HBSA: G.Duke Handmade Bicycles
Glenn Mountain reports from the inaugural Handmade Bicycle Show Australia, held in Melbourne April 28-29.
Geoff Duke of G.Duke Handmade Bicycles talks about his motivation for getting into the frame building business, and makes notes on the pictured frame, displayed at the Handmade Bicycle Show Australia. This frame has been ridden, stripped down and brought to the show hall as a demonstration of pure frame building craft.
I built my first frame in 1998 and it’s a part-time business for me. I came to the point where I couldn’t buy a frame of this style and become nostalgic about that and loss of the traditional building of lugged steel frames, so decided to build my own. I'm a toolmaker by trade, so I felt I had the background in the skills needed.
To continue a craft I value highly and to build a frame in the style that was becoming unavailable. Probably over romanticised but there you go.
The subtle differences, a lugged compact frame with a tapered down tube to stiffen the bottom bracket. I particularly like the dropouts, I couldn’t get these ever again I doubt. They’re stainless steel dropouts from GP Wilson in the USA, very thin forged stainless steel with hand filed cut-outs. And of course, the tapered down tube, it’s a Dedacciai tapered 32-35, butted tube which stiffens the bottom bracket area nicely.
Columbus Genius tubes with the exception of the Dedacciai downtube and Llewellyn lugs from Darrell McCulloch. I wanted to work with lugged steel frames.
After building and riding the frame for some time I’m very happy with the outcome.