Bobo Bicycles

Handmade Steel Bicycle Frames. Canberra, Australia.

Bobo Bicycles Blog

Caroline’s raw 650b       June 30th, 2015

Caroline started off exploring options for an internal hub commuter style bike. After careful consideration we ended up deciding on a french style, low trail 650b road bike. We’re currently building the painted bike. To make sure Caroline was happy with the geometry and get a feel before paint we built it up raw. The low trail, super light tubing and 32mm Grand Bois tyres blew us away. Caroline’s husband Ian picked some quality parts from Shimano, Campagnolo, Sugino and Velo Orange. Check the pics

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bobo in Canberra       November 27th, 2013

Well, it’s been a while. Now living in sunny Canberra, workshop in my home garage. Plugging away at custom builds and repairs. I’m running a very busy, very large bike shop down here which takes up the bulk of my time and energy. It’s called Pushys Bike Warehouse. It couldn’t be more different to my previous home at Cheeky Transport, in fact it is the opposite in just about every way. I’m finding it very stimulating and a very enjoyable job rallying a large diverse team to focus on customer service and build the business to be the best bike shop in Australia.

I’ve been building some load carrying bikes, a lovely 26inch tourer most recently for Stan who I met at Cheeky. A few repairs and mods. Not heaps but a few projects to keep me going.

My mate Paddy of Bikewise is riding from Sydney to Perth on the bobo I built for him. Pictures of the bike¬†here. Below is a photo he sent of the latest town he’s stopped at, Walleroo, S.A..

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More updates to come.

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Readings       August 31st, 2011

P1000892.JPGP1000896.JPGAlong with my second order of Honjo fenders and Grand Bois tyres from Grand Bois in Japan I got a couple of books. A Toei (Japanese framebuilding family/company who build for Grand Bois) book showing the various models from years gone by up to present day. A surprising consistency is evident, they found a design and components that work well and they have simply refined and replicated it for a long time.

The other book is a book documenting the famed Alex Singer bicycles, it has a terrific English translation pamphlet in the back of the writer’s experiences and stories. Whilst both books are all in Japanese the photos are excellent and I am hoping to get some translation of the geometry to see the design specifics.

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The other books I received recently from Velo Retro are reprinted catalogues of iconic brands of yesteryear(bit nerdy but very interesting). It makes you realise that there is really very little truly NEW developments in standard bicycles, it’s largely been done before just slightly differently.

The Nervex catalogue has the original lugs that the current Sachs Newvex lugs I use are based on and seeing all the different lug designs and mixte/tandem dropout designs that used to be available available is pretty cool. Come and check em out if you are interested, they’ll be at Cheeky Transport late next week.

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650b trial       August 23rd, 2011

This style of bike has intrigued me for some time as a design challenge to incorporate a multitude of features that work together to provide a particular cycling experience. The idea of being able to go for a long ride but carry a small amount of gear and have the weight over the front wheel with the front end geometry compensating for the increased weight sounded interesting to me.

Having raced road bikes and built them specifically to race and found building steel bikes with aggressive road/crit geometry unsatisfying this 650b style of bike offers a design that balances performance with comfort along with the challenges of bridge distance, tyre clearance, light wiring, rack attachment.

This bike will be available for people to try out the 650b experience. It runs Grand Bois tyres with bar end shifters, a triple crankset (48-38-26) and a mtb cassette (11-30). It has an adjustable stem to provide some flexibility in riding position.

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Treadlie Show impressions       August 3rd, 2011

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The Treadlie Made to Measure show in Melbourne had a prime position right at the entrance to the State of Design exhibition. The bikes seemed to really capture people’s attention and imagination as the broad range of bicycles showed viewers the diversity in design, style and function available from a select group of builders.

Whilst not all the bicycles were handmade for the show the customised nature of all of them showed the scope for constructing bicycles to suit a variety of needs and uses. Some very nice pics here from a dude from Melbourne, he didn’t manage to get any pics of my bikes unfortunately, he takes a good photo.

The Sydney Made to Measure show was a bit more bicycle specific, still under the umbrella of Sydney Design the crowd seemed much more bicycle focussed. The Kind Of gallery on Oxford Street at the old Deus premises was a good fit for the bicycles and a bunch of people crammed in on opening night to check them out.

To have my bikes on show so people could see what I do felt pretty satisfying. One load carrying vehicle, one stylin roadbike showed the diversity of my abilities appropriately and hopefully provides some inspiration for people to try out a custom, handmade bobo.

Thanks to Treadlie for organising the shows and Cheeky Transport for their continued support and inspiration.

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Bronwyn’s Custom Step thru       August 3rd, 2011

P1000830.JPGP1000835.JPGP1000851.JPGBronwyn had a bikefit and I received the frame design to build the frame but the frame design didn’t quite match Bronwyn’s expectations of the bike she wanted so I offered to redesign the frame and add any changes or requests that she wanted.

The initial design had a bit too much toe overlap and had quicker steering than Bronwyn was after so I slackened the head tube angle to push the front wheel further from her feet, dropped the bottom bracket height by a few millimetres, increased the fork height so there was ample room for the wide tyres she may want to run and increased the trail a touch to try and slow the steering down.

Instead of a straight top tube I utilised my tube roller to give a nice curved top tube but still with room for a drink bottle holder, out of the way on the down tube. After having a white frame with white mudguards Bronwyn chose a tasteful blue which combines well with the black Rohloff and Schmidt Edelux hub combo. The Paragon Machine Works stainless sliding Rohloff dropouts work great and with an integrated steering damper mount the front fork doesn’t swing around when the bike is up on its 2 legged kickstand.

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Big Mama on the road       August 3rd, 2011

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Bobo Bicycles at the Treadlie Made to Measure (Melbourne)       July 27th, 2011

This is Adam’s first bobo which received a custom paint job from Adam of Cycle Exif.¬† Using some Richard Sachs Newvex lugs with a Pacenti PBP fork crown and some quality Campagnolo parts I think it looks fantastic. The contrast of the colours at the lug/tube junction emphasises the ornate lug design. Called ‘The Elements’ this bike has a paint job inspired by the raw material of which the bike is made. The paintwork is striking but after a short time and attention you begin to appreciate it and the extra story it provides for Adam’s bike.

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Mechanic Course and Brian in Berlin       July 27th, 2011

I had a great bunch last night for the Cheeky Transport Gears course. We straightened the rear derailleur hanger, a must for correct gear adjustment, then set the rear limit screws, fitted our cable and adjusted our gears then did the same for the front. Everyone did well for adding another couple of hours of intense learning to their day. One of the best things was when the penny dropped that the derailleur just shoves the chain where the shifter sends it.

The picture is Brian with his Bobo, being his usual charming self in Berlin, prior to Cycle Messenger World Champ glory in Warsaw.

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Made to Measure show coming to Sydney       July 19th, 2011

There should be an interesting range of bikes to check out at the old Deus shop on Oxford Street. Details here.

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