little something special on the Friday night before Pushies. In years gone by, we’ve had bike bling with Greg Softley, Oppy’s race bike, and Brisbane-made bikes returning for a visit.

This year we were lucky to have New South Welshmen Adam Leddin from Cycle EXIF, Ben Kamenjas from Cicli Spirito and Geoff Scott from Clamont talking about bikes. It was great to hear Geoff’s stories first hand, his thoughts on disc brakes and just how much insurance affects independent framebuilders. It was eye-opening, for example, to hear that it can cost upwards of around $400 per frame, just in insurance costs, for a framebuilder.

Highlights included seeing Geoff checking his phone pinging with alerts towards the end of the night, seeing Ben’s familiar bike re-interpreted and finally getting to chew the fat with Adam, having poured over his site for many years. There were quite a few cameras on the night – stay tuned for more visuals and records of proceedings.

It was a tops night of wood-pizza, a few Green Beacon cans and friendly faces. A huge thanks to Adam, Ben and Geoff for coming up from Sydney to share their thoughts and experiences. Thanks to Steve from Crankstar for having us and thanks to everyone for coming out and sharing in the good times.

 

More pics here.

 

See you Sunday.

 

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03

Jul
2015

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In Happenings

By Gavin Bannerman

Bike Q&A

On 03, Jul 2015 | No Comments | In Happenings | By Gavin Bannerman

This may be a tricky time to run this event: three New South Welshman talking two days after a State of Origin decider about bikes in a format not dissimilar to ABC’s Q&A. But Pushies Galore is a platform for free speech and is more than willing to accommodate our southern brethren.

Come along to Crankstar on Friday 10 July from 7pm to join in a discussion with three great cycling identities, who just happen to be from Sydney, and kick off the Pushies weekend in style.

Ben Kamenjas is the owner and operator of Cicli Spirito on Sydney’s North Shore. Ben is a storyteller of the highest order, spinning yarns from his years in the bike industry (as well as just about every other industry you could imagine.) I’d call him a polymath, his interests traversing valleys seldom travelled by mere mortals. To get a feel for his space, have a look at these pics I took around Christmas last year of his studio.

Adam Leddin runs Cycle EXIF, an online collection of the world’s most beautiful bicycles. Fresh from Eroica Britannia, Adam’s worked as a bike courier and manages to combine his love of graphic design and bikes through his site.

Geoff Scott is an Australian framebuilder with the runs on board. He’s built under his own brand Gefsco as well as for Clarence Street Cyclery under the Clamont name. Geoff’s a regular contributor to online forums, generously sharing his decades of experience making frames. Geoff will be bringing up a carload of his special bikes, including a 1982 Clamont Professional Tandem (ridden by Russell and Byron Tucker) and bikes ridden in the Commonwealth Games.

A night of bike chat, beer and good food awaits.

Date: Friday 10 July

Time: 7pm – 10pm

Location: Crankstar Bespoke Cyclery, 50 Annerley Rd, Woolloongabba

Cost: $5 entry

 

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31

Dec
2014

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In Lovely Bikes

By Gavin Bannerman

The Spirito of Christmas

On 31, Dec 2014 | No Comments | In Lovely Bikes | By Gavin Bannerman

I enjoy going to bike shops, particularly those that have stood the test of time. My trip to Hoffy Cycles a week ago reminded me how nice it is to have a local bike shop catering to a range of cyclists, with the knowledge that they have done so for years and years.

I also really love going to visit single operators. These people, generally guys, but there are some great women operating, have often worked for shops, seen the retail and trade perspectives; now they need their own space. I believe there is a real niche for these kind of workshops. Dan Hale of Shifter Bikes is obviously doing his thing at an incredibly high level in Melbourne.

Ben Kamenjas from Sydney has worked for a range of bike shops over his career. Now he has set up his own space in St Leonards in Sydney’s north. His workshop Cicli Spirito is within a creative precinct supported by developers TWT. With my community/arts development hat on, it was fascinating to see the artists, photography studios and other creatives that had taken advantage of reasonable rent and flexible workspaces. Ben’s workshop backs on to a shared space for visual artists, beautifully highlighting the aesthetic characteristics of both their work.

Ben came up to Pushies in 2014 with a special bike he’d built himself. The bike was first set up as a classic down-tube shifting road bike that he road at L’Eroica. Then he turned it into a porteur of exceptional taste. So much so that it took out best cargo/utility in the show ‘n’ shine.

 

When I popped into Ben’s studio on Christmas Eve, he was finishing the last job for the year: converting his porteur into a gravel-grinder for the holidays. It involved some 10 speed Chorus  to 8 magic, putting on new bars and de-fendering.

I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves, but Ben’s space is dripping with character. Cartier-Bresson prints on the wall, stacks of vinyl around the record player, abundant Amoretti and espresso, this is a place that rewards observation. Look carefully and you’ll see parts of wall lined with the deli wrapping paper – the kind you get your finest Grana Padano in.

The words, “Fatto A Mano” (Italian for “Made By Hand”) are painted on the workshop wall. The personal touch can not be overstated in this “bicycle tailor.” Everything in the workshop has a story, everything in some small way reflects Ben’s personality and knowledge. If you’re in Sydney, do yourself a favour and say “ciao” to Ben. You won’t look at bikes the same.

See plenty more pics here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ben also kind me lent me a bike while I was staying in Sydney. Possibly a Centurion frame, with braze-ons for centre pull brakes, Grand Bois tyres, bar-end shifters. The perfect bike for poking around town.

 

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