I’ve followed Ewen Gellie of Gellie Custom Bicycles for years, vicariously through the people that own and love them. Track bikes, Mountain bikes, CX, tandem, tourers and road.
Ben had put down a deposit for a Gellie after some toing and froing for his dream machine – a rough road ride, or 80/20 bike as he called it. 80 being the percentage of unsealed surfaces he’d be riding in his home of Leongatha. He’d gone all out on the kit list, knowing this would be his last exotic custom machine and chose Di2 Dura Ace, with hydraulic brakes, 3T components, and HED Ardennes.
The geometry was adapted from Ben’s current road bike, and uses Columbus Life DOS (Double Over Size) and an Enve Road Disc tapered steerer fork. The design considered the internal seat post battery, internal brake cable and Di2 routing.
During the process, I had some collaborative input into the aesthetic of the existing Gellie scheme, palette and logo types. Ben has always had a soft spot for Belgian colourways and Merckx chevrons which helped guide the look, and ‘Rough Diamond’ seemed to capture the essence of this bike – and it’s meaning to the owner. Something very precious for getting out and exploring the vacant dirt roads of Gippsland and surrounds. This simple design translated into a Busyman saddle and tape by the time final assembly was ready.
I made the trip to the home of Gellie for the handover – nestled in the saddle of the Kinglake ranges off Skyline Rd, it’s a bush paradise. In his shed is a history of Gellie – from his first Yowie which he raced at the Elite level representing Australia, his current road and dirt machines, and his partners randonneur ride.
Ewen is also no stranger to my local trail at Plenty George NP. Anyone who knows this section will be scratching their heads in amazement.
Shimano Di2 Mod
Ben is also quite handy himself, simplifying the existing Shimano module and whittling the overall size to a quarter with parts from his television remote.
More details of this dream machine in the gallery at the top.
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