Factory Team ImageAs we gather more information, a history of important manufacturers that have helped shaped the sport in Australia can be found here. Manufacturers play a very important role in the sport of BMX. They provide not only the tools of the trade, but also valuable support for talented riders. Sponsorship and factory team riders go right back to the beginnings of the sport here in Australia. It is every riders dream to be factory sponsored. We hope to shed light on the important Australian manufacturers, as well as the big overseas players, some of whom have been there right from the start, and still going strong today.

Supa Roo

Story by Jon Moore

The Supa Roo story began with JT Cycles.

JT Cycles opened it's first shop in Kilkenny South Australia on the 28th February 1976. The JT Cycles brand has evolved from it's previous 26 stores that have opened at various times throughout the years around the city and suburbs of Adelaide.

It's original owner 'Des Pearce - a Findon Skid Kid and State Champion boxer in bantam and featherweight divisions between 1969 and 1971, honed his skills in the cycling trade after being taught how to build wheels in his mid 20's. Des soon moved into business for himself though while juggling other work in installation and a busy family life he continued with his love of bicycle racing in the form of BMX and Cycle Speedway (Skid Kids). Des formed Australia's first true BMX brand 'Supa Roo' in the early 80's and created the ultimate team with Australia's top riders dominating races around the country.

The first prototype Supa Roo's were made from mild steel, later moving to Hi-Tech Supaloy supplied by British Tube Mills and assembled by Trueline Fabrication in Adelaide.

By the mid 80's Supa Roo and JT Cycles were a registered company with 6 stores open and going strongly. The JT name itself was a creation resulting from two State BMX champions first names who rode in the Supa Roo team, one being De's son 'Joffre Pearce' and the other 'Trevor Sheppard'.

Supa Roo - JT Cycles
1980 - 1985.

In 1986 Elizabeth Star Cycles were given the manufacturing and distributor rights for Supa Roo. A branding conversion to Vortex took place at the end of Supa Roo's arrangement with Elizabeth Star Cycles. Elizabeth Star was still using Supa Roo specs for the Vortex's up until around 1989, so Vortex was basically Supa Roo rebranded hence the similar frame designs. The geometry was changed slightly into the 90's. Elizabeth Star Cycles manufactured it's range of Vortex bikes until the mid 90's though eventually, like the rest of the Australian bike manufactures they found that it was no longer viable to produce bikes and began importing bikes from Taiwan and China

Supa Roo - Elizabeth Star Cycles.
1985 / 86.
Vortex 1987 - Mid 90's.

2013 seen the return of the SUPA ROO brand by the way of a limited run of SR branded Headsets and Seat Clamps. These products were Manufactured in China and distributed via S R CYCLES Australia. This limited edition run paved the way for a return of SUPA ROO to the Australian BMX Market.

Supa Roo - S R CYCLES
2013 on

Some of the Team Riders that represented Supa Roo were: Des Pearce, Joffre Pearce, Peter Lowry, Trevor Sheppard, Gavin Nugent, Russel Nugent, Jason Ryan, Mark Stevenson, John Palmeri, Matthew Wardrop, Robert Denham, Trevor Jenkins, Brenton Cya, Jackie Hawke, Craig Marafioti, Andy Murnane, Chelsey Zucker, Jack Dent, De Luca At Monza.

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