Oaksport - a brief history
In 1970 as a 15 yr old frame builders apprentice with Eric R Ockleshaw Pty-Ltd, I was taught the now dying art of open hearth brazing, also known as fire brazing. The traditional art of fire brazing is a tried and proven method with its roots firmly planted in the blacksmiths forges of the early 1900ís. Although once widely used in Australia and abroad, the method is now practised by only a handful of artisan builders around the world.
By 1977, while working for the Australian Bicycle Company (ABC) I progressed to lightweight frame building. During this time I was introduced to George McDonald, a master frame builder, considered by his peers as one of the finest in Australia. For many years I continued to visit George at his Burwood workshop, learning from the master the finer points of the trade.
I established Oakleigh Cycle Works in 1979, a one man operation, building stock and special order lightweight frames for a number of well-known racing and touring outlets† in Melbourne. This is known as trade building. Of the thousand or so frames built between 1979 and 1995, only a hundred or so were produced carrying the Oaksport brand. These were primarily built for riders competing at National and International level.
The full Circle
With the arrival of carbon fibre and titanium in the late 90ís, orders for custom made steel frames went into sharp decline. Like many builders during that period, I decided to decrease my frame building interests to a minimum. That is until August 2011, I noticed the number of enquiries for frame repair and restoration was on the increase.
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