Steve Nutt’s vintage bike collection could be Australia’s largest
Vintage bike enthusiast Steve Nutt has built a 500-square-metre shed to house his collection. (ABC Gold Coasst: Tom Forbes )
Steve Nutt’s new bike shed is bigger than most suburban house blocks and houses his collection of more than 200 vintage bicycles.
The 69-year-old Gold Coast resident believes he has accumulated the largest collection of its kind in Australia.
“I don’t know anyone who has more bicycles than me,” he said.
The former bike shop owner said he buys and rebuilds bikes built between 1890 and 1990.
“I mainly collect racing bikes and generally, ones with an Australian connection, either made in Australia or raced by Australians,” he added.
Pedal-power passion began as a teenager
His passion for pushbikes started as a 14-year-old while attending Bondi High School, in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.
He and his mates began racing and his love of the sport quickly grew into a lifelong love of steel-framed bikes.
“Mum was a single mother and she couldn’t afford to give me money to buy a good racing bike, so I had to get a paper run and buy my own,” he said.
“I never had a bike as good as all my mates, so that probably stayed with me and as I’ve become an adult, and near retirement, I decided I’d like to have the bikes that I couldn’t have when I was 14.”
Steve Nutt spends up to 10 hours a week tinkering on his bikes in his shed and never takes them inside the house. (ABC Gold Coast: Tom Forbes )
Mr Nutt spends up to 10 hours a week in his shed restoring and maintaining his collection, which is 70 per cent Australian made.
He has not bothered trying to value the collection consisting of bikes ranging in value from $500 to $10,000.
“It’s in the eye of the beholder,” he said.
“Everyone likes something a bit different and mainly, I like racing bikes with an Australian connection.”
Resurgence of vintage bicycles
The cycling enthusiast rides three time a week with a group who prefer the heavier steel-framed bicycles instead of the modern carbon-fibre constructed models.
Vintage cycling is making a resurgence with classic bike shows, swap meets and tours being organised around Australia.
Mr Nutt said he was often fielding calls from other enthusiasts seeking his advice and expertise in the field.
“I’m getting more enquiries about people asking me to identify bikes and asking me to value bikes,” he said.
The property developer said his wife Romy had grown to accept that vintage bikes were his second great love.
“She’s okay with it all as long as they stay out of the house, that’s her only real rule,” he said with a smile.