Columbus Steel, Wooden Handlebars and Gearboxes Galore | Exploring the handmade goodness at Spoken 2024

The latest incarnation of the Handmade Bicycle Show Australia, now rebranded as Spoken, returns to the rustic Seaworks precinct in Williamstown, Victoria. This new name better reflects the event’s evolution from its humble beginnings in a pub connecting bespoke frame builders with the public to a grand intersection of handmade bicycles, parts, accessories, industry, and engaging talks.

This year’s show features an expanded panel of speakers led by Life in the Peloton host and friend of Flow Mitch Docker. It also showcases new components and offshore-produced bikes, adding to the diversity and excitement of the event.

Anecdotally we also noticed quite a few more mountain bikes at this year’s show over.

Check out our coverage from last year’s show here.


A wooden handlebar and a belt driven gearbox, the beauty from Tor is a clear sign this isn’t your standard bike show.
Mitch Docker hosted conversations with folks like Josh Poertner the current CEO and chain waxing guru from Silca.
Prova displaying its latest anodised titanium beauty. Those crazy cats have something very cool in the works; all will be revealed soon — stay tuned, folks.

Spoken Hand Made Bike Show 2024

Paradigm Bikes Propel HT

Last year, Dane Anderson and Paul Brincot impressed with their dirt jumper and hinted they had at a mountain bike in the works.

Their first venture into this arena, the Propel HT, features an aggressive 63-degree head angle, straight Chromoly top tube and downtubes, triple butted stays, and versatile wheel size options. This being a prototype and their first foray into mountain bike frame design, they wanted to keep their options open.

This hardy hardtail from Paradigm is the builder’s first forway into mountain bikes, and they have created quite a looker.

ARC8 Extra II

While not handmade, the ARC8 Extra II represents the high-quality, low-production ethos. Swiss-designed and represented in Australia by Krischan Spranz of EightyOneSpices, this enduro bike weighs just 13.6kg without pedals and is dripping in German and Swiss engineering.

It features essentially a single pivot flex stay suspension design utilising a rail instead of the typical rocker, there’s also a flip chip that allows the bike to be run as mullet or full 29er.

While rail-based or linear guide-based suspension designs aren’t new — Yeti used something along these lines on DH bikes in the mid to late 2000s — ARC8 has created a novel, lightweight, seemingly low-maintenance version.
The EXTRA II’s Dual Pivot Suspension System uses a linear rail instead of a regular rotating linkage. This eliminates the need for bearings, and ARC8 claims to improve the shock’s sensitivity and longevity.

CrossworxCycles DASH29 and LITE29

Also represented by EightyOneSpices is CrossworxCycles. Founded by Kevin Dewinski and Chris Reichling in 2019, the German outfit specialises in custom 7020 aluminium frames with a strong downhill influence. The DASH29 is an enduro machine sporting 155mm of rear travel, up to a 170mm fork up front, a 65° head angle, and an incredibly steep 79° seat angle. The LITE29 is a slightly shorter trail version of the DASH29 with 130mm of rear travel, a 66° head tube angle, and a 78° seat angle.

Spranz explained CrossworxCycles runs by meticulous four-week production cycles he says helps to minimise environmental impact, while still being able to tailor for individual orders.

The big hitter, the CrossworksCycles DASH29 dripping in Formula finishing kit.
CrossworxCycles LITE29 is a slightly shorter travel bike based on the same concept.
Brake callipers tucked safely inside CNC machined dropouts.
CrossworxCycles founders Dewinski and Reichling either worked or rode for Nicolai Bicycles in the past. No doubt an influence in their approach to mountain bike manufacturing.

Devlin Jester

Immediately eye-catching is the breathtaking paint job of the latest Devlin Jester. The creator Sean Doyle tells us of his own surprise upon collecting this frame from bicycle finisher Ben Wallis of Wallis Paints.

While the paint is the eye-catching piece of this Devlin Jester, builder Sean Doyle has employed quite a bit of 3D printing on this steel full-suspension beauty to streamline production and reduce weight.

This race-bred steel machine runs dual 29-inch wheels, has a 64.5° head angle, and has numerous refinements from last year, including 3D-printed parts, resulting in a weight reduction and a sleek, modern look.

Doyle claims a 400g weight reduction is thanks to the adoption of 3D-printed parts. These include the yoke, ends of the horst pivot swingarm, dropouts, seat stay caps, cross brace, and rocker, all completely 3D-printed in 316 steel. The next evolution will have the headtube, bottom bracket, and bottom bracket area all 3D-printed.

Doyle asked Wallis for “…just a plain crisp paint scheme because we were on a budget with the show…” Apparently, Wallis said, “No way, leave it with me. I’ve got some ideas.”
Last year’s Jester weighed in at 15.3kg running high-end componentry, and a SRAM GX Eagle AXS drivetrain. As seen, this year’s Jester weighed in at 15.2kg. Very respectable for a steel enduro bike with Devlin Cycle’s heavier no-fuss “Privateer” build kit

Devlin Demon

The Devlin Demon was commissioned by a customer with a simple two-point brief. First, this bike was to be an XC marathon race machine, and second, it had to match the green and white colour scheme of their Devlin road bike.

Ever seen an steel XCM race bike? Neither had we, but Devlin has made quite the rig to strap a number plate onto.

Despite Doyle’s belief in numbers and precision, the Devlin Demon is a true piece of artistry, with the overall layout done by hand with rulers and protractors. The CAD drawings came after to ensure the swing links didn’t bind or smash into the frame.

The Demon is named after its racey intentions and 66.6° head angle. Using flexstays, this steel frame with shock weighs around 3kg, and when set up with 120mm of travel front and rear yields a 76.5° seat angle.

Simpatico JAMO

Simpatico is a Melbourne-based bicycle brand owned by Jeff Savaas and Brendan Stewart. Each of its bikes is designed in-house in Melbourne and fabricated by a manufacturing partner in China.

The Simpatico JAMO was born from a personal project by co-owner Stewart and was designed for bikepacking in Victoria’s High Country. With a 66°head angle and flexible geometry options, it exemplifies the custom, tinkering spirit of bike building.

There is quite a bit going on with the Simpatico Jamo, where do we even begin.
Simpatico’s Brendan Steward may be the only headset cable routing fan on earth, saying it was a personal touch on this bike. With that said he appreciates that it’s not for everyone and that internally routed cables are a better solution for most people.
The rigid CargoTruss titanium fork is a work in progress, but the production frame can accommodate a 120mm fork.


All the way from York, UK, Ricky Feather of Feather Bikes is here to bring us the versatile OMNEi all-road bike under his secondary brand, WKNDR. Designed for both performance and versatility, it accommodates up to 40mm or 32mm tyres should you wish to run mudguards.

This OMNEi is a fully integrated version of the OMNE. Feather’s aim for the OMNEi was to build a bike that looked as traditional as possible and without sacrificing funionality.

Swoon, that is one clean-looking drop bar shredder from WKNDR.
Clever design queues all around. From the days of the week dots to the colour-shifting lettering.
The flange detailing reminds us this is a handbuilt frame.

Woods Bicycle Co. El Camino Trail

Hailing from Nothern NSW, Zac Woods shared his latest El Camino Trail creation with us. It features a 4130 chromoly frame and swingarm, an Effigear Mimic gearbox, and 125mm of rear travel. With multiple shock mount locations and a refined geometry, this party machine weighs 15.7kg.

Wood’s latest creation is a short-travel, high pivot, gearbox-laden party machine.
Essentially a shorter travel version of the brand’s El Camino enduro bike we saw last year, the BMX-influence still bleeds through in the finishing kit.
Multiple shock mount locations allow Woods to tweak the geometry and kinematic, but he feels the current 65-degree head angle and 78-degree seat angle to be a sweet spot.

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