One thing I've noticed about bikes is the fabulous chinese whispers that evolve to urban myth and rumours. Add wiki, forums and (cough) blogs to this mix and you've got 'concrete' facts - to be taken with a grain of salt just like this one.
Bates produced many Melbourne brands namely their own as well as Repco, Waddell and local shops. I've had many a Bates in my time, mostly track and most have been in turd condition, and that's being generous. I've owned examples from both 'R'upert and Leo's hands from yester-year.
This is a great example of one of their TRACK models with full period components.
Then two unridden examples rolled into my hands. To begin with, owning a bike and never riding it would indicate something a little peculiar about it's owner - which I'm embracing at this point.
I'd call them both mid-range models based on components, nothing to really get excited about. To open a portal back through time and pluck not one, but two pristine examples of Melbourne frame building history is something to get excited about. Frame customisation during this time included having your initials hand painted on the frame. My mum who still has her first bike, a present for her 13th birthday has the same custom 3 letter insignia on the down tube, and no reference to the maker.
The man with the steady hands and fine brushes is still in existence and that's all I'm saying on that topic.
I'm sure it's was no coincidence that the place of operation was located a mere stones throw from the Coburg Velodrome.
Tthis is the most action the Coburg track gets these days.
After a day of cleaning mostly cobwebs and residue from the frame, removing the guards and cleaning off all the patina, this 'blue' Bates came up a treat. It is on show at it's new owners home at Shifterbikes.