The Malvern Star brand is an iconic symbol of the Australian bicycle industry, and has recently celebrated its 110th anniversary.
Now owned by Sheppard Cycles, the brand has seen major line-up changes. Malvern Star is now focusing on quality recreational bikes, including road bikes, entry-level mountain steeds or quality kids' bikes.
Just a couple of years ago, Malvern Star was closely aligned with Australian cycling legend Phil Anderson, and marketing a range of well-priced performance Oppy road bikes. The Oppy range is still alive, but running at a smaller capacity. It tops out with the $2,799 Oppy C6, which is also the most expensive bike in the brand’s 2015 line-up.
The Oppy C5 offers Shimano 105 gearing and will sell for $1,899
The Oppy C6’s full carbon frame features a tapered head tube, internal cable routing and carbon bottom bracket. The build is completed with Mavic Aksium wheels and a Shimano Ultegra 22-speed drivetrain.
At $1,499, the Oppy C4 (and women’s Oppy C4 W) has the same full carbon frame as the Oppy C6, but hits a far lower price point with a 18-speed Shimano Sora drivetrain. This should be a comfortable bike for someone looking to get into road cycling.
The aluminium Oppy A range sees a drop in price, including the Malvern Star A3 that we reviewed previously, which drops $200 to $1,199.
Much like Avanti’s 2015 mountain bike range, the 26in wheel has been laid to rest in Malvern Star’s 2015 line-up. The Axis range replaces the Switch we reviewed recently, with both 27.5in and 29in options available at each price point.
The $529 Malvern Star Axis 29-1 is the entry into 29in wheels
The Axis 27.3 and 29.3 piqued our interest; at just $829 they offer plenty of features that will suit new riders who want one bike to do everything – including some real mountain biking. Key features include a SR Suntour XCR fork, 27-speed Shimano Deore/Acera drivetrain, Shimano hydraulic disc brakes and Shimano hubs.
Urban and family bikes
The Path Racer is throwback to Malvern Star's rich Australian racing history
Perhaps the most interesting bike of the 2015 line-up is the Path Racer. This new model is the brainchild of Malvern Star product manager Michael Howes and seeks to bring plenty of the brand’s rich history back to the streets. Pitched as a trendy men’s bike, the Path Racer borrows inspiration from 1930s Australian track racing – where the bikes were used on the road when not on the track. The model is expected to land in November and will start at $499 for a full-chromoly single speed, with geared options to be confirmed.
Another bike we’ve reviewed recently, is the Sprint, a flat-bar road bike. For 2015 it receives an updated frame, and the range-topping Sprint 3 now has road gearing, replacing the mountain bike gearing of previous versions.
There's a huge range of kids bikes for 2015, including budget and super light options
And for the kids, the entire range has been updated. Plenty of work has gone into the small details, most importantly, the colours and graphics. Malvern Star used two graphic designers – one for the boys and one for the girls. For the boys there’s a theme of 60s automotive racing, while the girls' bikes get softer pastels, with plenty of options available for each wheel size.