Kypo

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P!N20
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Kypo

Postby P!N20 » Fri Mar 08, 2019 4:00 pm

I’ve recently been lucky enough to purchase a Kypo frame. Kypos were built in Traralgon, Victoria by Rob Kypriotis during the 80’s and 90’s and they have always appealed to me as being somewhat obscure, yet highly regarded.

When I got it, actually, before I got it, I started to do a bit of research on Kypo and while there’s not a whole lot of information online, you can pull together various snippets and more or less get the complete history. So I thought I’d post a concise Kypo record in an attempt to retain this piece of Australian cycling history in one place.

In addition, I got in touch with two people who filled in some of the gaps: Glen Gibson, who purchased Rob’s equipment when he pulled up stumps as well as being the caretaker of the build records, and Rob Kypriotis himself. Rob was a little apprehensive at first, but once the memory banks were opened he was quite chatty with a positive tone in his words.

Rob began making frames around 1983*. In his mid 30’s and having quite a bit of success as a road racer for the Latrobe City Cycling Club (LCCC), Rob was looking for something else to do. Beginning as a hobby, frame building was born from necessity – there were no readily available junior sized road bikes for his sons, so Rob thought he could make them himself. His first frame was built for his wife and apparently is still ridden today by a different owner.

Rob developed his frame building skills by reading the few books on the subject and exploring his own methods. Frame building then was a closely guarded secret so there wasn’t anyone overly willing to pass on the knowledge. Rob built a workshop on his property and Kypo's Cycle Works was in full swing.

Over the course of 15 years Rob made over 460 frames** as well as painting and repairs. Rob used PPG paints which he said were the best at the time.

During the recession ‘Australia had to have’, Rob survived mainly on frame repairs on a part time basis as frame orders dropped right off.

In 1998 Rob decided to shut up shop. The main reasons for this decision were arthritis in his hands/wrists which made production difficult, as well as the trend towards aluminium as the preferred frame material which would mean purchasing a whole heap of new equipment – heat treatment gear, TIG welder, etc. Rob sold all his equipment to Glen Gibson who has predominately carried out frame repairs.

Rob said he enjoyed 14 of the 15 years building frames – the arthritis made the last year difficult. Typically he would complete two, maybe three, frames per week.

Between Columbus and Reynolds tubing, Rob didn’t particularly have a preference, but said Reynolds was a bit cheaper.

The rose motif found on the head tube decal and ‘O’ on the downtube decal is in honour of his first wife, Rose. He remarried a woman with ‘Le’ in her name, and Kypo became Le Kypo. According to Rob his customers didn’t take to the new name and she left after a few years anyway, so it was returned to Kypo.

The serial numbers found on the underside of Kypo bottom bracket shells give the month, year and sequence of manufacture. So mine is 292K317: February 1992, #317.

Big thanks to Tate who sold me the frame, macca33, Jim Timmer-Arends of LCCC, Glen Gibson and of course, Rob Kypriotis.

Image

* Rob can’t remember exactly when he began building frames, but he said he was doing it for 15 years and the last frame he built was in 1998.

** Glen Gibson’s records show 463, but there is a 465 which is believed to be the last Kypo made.
Last edited by P!N20 on Fri Mar 08, 2019 4:48 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Kypo

Postby P!N20 » Fri Mar 08, 2019 4:03 pm

Image

Le Kypo
Size: 56 (ST) x 56.5 (TT) c-c
Serial: 292K317 (February 1992, 317th frame, built for Matt Hose.)
Tubing: Reynolds 531 Competition (Reynolds 525 on build record)
Rear spacing: 130mm (re-spaced from 126mm)
Front spacing: 100mm
Dropouts: Columbus
Fork tips: Columbus
Fork crown: Columbus
Bottom bracket shell: Bocama BSC threading
Rear brake bridge: Gipiemme
Seat tube ID: 26.8

My friend Tate had this Kypo and whenever I saw him I hassled him (jokingly) about selling it to me. A few months back Tate sent me a message asking if I was still interested. Hell yeah!

I’m unsure why the build record states Reynolds 525 but the decal indicates 531c. Glen seemed to think it may have been a late change. The original colour was recorded and fluorescent yellow and red, so it’s probably safe to say it’s the original paint and decals.

Does anyone know Matt Hose? Apparently he is/was a jeweller and had quite a few Kypos made for him.

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Tim
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Re: Kypo

Postby Tim » Fri Mar 08, 2019 4:22 pm

Very interesting.
One or twice a year during the 80's I used to race down at Warragul and Darnum . I noticed a few of these frames and assumed they were an exotic European brand. Thanks for the information.
Warren (Bicyclepassion) lives a bit further down the track in East Gippsland. He might know something more about them.

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Re: Kypo

Postby bicyclepassion » Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:11 pm

I can't add anything to that excellent research above. Kypo was much more than a club level rider, a very good rider at national level, but he would be too modest to tell you about it. His frames were amongst the best I have ever seen, but I didn't realise it at the time. It's only in later years, when I became involved in the restoration or preservation of hundreds of Australian and European (Italian) steel bikes that I have been able to compare the workmanship. In the middle 80's, a lot of riders east of Melbourne were riding Vitus aluminium frames. I think in one Gippsland club combine, the entire scratch bunch were on Vitus. When all the Vitii started to fall apart, most of the riders switched to Kypo, just as he was ramping up 'production'.

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Re: Kypo

Postby rkelsen » Sat Mar 09, 2019 8:40 am

A nice little piece of history which I enjoyed reading very much. Thanks for posting.

It's given me something else to watch out for! :D

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Re: Kypo

Postby P!N20 » Sat Mar 09, 2019 9:54 am

Here are some images of other Kypos I found on the internet:

Image

Image

Image

^ This is a re-paint

Image

Image

^ This is apparently the last Kypo. I believe it was re-painted at some point.

Image

Image

^ This has 'renovated' decals, so may not be original paint.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

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Re: Kypo

Postby macca33 » Mon Mar 11, 2019 2:42 pm

Great work mate - glad Big Jim and I were able to point you in the right direction, as it is an interesting story.

The Campag-equipped 'last' Kypo in your photos may be the one still ridden by a member of Warragul CC.

cheers
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Re: Kypo

Postby GaryF » Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:26 pm

Great memories. I got a Kypo second hand and rode the hell out of it. Then I re-painted it and rode it some more. I absolutely loved it.

In the end we got a divorce - nothing wrong with the Kypo it's just that I got a wondering eye.

Just thinking about our good times together brings a smile to my face. Reynolds 653 frame with C-Record era Chorus components. Fitted me perfectly and instilled confidence under all sorts of conditions.

I know you will love your Kypo Pin20 and thanks so much for your fantastic research and great article.

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Re: Kypo

Postby P!N20 » Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:46 pm

rkelsen wrote:It's given me something else to watch out for! :D
Keep your eye out - they pop up occasionally but right size at the right price is the tricky equation.
macca33 wrote:Great work mate - glad Big Jim and I were able to point you in the right direction, as it is an interesting story.
Thanks again Macca. I was stoked how helpful everyone was.
GaryF wrote:I know you will love your Kypo Pin20 and thanks so much for your fantastic research and great article.
Cheers Gary. I was hoping you might swing by as I knew you once had a Kypo.

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Re: Kypo

Postby GaryF » Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:11 pm

I must admit that I have re-read your fine article on Rob Kypriotis a few times as my Kypo did mean so much to me. I'm so glad you bothered to contact Rob and give us an overview of his bike building times in your own inimitable fashion. Thanks Pin20.

I bought the Kypo from a young guy that had just tried to sell it at Beasley's in Footscray. They didn't want it (silly them) so I followed the young guy out of Beasley's and bought it from him outside the shop. I was well aware of the fine Kypo reputation and got what I consider a real bargain. I do often wish I still had the bike.

After a year or so I re-painted the tired looking 'Team Z - Greg LeMond' tri-coloured frame. Rob was very helpful and sent me a complete decal kit. I painted it yellow (a la Henry Hill) as I was riding the Kypo night and day and truely in all sorts of conditions.

I lived in a market garden area and I often had to hose me and the Kypo down to get the mud off after a ride. After a cold and wet ride, a hosing down was the last thing I needed but I wasn't allowed inside without doing so.

I had it fitted with mudguards and had lots if plastic bottle pieces fashioned to keep the mud out and these pieces were zip-tied to the frame in appropriate positions. I used a Sony Dynamo light set to help me be seen in those dark and dingy conditions. I often had to stop to scrape the build-up of mud off the dynamo wheel to keep the lights working. Not very aerodynamic but very necessary.

After a number of years I traded the Kypo in on another bike but I just can't remember what bike though? Something flashy with most probably Campagnolo bits and pieces. Probably a bike I've long forgotten but I will always remember the Kypo. Gee, I do some silly things at times.

P.S. haha - I did enter it into a few races with the Footscray club but after these few races I was told I couldn't ride it with mudguards and weird plastic bits and pieces as it created a danger to other riders.
Last edited by GaryF on Tue Mar 12, 2019 5:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Kypo

Postby P!N20 » Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:36 pm

^ Great story, Gary. I wonder whatever happened to your Kypo?
GaryF wrote:Rob was very helpful and sent me a complete decal kit.
Interestingly I asked Rob if he had any Kypo stuff left and he said he has some decal kits stashed away in a box somewhere, but he reckons the reproduction decals are probably better quality as the originals have probably suffered over time. Part of me wanted to try and get my hands on an orginal set, but Rob was so generous with his time I didn't want to push it.

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Re: Kypo

Postby GaryF » Tue Mar 12, 2019 5:49 pm

I re-painted my Kypo around 1992/3 and they were his original decals. I have to agree with Rob as they weren't the best quality but they did hang on to the frame. I'm unsure as to whether I clear coated over the top of the decals or not? I didn't use the 'K' in the circle decals designed for use either side of the front fork crown.

I love the look of your new Kypo as it really stands out from the crowd. What a great Aussie frame to own. Perhaps you may acquire an original decal set and store it away just incase you ever need it. Looking at your frame though, that day may never come.

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Re: Kypo

Postby P!N20 » Tue Mar 19, 2019 11:44 am


matthose
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Re: Kypo

Postby matthose » Fri Apr 19, 2019 7:41 pm

P!N20 wrote:Image

Le Kypo
Size: 56 (ST) x 56.5 (TT) c-c
Serial: 292K317 (February 1992, 317th frame, built for Matt Hose.)
Tubing: Reynolds 531 Competition (Reynolds 525 on build record)
Rear spacing: 130mm (re-spaced from 126mm)
Front spacing: 100mm
Dropouts: Columbus
Fork tips: Columbus
Fork crown: Columbus
Bottom bracket shell: Bocama BSC threading
Rear brake bridge: Gipiemme
Seat tube ID: 26.8

My friend Tate had this Kypo and whenever I saw him I hassled him (jokingly) about selling it to me. A few months back Tate sent me a message asking if I was still interested. Hell yeah!

I’m unsure why the build record states Reynolds 525 but the decal indicates 531c. Glen seemed to think it may have been a late change. The original colour was recorded and fluorescent yellow and red, so it’s probably safe to say it’s the original paint and decals.

Does anyone know Matt Hose? Apparently he is/was a jeweller and had quite a few Kypos made for him.
That is indeed my old rig used mostly for training. I’m pretty sure it was Reynolds 525 so I’m unsure why the decals are 531.
Matt H

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Re: Kypo

Postby P!N20 » Sat Apr 20, 2019 10:58 am

matthose wrote:That is indeed my old rig used mostly for training. I’m pretty sure it was Reynolds 525 so I’m unsure why the decals are 531.
Matt H
Hi Matt, glad you stumbled on this thread!

Do you remember what groupset you had on it?

I heard you had a few Kypos built, do you still have any? I’d love to see them.

I think you’re right about 525, if it was 531 it would most likely take a 27.2 seatpost.

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Re: Kypo

Postby P!N20 » Mon Dec 09, 2019 10:46 am

I pulled out the Tange Levin headset on the weekend, and the steerer is only 31.3mm longer than the head tube - that doesn't sound like very much to me. I did notice before pulling it out there was a gap from the top of the steerer tube to the lock nut tab.

Tange Levin headsets have a stack height of 38.2mm, apparently (I need to measure, but that's what the internet tells me - I don't know if that includes the lock nut tab or not.)

Anyway, do I have many/any options for headsets closer to 31.3mm stack height? Assuming the Tange headset was OK, would I be safe going with a ~38mm headset stack height?

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Re: Kypo

Postby 10speedsemiracer » Mon Dec 09, 2019 11:12 am

P!N20 wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 10:46 am
I pulled out the Tange Levin headset on the weekend, and the steerer is only 31.3mm longer than the head tube - that doesn't sound like very much to me. I did notice before pulling it out there was a gap from the top of the steerer tube to the lock nut tab.

Tange Levin headsets have a stack height of 38.2mm, apparently (I need to measure, but that's what the internet tells me - I don't know if that includes the lock nut tab or not.)

Anyway, do I have many/any options for headsets closer to 31.3mm stack height? Assuming the Tange headset was OK, would I be safe going with a ~38mm headset stack height?
I've had that issue previously with a Tange headset, but found a whatever-branded threaded (Nico?) had a lower profile. There's something similar at Moruya Bicycles http://www.moruyabicycles.com.au/conten ... set-1.html for not many $s although I imagine these would be available elsewhere.
Campagnolo for show, SunTour for go

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Re: Kypo

Postby familyguy » Mon Dec 09, 2019 11:26 am

Had this issue with the Koga Miyata I sold recently. I ended up putting in a Ritchey Logic headset into it, which has a 33mm stack. I had to get creative and machine the top of the upper nuts down a mm or so and then made a 0.5mm delrin washer for it. Managed to lose 2-3mm of height but still was really close, only just managing two turns on the top nut to lock it on.

Image

At a pinch leave the washer out of it, but be prepared to check it is still tight every few weeks?

105SC headsets are apparently a 33.5mm stack height and seem good quality.

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Re: Kypo

Postby P!N20 » Mon Dec 09, 2019 12:16 pm

Thanks 10speed and Jim, looks like I need to shop around a bit.

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Re: Kypo

Postby P!N20 » Sun Dec 15, 2019 9:02 pm

familyguy wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 11:26 am
At a pinch leave the washer out of it, but be prepared to check it is still tight every few weeks?

I was cleaning up the old headset today and noticed there's no washer! The lock nut appears to have some sort of loc-tite or epoxy on it, probably in an attempt to stop it coming loose.

Here's a handy chart I found of low stack headsets:

Image

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Re: Kypo

Postby Mobyfish88Ruby » Fri Jan 03, 2020 9:06 pm

Hi Just got myself a 653 reynolds Kypo frame and looking for some kypo forks, which maybe be a long shot, but if you don't ask :D !!!!! Cheers Todd :mrgreen:

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Re: Kypo

Postby GaryF » Sun Jan 05, 2020 5:13 pm

Mobyfish88Ruby wrote:
Fri Jan 03, 2020 9:06 pm
Hi Just got myself a 653 reynolds Kypo frame and looking for some kypo forks, which maybe be a long shot, but if you don't ask :D !!!!! Cheers Todd :mrgreen:
Hi Todd, I may be wrong in saying this but...... a front unbranded fork is (no pantographing or cast logo in the fork crown) is appropriate for a KYPO frame. I had a KYPO 653 and it came with a decal applied to each slope of the fork crown. The decal was a circle of approx. 12mm with a "K" in the middle of the circle. I also had a replacement decal set (now gone) and it came with 2 decals as described.

This may make your job of replacing the fork easier.

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Re: Kypo

Postby P!N20 » Sun Jan 05, 2020 5:42 pm

Mobyfish88Ruby wrote:
Fri Jan 03, 2020 9:06 pm
Hi Just got myself a 653 reynolds Kypo frame and looking for some kypo forks, which maybe be a long shot, but if you don't ask :D !!!!! Cheers Todd :mrgreen:
Was that the one on Gumtree in Geelong? Good buy - what’s the serial number?

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Re: Kypo

Postby P!N20 » Tue Jan 28, 2020 8:51 pm

So work has started on getting my Kypo built up, but progress is slow.

Headset is installed. Props to Chris at Pedal Cyclery who seated the crown race in about two minutes after my makeshift tool only got it so far.

Bottom Bracket is in after waiting for about two weeks for the correct tool. Really wanted to throw my C-Rec cranks on to give it a spin, but apparently those self extracting bolts take a 7mm hex key...wut?

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Re: Kypo

Postby GaryF » Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:48 am

P!N20 wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 8:51 pm
So work has started on getting my Kypo built up, but progress is slow.

Headset is installed. Props to Chris at Pedal Cyclery who seated the crown race in about two minutes after my makeshift tool only got it so far.

Bottom Bracket is in after waiting for about two weeks for the correct tool. Really wanted to throw my C-Rec cranks on to give it a spin, but apparently those self extracting bolts take a 7mm hex key...wut?
Hahaha - Campagnolo does it again!! Wouldn't you just like to give them a slap? I wonder if they designed the C-Record stuff using weird sized Allen keys on April fools day - just for a laugh. Unfortunately........we just have to have the C-Record bling!

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