Sirius cycles, really serius!

I got an email yesterday, a lad Ii know is selling his fixie, a beautiful Sirius Low Profile number, dripping in nice kit! The reason we met is because of Sirius cycles, he rode past me on a Critical Mass, clocked my ride, and asked me if I knew anything about them, as he had just bought one! Next time out, I saw him on it, and we’ve been in touch ever since, it’s the only other Sirius frame I have ever seen in the flesh…

I jokingly said to him some time back, if he was ever to sell it, tell me! Well he is, and I’m skint! Plus, I’m not sure how the wife would feel if I rolled up on another bike!

It got me thinking about the brand again, though, a Google search throws up very little other than several references to an Australian BMX outfit, one post on a forum said; “I purchased one in the 90′, they were based in the black country in Dudley, Kingswinford, on an industrial park. I visited their “unit”, they hand-built the frames and painted them. They were one of the first builders to produce a “micro time trial bike” with a steep seat angle, (78degrees). They were made from Reynolds tubing, starting with the basic tubing 531 then 653, 631 and the top tube set 853 which is still produced today. The 653 tubing was priced at £315 and the 853- £445. Unfortunately the mass imports of foreign ready made frames of aluminium helped to close the business. The quality of the frame building was ok, not the best, but a fair price. I still have mine,and people are still using them now at time trials.”

I was on holiday in Camelford, Devon, with my parents when they bought me my frame, I was 15, we were on holiday and I was out every day riding what was my father’s old Viscount road bike, that I had resprayed red and covered in Colnago stickers! I came flying round a bend and straight into the back of a stationary car! The frame was a right off, the head angle was now something closer to 110 degrees! My parents didn’t have a lot of money, but they took me to a bike shop, and i walked out with a custom made Reynolds 531c touring frame, custom made for someone else who changed their mind, granted! I spent the next day in my parents awning next to the caravan, transplanting my hard earned components onto the new frame, with a little ingenuity, it all fitted!

Being a fast touring, Audax style of frame, it doesn’t seem to follow the description in the comment above though, yet it does ring truer with this guys comment; “Originally, Sirius were the makers of Orbit bikes but this name transferred in the early 90’s to Simon Gershon of Freewheel in Leeds/Sheffield and became more orientated to the touring market than racing, still going fairly recently I believe. Sirius were the new name that the midland operation marketed under and were the only firm in the UK to have a go with the SoftRide suspension beam system on the frames (anyone remember them?) as far as  I know. They were the same people that sponsored Roger Hammond when he won the junior Cyclocross world champs in Leeds so they have a pretty good pedigree.” Except for the fact that we were down south, no where near Sheffield/Leeds!

On a different website, I found the following “Sirius frames were built in Coventry around 1988-91 by Tom Bromwich and a couple of frame-builders who had worked for Bromwich Cycles (Tom had sold the Bromwich business some years previously). When the manufacturing arm of the company making Sirius frames merged with Orbit, the Coventry unit was shut down and the name was used for cheaper Orbit framesets, and I think some custom jobs too. The owners of the original Sirius company later withdrew backing from Orbit Cycles, and Orbit was sold to Simon Gershon who moved the operation from Dudley to Sheffield. I don’t think the Sheffield Orbit ever sold frames with Sirius branding”

Although it has all but worn off, the head-badge (or sticker!) on mine said Coventry…. So, it’s still a bit of a mystery, no one seems to know that much about them! Just wish I had some money lying around to add my mate’s to the collection!!

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5 Responses to Sirius cycles, really serius!

  1. Mill House says:

    Dude thanks for that, really nice little read! Its got a new fork and the king now. Its at GBH if you want to take a last look.

    Like

  2. Phil D says:

    Interesting read, i’ve just converted a Sirius frame to fixed, and was wondering on it’s back history. It’s Reynolds 531 Competition with their newer stickering, pointing towards late 80’s/ early 90’s (light even for 531). Also has gipiemme dropouts and quite nice lug work. Looks pretty well made, slightly down sloping top tube, was possibly time trial frame? Very tight clearances, haven’t been able to find much out about them, until this article!

    Like

    • Martyn Bratt says:

      It sounds to be of a similar age to mine, (Did you see a pic of mine? https://relifecycle.com/biking/new-lights-for-the-winter-commute/). Although mine uses Haden lugs, they are nothing fancy, but elegant none the less. From your description it sounds a lot like the one I was talking about in this post… I wonder if he ever sold it!? Hmmmm….

      Anyway, thanks for posting, it’s always good to hear of others still in use… Seems to be a theme developing here though, they all end up fixed!

      Like

  3. Jeff Rowe says:

    Just surfing the net and came across this post. I have an 853 SIRIUS micro time trial bike I bought in the late 90s. Great bikes, it was really fast! It looks a bit dated now, next to all the fancy Carbon machines.

    Always wondered what happened to them as I have never seen any others on the road, even in the 90s.

    Like

    • Martyn Bratt says:

      Hi Jeff, talk about a coincidence, I haven’t really been on my blog in the past twelve months, work commitments have left me with very little free time, however, only yesterday I visited this very page to send the link to a friend!

      Since writing this, late last year I overtook a Manchester Uni student on a red Sirius, I slowed to tell him that it was only the third I have ever seen in the flesh, so to speak! Looked to be a regular racer frame, where as your sounds more like the one pictured above, my mate’s, which he still has incidentally!

      Great to hear about others, do you still ride it? I’ve just built a Dave Marsh 531c frame with modern groupset and carbon wheels, it looks quite nice. In fact you’ve inspired me to write a piece on it!

      Thanks for getting in touch

      Like

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