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Malvern Star

Malvern Star was founded in 1902 by Tom Finnegan in Malvern, Australia, a suburb of Melbourne. Malvern Star manufactured bikes in Australia until 1987, when all manufacturing was moved to Japan and Taiwan. In the 1940s, Malvern Star operated the largest manufacturing plant in the southern hemisphere, producing many 1,000s of bicycles annually with 726 employees.1)

Malvern Star introduced the Bushranger mountain bike in 1983.2) As Australia is mostly flat,3) the American term “mountain bike” did not grab Aussie's attention until a bit later in the game. Many Australians were aware of the fun which Marin County's renegades enjoyed going downhill and were modifying their cruisers with fat tires for some years, mostly with an eye towards Australia's more rough flat roads and bush. The first mountain bike to sell in Australia was the Araya Mountain Bike in 1982, 4) which was quickly followed in 1983 by Malvern Star, Apollo, Repco, Ricardo, Hillman and Shogun. 5)

Malvern Star continues today.

Freewheeling #21
Bushranger reviewed in the Sept 1983 issue of Freewheeling, issue #20.

1990 Catalog
Perhaps the bike rusted away, simply leaving wooden rims?
1990 Catalog bloggingadeadhorse

1983 Bushranger

One of the earliest Australian branded mountain bikes. Originally with a Shimano AL11 derailleur. This example has been upgraded to a SunTour XCE (1990?). Lugged frame, slingshot stems, AU$615

1983 Bushranger
1983 Bushranger

1984 Torago

TIG welded. Slingshot stem. Budget Shimano RS derailleur (1981-7).

The Torago was marketed as a “fully equipped six speed mountain bike.” No front derailleur, so it's not going up any hills. Thus, the shoulder strap is needed for unexpected changes in elevation.

1984 Torago
1984 Torago gumtree

1985 Trailrider

TIG welded. Twelve speeds. Shoulder strap to prove that it's a mountain bike. Note that the Bushranger, with a front triple, doesn't get a shoulder strap.

1985 Trailrider
1985 Trailrider bloggingadeadhorse

1987 Ventura

Perhaps named after the California beach town? Shimano Tourney TY10GS (1987-90).

1987 Ventura
1987 Ventura gumtree

1989 Bushranger

Shimano Mountain LX (1988-9), ubrakes, Biopace and triple butted tubing.

1989 Bushranger
1989 Bushranger imgur

1991 Mahou

Mahou is Japanese for “witchcraft” and Malvern Star is probably using a Japanese supplier. Note that one of their models at this time is called a “Prairie Breaker,” which is also a Shogun model name. Shimano Tourney TY15 (1991).

1991 Mahou
1991 Mahou gumtree

See history at: aussievelos and
It's likely not the first Australian branded mountain bike. More research is needed, but the Hillman Alpine probably gets first, while the Araya Mountain Bike was the first mtb generally available in 1982.
Australia prides itself on being exceptionally flat. However, where people live (i.e. NSW) there are plenty of hilly parks which allow mountain biking.
See Issues 17 & 18 of http:Freewheeling
See a 1983 Australian market comparison in issue 20 of Freewheeling
malvern/start.txt · Last modified: 2022/02/24 16:16 by mtbtimeline