Speedwell Special Sports
Speedwell Special Sports
Speedwell Special Sports
Speedwell Special Sports
Speedwell Special Sports
Speedwell Special Sports
Speedwell Special Sports
Speedwell Special Sports
Speedwell Special Sports
Speedwell Special Sports
Speedwell Special Sports
Speedwell Special Sports
Speedwell Special Sports
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Speedwell Special Sports

Regular price
$2,599.00
Sale price
$2,599.00
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Shipping note: This item will not ship. Pick up by appointment in Rozelle NSW 2039.

About the Speedwell Special Sports

Speedwell, a proud Sydney-based cycling brand, promoted by world class competitive cyclists, thrived across Australia in the first half of the twentieth century. The Speedwell suffered mixed fortunes during the waning popularity of cycling in the 1960s, eventually fading away into the annals of Australian cycling history. According to publicly available sources Speedwells were being built in a state-of-the-art factory in Redfern throughout the 1950s. Speedwell was purchased by General Accessories in the mid 1960s. We don't know the production particulars or fate of the brand after this time. Today Speedwells are highly sought after bicycles for their restoration and collectability value, especially the racing and luxury models (such as the Royal Speedwell).

We came across this particular Speedwell frame at The Bower in Autumn 2022. We purchased it for a modest sum. It was hanging from the rafters in the backyard of the shop, with the original fork intact. The frame had a classic enamel sky-blue finish, with fine gold foil decals. There were two serial numbers beneath the bottom bracket. The longer serial number ran the length of the bracket, nearer to the down tube, M9M40641. The other serial number, which appears to have been stamped after the enameling process is located on the underside of the non-drive side width of the bracket, GY14140. We're not sure what these set of mysterious numbers divine in terms of company ownership, place of production or date.

The absence of the chromed 'S" head-badge, and the non-standard unthreaded bottom bracket (it was missing the bottom bracket components which sort of fit together like the shells of a one-piece crank), both tell-tale signs of cost cutting measures, suggest that this model was not produced by Bennett and Wood, the founders of Speedwell.

Modernisation work

Why rescue and modernise this particular Speedwell? Two main reasons. It was an opportunity to own and celebrate a brand that has deep historical ties with the manufacture and promotion of cycling in Sydney. Speedwell was to Sydney what Malvern Star was to Melbourne. Secondly, freed from the strictures of working with a completely intact bicycle, and having concluded restoration was not merited, it allowed us to sympathetically modernise the frame set, so that it was easier to service and maintain. Four major changes:

  • We reluctantly retired the original fork (with 8mm drop-outs) to make way for a dynamo hub with a 9mm axle.
  • The 27-inch wheels were swapped out with today's standard 700C wheels to allow for a wider selection of quality tyres. 
  • English threaded (1.37" x 24 TPI) bosses, engineered by our friends at METS (thank you Walther) were welded into the virgin bottom bracket shell, making it possible to use a variety of ubiquitous 73mm bottom bracket cartridges
  • Frame dropouts were cold set +6mm to fit a 126mm hub.

This 1 x 7 speed do-it-all bicycle is the only one you’ll ever need. Silky smooth gear shifting, responsive frame and forks, excellent all-terrain tyres that are at home on tarmac and gravel, day and night lighting, lots of cargo carrying options and a high-quality comfort saddle for those long rides. The Speedwell Special Sports is the perfect everyday commuter, shopper and weekender. No batteries to charge, no complicated gearing, just good times.  

Bicycle specifications

  • Size: 51 cm (Medium 155-175cm). 
  • Frame/fork: Steel, step-over. 
  • Seat post: 25.6mm diameter, 400mm reach, silver.
  • Saddle: Brooks England B17 Standard, black leather. 
  • Handlebars: 25.4mm, 61cm Wide, 26mm rise, 33 degree sweep, alloy silver. 
  • Handlebar stem, quill type, alloy silver 22.2, l 180mm, BB 25.4mm, Ext 80mm, 30 degree. 
  • Fenders: Polished aluminium set with front mudguard.
  • Front rim: Airline 700C (presta valve). 
  • Rear rim: Weinmann 700c (schrader valve). 
  • Tyres: Michelin Protek Max 32C. 
  • Rear hub: Joytech 126mm nutted screw-on, silver. 
  • Chain: KMC 7-speed with missing link.
  • Front hub: Shimano Nexus 6V 3W dynamo. 
  • Chain-set: Single 38T - 170mm crank. 
  • Rear derailleur: Sunrace M40, 7-8-Speed, Long Cage
  • Shifter: Sunrace M30, 7-speed dual push. 
  • Rear cassette: Freewheel 7-Speed 11-34T. 
  • Brake levers: Tektro caliper-pull. 
  • Brake caliper: Tektro dual caliper. 
  • Saddle bag: Carradice Bingley Bag, genuine tweed herringbone. 
  • Lighting front: Busch & Muller light LED dynamo front, Lumotec IQ2, EYC-T, 50 LUX, Senso plus, standlight. 
  • Lighting rear: Busch & Muller dynamo rear LED Light - TOPLIGHT Mini plus, w standlight for rack mount. 
  • Pedals: Wellgo C-19.
  • Cable clamps: Dia Compe, silver.
  • Cable guide: Sturmey Archer pulley wheel.
  • Cable stop clamp: Oxford.
  • Kickstand:  Adjustable, centre mount, alloy silver, double Leg, aligns to one side when folded.
  • Grips: Bontrager lock-on. 
  • Rear rack: Touring with pannier support.
  • Security feature: Saddle saver by Kryptonite with lock/key