In 1979 Alex Fulcher returned from East Germany with an idea for a new bike frame for the teams pursuit. Geoff was still racing at the time and Alex was Geoff’s coach. Alex’s idea was simple, reduce the total length of four bikes in a line along the track by one third. The concept in motion was four bike riders racing so close together, you’d maximise the potential for drafting and the swing up and back down the bank when riders peeled off after doing a turn on the front, would see them return to the back of the line in less time. Geoff calls it the "caterpillar".
With his new frame building challenge, Geoff designed and built four bikes which had smaller 26” front wheels and super short chain stays to reduce the wheel base as much as possible. This was the start of the trend where frame builders began smashing huge indents into seat tubes to reduce chain stay length to the max. The first track funny bikes built by Geoff had the bars and a custom stem brazed onto the top of the fork crown, with a bespoke Geoff Scott head tube cap inserted in the top. Fitting these first Aussie track time trial bikes to riders proved to be difficult every time a different rider saddled up, the handlebar height had to be changed by means of a hacksaw and brazing in newly grafted steel. At the 1982 Commonwealth Games at Chandler velodrome Brisbane, the Aussie team of Gary West, Kevin Nicholls, Michael Grenda and Michael Turtur won gold on Geoff and Alex's sky blue prototype funny bikes. Already in use for a couple of years at world championships, these prototype funny bikes were the product of innovation, built within a project that had no funding.
For the January 1984 Australian track championships, Geoff built a special Gefsco track pursuit bike for Russell Tucker. The Russell Tucker bike was built with the second version of Geoff's stem attachment to the fork crown, Geoff said "we decided to come off the centre of the crown instead of the sides, it was a neater design, then we decided to go away from that idea and use a normal drop stem". The image of the Leo Estermann funny bike above shows the style implemented by Geoff Scott, incidentally the Leo Estermann funny bike was brought back to Australia in late 1981 by Russell Tuckers brother, Kenrick Tucker and subsequently used in 1000 metre time trial events by Kenrick.
At the Los Angeles Olympic Games in 1984 Australia won the Teams Pursuit gold medal, the riders were Dean Woods, Michael Grenda, Kevin Nichols, and Michael Turtur. Three of the four gold medal winning bikes had a third Gefsco handlebar arrangement which had evolved into the use of a stock handlebar stem. According to Geoff, Dean Woods was riding a Kenevans funny bike at the L.A. Olympic Games. The Australian Cycling Federation, now known as Cycling Australia had no money in the early 1980's, so these bikes existed purely through the generosity of individuals like Geoff Scott and Alex Fulcher. Geoff said, "We had no money in the Cycling Federation, we used a normal stem because bikes were used with different riders in different events. Each rider had their own length stem. The main reason for the use of this stem arrangement was lack of funding. I bludged tubing, Alex Fulcher threw some money into the project, Jim Bundy helped us, TI Reynolds helped us. Everyone pitched in to get it done."
Today Geoff is back building tandems for Australian track teams. .
The innovation that came out of Geoff Scott's frame building workshop, helped lay down the foundation for the success that Australian cycling enjoyed in the following decades.
1984 LA Gold medal winning bike in the
4000m Team Pursuit
1982 Commonwealth Games Track Team Pursuit gold medal was one on these funny bikes. Note the Malvern Star sponsorship labelling, Clamont on the seat tube but all Gefsco.
Neil Stephen's Hour Record bike of 1987
Martin Vinicombe's Clamont which helped him become 1000m TT World Champion 1987. Martin won Silver at Seoul 1988 and broke the World record in 1989
Byron and Kenrick Tucker on Gefsco track bikes