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Better late than never

Smith St Purple detail cropped

Welcome to Little Bike Blog.

Little Bike Blog is now retired as a regular blog, but remains a site for little bike lovers to peruse an idiosyncratic collection of little bikes (and accompanying thoughts).

All the bikes on this site were spotted by me, mostly in my inner-city neighbourood in Melbourne, Australia, though there are also some international additions. It’s amazing how many little vintage bikes there are out there.

I have categorized posts by bike type, if that’s what you are looking for (don’t expect any technical information, it’s not that kind of blog), or you can just scroll backwards through my three years of bike discoveries (if that’s the kind of thing you like doing).


Post post last post – so many seat posts (with little bikes attached to them)

As you may know, I have retired from LBB land, but I received this photo from Oli in Bavaria, Germany, who has got the little bike bug bad. This is a selection of his/her collection, there are fifty of them, FIFTY, all folders, I just had to share.

Thanks Oli.Do you ride them, restore them, trade them? We need to know more.

oli's bikes

Post last post

After all that, got to squeeze in one more.

A reader added this link to some great photos, including a pristine Raleigh Roamer, on a comment on the post Raleigh Roamer. I  couldn’t let such loveliness stay buried so deeply in the blog. Enjoy (and thanks Wan). Here’s a sneak preview:


raleigh roamer

Last post

Decal Smith St Purple detail 2

I am starting this post with one of the bikes that started this blog: this sublime purple Raleigh, complete with original vinyl carry bag, parked in Smith Street in 2010. (Featured here). I had just acquired a little bike of my own, a green folding Gitane, and started seeing little bikes everywhere. Since then I have spotted and snapped a myriad of them in Fitzroy and beyond (as far beyond as Barcelona) and have posted them here. I have gone from knowing nothing about the little lovelies, to knowing more than enough to brand me a little-bike tragic.

For the last six months I have been passing the little ones on the street with a smile and a nod of recognition, but the camera stays in my pocket. This suggests the collection is complete. Quite a satisfying thought.

Okay, so my secret wish of becoming some kind of Fitzroy little-bike-spotting legend, drawing together a local brethren of little bike riders, each eagerly awaiting the moment when their bike gets Little Bike Blog calling card, never really eventuated (lucky I never said it out loud so no one knows my failed dream, people won’t laugh and point at me on the street), but on the other hand I have had some very pleasing responses from people who have received the calling card, like the comment from Karin when I posted her Eska (Made in Czechoslavakia) and I have written some posts that I still think are quite funny (Dear Little Bike Blog) which is  quite an achievement in itself, so yes, I can tick the Quite Satisfied box, hope that little bike lovers who stumble across the blog in the future find it edifying, amusing or both, and shall now move on to the next writing adventure.

There is just one more thing to add to finish the collection, which is a small selection of delicious decals that I have snapped over the years, from bikes of all sizes. Enjoy.

Decal Gitane 70s 2

Decal Blue Madison detail

decal Graecross decal

decal hanimex detail

decal sears

decal ladies sport

decal univega 2

decal Bates decal

Decal Phillips name

Decal polaris

Decal Standish

Decal Livingston

decal Hudco

decal Hartley (part of olympic and pattina)

decal Waverly  2

Decal Stewart special

Words on bikes

Today for your bike-loving pleasure, an elegant advertisement, unearthed by a friend of mine who works for the Royal Agricultural Society (the Show)…


and some instructional reading sent by a LBB reader and contributor (he is also a very smart  little bike fixer-upperer…stay tuned for some new projects of his soon)

from BM

from BM 2

These lovely pages come from this fabulous book. Don’t you wish you owned it?

CC bike pics copy

Raleigh with hand painted helmet

raliegh with helmet

Dear Ms Raleigh,

here’s the thing, I love your bike. Everyone reading this blog loves your bike, we are a niche on-line clique who are big lovers of little bikes.

And the thing I love best is when little bike riders take up the offer on the card I leave on their bike to tell us about their little ride: where did you get it? (retro little bikes are hard to come by), does it make you stupidly happy when you ride it?

Dear readers, these and other questions may be answered in good time, should Ms Raleigh chose to accept the invitation (and assuming the card didn’t blow away, there’s a big breeze ablowing out there today.)  In the mean time, here are some pics of her bike for you to enjoy…

raleigh pedal

Love that pedal, think I have a bit of pedal envy

raleigh brakes

raleigh rear

Nice bit of home styled porteur work here

made in england

A bit of provenance

raleigh front

Posing on the corner of Johnston and Brunswick Streets where she was discovered
by LBB on a sparkly but chilly Sunday afternoon.


PS. Why do I assume the rider is a Ms? I am not one to subscribe to gender stereo types but am working on a combination of probability and instinct: can’t see this bike and its lovingly detailed helmet being ridden by someone who goes by Mrs, Miss or Mr… apologies if I am off the mark.



Rebuilding Ruby

ruby in bits

No, I haven’t suddenly transformed into one of those strange but wonderful people who have the ability to rebuild bikes, in fact I haven’t been doing much of anything  little bikey lately, except riding one of course (which still makes me as stupidly happy as ever…how can a bike be such an effective mood enhancer? Magic.)

Anyhoo, for want of any meaningful post from me, I am sharing a little bike resurrection post, care of Riding on Roadways. Should tickle the fancy of those bike builders out there…

click here to enter the world of Ruby


Alan’s little lovely – any clues?

Alan 3

Got this message from a reader recently:

I acquired a very cool folding bike from the Rozelle Markets a few weeks ago. I was originally looking for a Raleigh folder in good nick to recondition, but this one was just too cool to ignore…I have searched through google and haven’t found any reference to this bike or the maker. It would be really appreciated if you could post images of it on your site to see if anybody knows anything about this brand and origins.

So post I will, with a nod of appreciation to Alan’s attention to detail in the photos – love your work.

alan 2

alan 1

alan 4

Wow, it’s a beauty, hope someone can tell us more.

Over to you.

Mozambique Island

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI have been lucky enough to spend the last three weeks on the stunning Mozambique Island with my friends from Ilha Blue who run bike tours on these classic Hero bikes, the favoured bicycle of the island; not small wheeled, but packed full of style. I spied a few kids on small wheelers, but didn’t have camera in hand, except for this one…sturdy.


Barcelona retrospective

Metro bikes BarcelonaSo many wonderful things about Barcelona, not least of which is the metro bike scheme…these are the bikes! Little and red and perfect. Unfortunately I couldn’t hire one as they are only for people living in Spain (and they only cost €35 per year, brilliant.) But second best for a day of two-wheeled cruising was this…IMAG0494hired from Green Bikes for only €2 an hour. Magic.

Barcelona is little bike heaven, they are everywhere, here are a few that I managed to catch standing still






Barcelona Barri GothicI am assuming the missing seats are an extra security measure, not the result of a seat thief…