Two years ago, my Curve Uprock+ titanium hardtail was painted by Steve Gardner in his garage in the far east of Melbourne, high up in the hills.
Steve had been in the repair and restoration since 17. Straight out of school and onto the tools - his first day on the job was rubbing down the wheel sills and door jambs on a Lamborghini Miura.
After 20 years he made a deliberate and daring leap from the security of the panel repair industry, to focus on an independant business restoring bicycles - his passion.
‘Bikes by Steve’ was his moniker to begin with.
A name simple in nature, and underwhelming of the standard of finish coming out of that garage.
The vibrant neon’s of my first paint scheme ‘by Steve’ faded in the heat of its first Australian summer, but his painting business was blooming - to the point where he needed a dedicated space, planting roots at 412 with a community of intermingling cycling operations - Bastion and Prova who he paints exclusively for, and RiderFit.
Steve had recently become the endorsed resprayer of choice to Specialized Australia, and to reflect the growing operations he felt it time to rename to a more meaningful title. Steve was not alone in the preparation, design, application and extensive post paint pedantic polishing. After a lengthy yarn and DM exchange about possible names, logotypes and fading paint - Steve suggested a respray could reflect the new Velocraft banner.
Sadly, Wombat Coatings didn't make the cut.
Trek, Specialized, Cervélo et cetera - if it has two wheels....
If you have ever lusted over a PROVA or Bastion - the finish is applied under the same corrugated roof at 412 by Steve and his team.
Ian Michelson, who also builds frames under the Lost Workshop brand is responsible for design, plotting and all the delightfully delicate weeding and application of masks.
Rumor has it Erik has hired for his good looks and charm. He also sands, polishes, preps, has a regular DJ spot in the work area and is a keen photographer, creating much of what is seen in the booth.
Velocraft's range of services include retouching frame defects, repairing sections of a frame that are scratched / chipped or full rebirths of anything two wheels - classic, retro, modern. Road, track, gravel, MTB frames and fork stanchions, wheels. If it has a surface - curved, flat or otherwise, it can be given the Velocraft treatment.
A big part of the Velocraft mantra is where possible, NO DECALS. In between visits, Steve was working on created a Colnago headbage - with the result being nothing short of amazing.
For my own treadly, I initially I wanted a pink bike. I still want a pink bike but he wanted to expand his range, challenge himself - so I gave him carte blanche on design. I’d been looking for an excuse to circle back to having the bike as a dedicated rigid singlespeed - because they are ace!
The bold carbon 29+ fork also gave Steve a larger canvas for his artistic statement. Initially inspired by a painting in his local pub as he glanced up at it over his IPA and parma, it was tweaked with some inspiration from local bold adventurer Sarah Hammond.
Kyle's Santa Cruz TALLBOY. There is no excuse for going slow up AND definitely down trail on this dual suspension 'XC' shredder.