Finlay Brothers history site

Barb Gallery
Preserving the bicycle and
motorcycle heritage of
Finlay Brothers, Elizabeth St
Melbourne, 1900-1961.
A Barb with a concealed rear brake cable (through the top tube)
A Barb with a concealed rear brake cable (through the top tube)

The owner of this Barb has very kindly sent both "before" and "after" photographs of his bicycle, showing the great paintwork done on it recently by Kenn Dickie.

This Barb has an internal rear brake cable, with the photograph on the right showing the location of the exit hole on the top bar.  This was a prominent feature on the bicycles in a 1940's Barb brochure put out by Finlay Brothers (click here to view).

The owner of this bicycle has written us a great description of his Barb, and commented on the lovely paintwork done on it recently by Kenn Dickie - "I'm very pleased with his efforts and hope the bike is good for another 50-60 years - well after I'm gone!"

"Barb Sports Semi-Racer

The frame was purchased, without forks, on [an online auction site] several years ago.

It includes several features which are unique to the Barb range, such as:

  • The Barb badge on head tube
  • The cross-over welded rear seat stays (claimed to be twice as strong as normal stays)
  • Concealed rear brake cable through the top tube
  • Brazed on fittings for Jem "built-in" brakes - Australian made and an early version of the "V brakes" used on Mountain bikes in 1990's - these were set up for 28" wheels

This bike is similar to the Barb Sports Semi-Racer model shown in the Barb brochure from the late 1940's (click here to view), but with some variations using, in the main, contemporary components.

Kenn Dickie, who started working at Malvern Star in the early 1950's, was responsible for the artwork on the frame and forks.  Kenn was responsible for the artwork on many of the restored bikes featured in Racing Bicycles - 100 Years of Steel by David Rapley. 

Details are:

Frame - Barb 22 inch with cut away "fish-eye" lugs and "French" rear dropouts

Fork - non original

Wheels - 32/40 spokes, 28 x 1 3/8 rims with double side rear hub

Gear - 46 x 16 fixed

Brakes - Jem "built-in" rear, Agrati ?? Lusso front

Handlebars & stem - steel

Chainset - Williams 46

Saddle - 00 Sport 85

Finish - Black powder coat with artwork by Kenn Dickie."

With many thanks to the owner of this bicycle for help in preparing the description and providing the great photographs.

Before Kenn Dickie's work:


Barb Gallery