Sir Hubert Opperman
seen the rise and demise of a number of significant bicycle manufacturing
companies, some of which have produced high quality lightweight machines.
Many skilled frame makers have supported the many Australian racers who have
gained international success. Throughout the first half of the twentieth
century the Australian industry was highly dependant on British technology.
In later years though the best Australian builders have used and developed
upon the best technology throughout the world." Rolf
Canberra Bicycle Museum has closed but the web site continues named
We need info & pics for Elliott Bros.,
Holland (Bates of Coburg), Rob Special
Racer by George Robinson, Royal Star, etc.
Keeper of the Flame:
Velox Engineering Works (VEW),
founded 1930 in Sydney by the Bazzano family. Until the late '60s(?)
they manufactured aluminum hubs, brakes, handlebars, stems, seat
posts, pedals and chain sets. Production was fairly small but
continued during WWII. Probably best known for their hubs, which were
used by Malvern Star
among others. John Bazzano (grandson of the founder) is now head of
Shimano Australia. Charlie Bazzano (John's uncle) represented
Australia in cycling in the
'48 Olympics. John's son Matthew is also a successful racer (1990
Speedwell - handlebars (as well as
Pierce Bell (Sydney)- leather
saddles starting early WWII, until perhaps the '60s. Their line
included a Model 40 and Model 70.
Gem - "...effective, but
roughly finished and unattractive..." (Jack Hepher) V-type brakeset
Centrix - Various components,
including hubs. It was acquired in 1946 by Allied Bruce Small Pty
(controlling shareholder of Malvern Star).
Compiled by Dave Ross