1983 Aussie built Columbus roady - 99c start - NSW

Vintage Hand Built Racing Bicycle in Unanderra, NSW | eBay

^ Lot to like there. Auction page states 27" wheels.

I think that’s just because he’s an old fashioned gent. 4mm difference in brake pad height is nothing to sweat about. Ask him whether the Fiamme’s are hi pressure (clincher) or tubulars? You can see the brake pads are near the upper portion of the slot on the front wheel so my guess is 27x1mm clinchers.

Also, Laurie & Lennie never built bikes. They had a part time mechanic who built really crappy ones but most of the good one’s which this one looks like it is … (not enough pics to confirm !!) were built by either Jim Bundy or Fred Cobcroft. Both built with the same lugs and had very similar build details. Ask the seller if the seat lug vent hole going into the top tube is a round drill hole or a squarish puncture hole (as would result from being punched with the pointy end of a hand file). Jim drilled, Fred punctured fwiw.

He’ll have to pull the seat post to find out. If no vent hole then (not 100%) but it was probably one of the crude one’s built by their mechanic who was also a used car salesman and isn’t worth buying imo.

For even more inside goss. Jim and the Rogers’ had a big fall out after Lennie dobbed Jim in to the tax dept. So there’s some history there even if it’s not all good. Fkn tax dobbers !!! Sound silly but for that reason I’ll never buy one of these even if I 100% knew it was made by Jim.

Oh yeah … Cobcroft built frames were just as good, probably better than Jim’s. Little known, but a great builder from Minto (now passed away). Apprenticed Hillbrick.

I didn’t know Fred built for the Rogers. I’d love a Cobcroft frame.

I had a small one that he built for his wife pass through my hands. Combined with incredible paint perhaps the best Aussie made frame I have ever seen. He really went to town (it wasn’t a customer built bike, not built to a price etc) and typically of all great Aussie things and the underwhelming enthusiasm for them it now lives in Boston, MA.

Ah, just found more details …

I have listed a frame on behalf of my old frame builder and friend Jim
Bundy. It’s a 1970 Cobcroft frame and fork (50 x 52cm c-c) and is with
it’s original hand painted deliciousness by Roy Behrens. Some high zoot
eye candy typical in classic Aussie style.

Stunning !!!

check it out >>> (snipped)

Frame built by Fred Cobcroft for his wife in 1970-71. Bocama lugs (?)
and Gipiemme dropouts. Reynolds 531. Following the war Cobcroft began
making frames with both Malvern Star (Bruce Small) and the Hanley
Trading Co. before going solo in Minto, Sydney. Built frames till about
the late 90’s and passed away a few years ago.

The masterful paint, box lining, lug lining and scroll work were done
by Roy Behrens before he moved to Maryborough, Queensland. Roy served
his apprenticeship under Pat Kelly whilst working at Smith Sons & Rees
in Sydney.

ATJ™ (according to Jim) Pat Kelly was certainly a man to party with back in the day !!!
That meant he needed a few drinks so to be able to steady his hands and do all the hand painted line work.
Such artists earned about 25% more than the framebuilders back in the day fwiw.

Might as well quote myself some more whilst I’m at it …

"That style of over the top paint was typical of Australian frames
right up until the 70’s. Imported frames (from Europe) were very
expensive and always viewed as a superior product and local builders
in a very competitive market had to go all out to dispel any doubts of
quality & finesse. So much in fact that painters, and line artists
were paid higher than the frame builders themselves.

Of course once Japanese imports started in the early 70’s such
extravagant paint became unfeasible, the art died and things changed."

Sadly, I don’t think much has changed :frowning:

Whoa! That paint.

Yeah … nicest i’ve seen. Such beautiful little flourishes and all free form. Each artist had their own little thing, little details that you could tell who it was by. Behrens paint was easy for Jim to spot as Behrens was a close mate of and also a groomsman at Jim’s wedding.

That bike was only ridden a few times so was in near perfect condition. Peter @ Star Enameller’s cleaned it up, and then clearcoated over it to preserve it.

Oh forgot. The other (and easier) detail to tell the difference between Jim & Fred built bikes is that Fred always pinned his frames & Jim never did.

So back to the OP, could we say it was a crude one due to the lack of DT shifter braze-ons and cable guides? Or not that easy?

Good use of a thong, though.

I’m pretty sure I have pictures of this frame from when it was for sale. I didn’t have a crack at it because it was too small but this frame is why I want a cobcroft.

Not that easy. Have a look at how many 60’s Masi, Cinelli, and early Colnago frame had no top tube cable guides or dt shifter bosses. It more preference and style and theories on if braze ons cause stress risers/weight issues than the quality of the frame.

Yeah, although I thought by '83 all quality road frames would have had braze-on DT shifters. I know cable guides and FD braze-ons were still a bit of a choice.

That Cobcroft frame is just magnificent.

I could of bought a matching pair (road/track) of Jim Bundy made Lennie Rogers. Beautiful story- the owner had saved all of his money from his paper route as a kid and got a matching set made in the early 80’s. I could only afford the track bike and it was stunning.
(Sold it to Benji(?) here to fund a new Jim Bundy max frame).
Probably my biggest bike buying regret not snapping up the pair…

Never make the mistake of assuming the original owner/seller a) has a good memory and b) knows the correct info. I’ve even corrected Jim about stuff … he’s a lovely man and a framebuilder but not a historian or lie awake an night researching for obscure stuff on the webs so they do get stuff wrong.

Fwiw, my all chrome Bundy (now Assman’s) was about 81 and with no brazeon for shifters (does have water bottle boss, still 120 rear end). It’s not a big deal and wasn’t isolated as bike shops and builders used what parts they had left over (“Hey Laurie … we’ve got 30 sets of clamp on shifters. Whatta we gunno do with them”). You can bet if it was a contract build for a shop like this it was usually bare bones, delivered no paint and done on price as a big factor.

So yeah … don’t obsess with dates, small details nor assume all facts are accurate. I’ll say the same for catalogue whores. Catalogues are often wrong (back then made up to 6 months ahead of release), things changed, production variants were different to that pictured etc. Sometimes things were available much earlier or later than listed in catalogues.


Bianchi X4 Columbus SLX Team Bike | Velo Aficionado

“This post should also serve as a caution for those seeking to re-create exactly what’s printed in an old catalogue, or exactly what someone told them the bike should look like. A couple of things to remember, a catalogue only serves as a guide, from there the variables are innumerable. Team bikes were simply adaptable race machines. As an example one of my Bianchi team mates crashed mid season at the tour of Austria, the celeste forks were replaced with black forks, if you found that bike today you’d be scratching your head wondering what model it was because it was fitted out with black forks. By the way the forks were bent right back in that crash and no sign of damage to the frame. Also as we were sponsored by Weinmann, if any of these team bikes showed up today, they wouldn’t match the catalogue version if found with the Weinmann brakes and rims which were fitted, as Weinamm sponsored the team also. The German importer insisting on Super Record brakes on it’s 1986 version is another example. Custom orders at the factory, customer preferences when ordering in store, many model variants of the same model at the factory, plus changes made over the last quarter of a century, accounts for the many variations seen today.”