Canadian Framebuilder History Series #1 : Cyclops Custom Bicycles
I have been working on small series of introductory commentary about the history of different frame builders of Canada to help Camille find inspiration for her custom build. The first brand I wanted to feature on this list was Cyclops, of Toronto. I think the style their style was very unique and ahead of it’s time. Unfortunately, I missed my chance of having my hands on one of their frame that was for sale this summer, a nice 58cm track bike. Just my size, eh. I’m a real sucker for this type of design; satanic or conspirationist styling and symbols. While I’m still on the lookout for some of these bikes, my main priority is completing other projects first, like this Marinoni bike I will talk about soon.
Mike Mulholland, the late owner and operator of Cyclops Custom Bicycles, was born in England in 1939. He moved to Canada when he was 8 years old and joined the Army at 18, training in radio transmission. Always in love with bicycles, he would ride one to work after his military service. He joined, later in his life, the Scarborough CC in 1971. Winning some races and championships, he became Chief Commissaire at 36. In 1982 he started the Oro Cycling Club. And then, in 1983, he bought Jocelyn Lovell’s business (Lovell Bikes) and created Cyclops Custom Bicycles. The CC changed it’s name to Cyclops, too.
Story says that the business was not just an ordinary bicycle store, but a great place to hangout and talk cycling. With a great heart, numerous stories tell about Mike taking photos and videos and giving them to people, while also helping them with racing, coaching, and even finding components. He is known to have stripped some of his own bikes of good components to give them to young hopes! He lived for biking.
Today, finding a Cyclops bike is hard. They are not many and most are scattered around the world. If you see one, you will unmistakably gaze upon his avant-garde styling with what someone would call “hipster” designs such as illuminati pyramids, giant eyes, while still keeping classic stripes and colors. Randy from mytenspeeds.com has a beautiful one from the 80’s that you can see below. His website covers the process of finding and building a vintage bicycle. I suggest you go take a look!