Since 2012, our Bikes of the Bunch series has covered a staggering number of unique and stunning examples of craftsmanship, careful thought and personal details. The bikes covered must be something special — whether that’s due to a personal connection, or simply because they stand out within the local bunch.
As in years past, 2018 saw a number of truly special bikes shared, but amongst them, there were a few that earned widespread praise. Whether because they’d be a dream to ride, or simply due to the astonishing amount of work put into their creation, they stood out.
With the year coming to a close, we figured these bikes deserved another look. And we want to know what you loved the most. Comment below for your favourite — the winning bike and its owner will receive the greatest gift of all: acknowledgment that all those countless hours dreaming, researching and purchasing were not done in vain.
In no particular order, here are our favourite Bikes of the Bunch for 2018. Think we overlooked one or simply want to catch up on years of gorgeous steeds? Check out all previous Bikes of the Bunch.
Llewellyn Custom Bicycles Colossus
Built by the lug master himself, the Colossus is a fresh steel bike made to be modernly stiff. To do so, builder Darryl Llewellyn had to go back to the drawing board and hand cut lugs to work with such oversized tubes. With approximately 300 hours in the build, the workmanship displayed is a great example of why the Australian has earned international recognition.
A modernly classic Cherubim
When a hardcore weight weenie meets the desire for a classically-built steel frame. This custom Japanese steed blends traditional lines and modern components.
Colnago Arabesque Re-Issue
This 2016 Colnago Arabesque re-issue with restored and 24K gold plated components is a true showcase for the stunning work of CycloRetro. No it can’t (well, shouldn’t) be ridden in its pictured state, but that doesn’t make it any less special.
Prova Cycles Razzo
A newcomer to the custom build scene, Melbourne-based Mark Hester of Prova Cycles is making waves by combining progressive geometry, modern engineering and skilled craftsmanship. However, it’s the owner’s story behind this bike that makes it truly special.
Spanish steel – Legor Cicli Nuiorksiti+
The story of an aspiring racer leaving his Sydney life behind and moving to Girona. Proving steel bikes can still go fast, this feature looks at the choice in Spanish-made steel and component selections that saw 16,000km of use in the first seven months.
Olivetti Bicycles More CowBell
This bike has been lovingly thrashed and has some of the most modest component selections ever covered in Bikes of the Bunch. Still, there’s a gorgeous Olivetti frame beneath that beaten coffee-themed paint.
Look KG 176 with Mavic Zap
We take a little stroll down memory with this one, showing what’s old is new again. Mavic’s wireless Zap shifting from 1992 was well and truly ahead of its time. Here it’s showcased on this similarly rare and innovative Look KG 176 in a nod to the old ONCE team.
Conor Mcgregor’s FiftyOne
Garish gold leaf, mountain bike flats and a name embellished hundreds of times across the bike. Conor McGregor may simply ride bikes to improve his ability in hurting others, but this one of a kind custom FiftyOne from Ireland is still a showcase of impeccable paint and modern details.
Allied Cycle Works Alfa All Road
The bike of Skratch Labs’ Dr Allen Lim. It’s a relatively off-the-self affair from the American small-batch carbon manufacturer, but it represents the journey toward a do-it-all road bike that many of us are currently on.
Parlee Z-Zero Disc
A superbike for the roads of Sydney. While this custom Parlee with a 3K carbon theme wasn’t intended to be a weight weenie build, it weighs a respectable 6.7kg despite the powermeter, 45mm deep wheels, 25c clincher tyres, wireless shifting and hydraulic discs.
A ten year old’s Pinarello Dogma F10
Why shouldn’t a ten-year-old use the same bike as Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome? If your parents own a bike shop and you can climb l’Alpe Du Huez in 1 hr 07 mins, why not? And with Pinarello’s extensive size options (down to 42cm), it even nearly makes sense.
Firefly Road Disc
Masterful titanium construction, vivid anodisation and matching paint, and a build kit that’s sensible for daily use – it’s difficult to not love this ride.
English Cycles custom steel
The American English. This custom English features a staggering number of American-made (or owned) components and a split-tone green and purple paint job. It actually works.
Zullo 91 with Dura-Ace 25th
The second bike we covered from collector and restorer Vive le Vélo, this Zullo 91 is a time capsule piece to showcase Shimano’s 25th anniversary Dura-Ace. To this day, that groupset has never been ridden.
What’s your favourite? What type of Bikes of the Bunch would you like to see more of in 2019?