NAHBS Awards Get Major Overhaul


Speedway, Indiana – The NAHBS Awards, the popular finale to the North American Handmade Bicycle Show, have received a major overhaul including the judging protocol, the awards categories, the meaning of the awards, and the issue of the awards themselves.

Show founder and president, Don Walker, said “The NAHBS awards have become a very significant feature in the handmade bicycle industry, and since the industry and the show are evolving we thought it’s time the awards took the next step in their evolution.”

Revising the NAHBS awards was the first order of business for the newly-formed NAHBS Advisory Board, which comprises: Craig Calfee, Calfee; Don Ferris, Anvil; Tim O’Donnell, Shamrock Cycles; Paul Price, Paul Comp; Carl Strong, Strong Frames; Richard Sachs, Richard Sachs; Gary Smith, Independent Fabrications.

The new NAHBS Awards format will look something like this:

Builders will announce their intended entry to the NAHBS awards 45 days before the show, giving information about the frame/bicycle as well as the category they intend to enter. They don’t need to have completed the project by then, but they need to have it planned. NAHBS will publicly announce the candidates 30 days prior to the show.

Judging will take place on Friday and Saturday morning, with results posted by 1:00 p.m. Saturday. The results posting will comprise a list of bicycles/frames that deserve special merit. Up to three frames/bicycles in each category can be given this prestigious award.

Awards placards will be distributed to each successful builder at 1:00 p.m. Saturday for display next to the winning bike for the remainder of NAHBS. The awards stage ceremony will be limited to President’s Choice, People’s Choice, Best New Builder, and Best of Show awards. In these categories only one builder can win.

Walker said, “The biggest shift is giving ourselves the scope to acknowledge more than one builder per category. The range of quality at NAHBS has got narrower since the show began in 2005, and in many cases more than one bicycle or frame per category has been worthy of special merit. That doesn’t mean judges have to make all three awards, but they now have the latitude to do so. The other thing, by reducing the awards ceremony time and placing placards in the booth, we’re effectively adding an hour to the show time on Sunday.”

The 2012 NAHBS Awards Divisions and categories are as follows:

Materials Division

  • Best steel construction
  • Best titanium construction
  • Best carbon construction
  • Best alternative material
    (bamboo, aluminum, wood)

Riding Discipline Division

  • Best city bike
  • Best road bike
  • Best mountain bike
  • Best cyclocross bike
  • Best track bike
  • Best tandem bike
  • Best experimental bike

Construction Division

  • Best lugged frame
  • Best fillet frame
  • Best TIG frame

Presentation Division

  • Best finish

Individual Awards

  • People’s choice
  • President’s choice
  • Best new builder
  • Best of show

2011 NAHBS Award winners

The world’s number one custom bicycle show, the North American Handmade Bicycle Show moves from city to city each year. In 2012 it is scheduled for March 2-4, in Sacramento, California. NAHBS showcases the talents of frame builders around the world whose art form is the bicycle. It aims to be a meeting point-both online and in person-for frame builders and consumers looking for custom-made bikes, for the sharing of ideas, and the promotion of a special industry with a rich history dating back to 1819. Since its first year in 2005, NAHBS has grown from a show with 23 exhibitors and 700 attendees, to 174 exhibitors and 7300 attendees in 2011.

Source: Paul Skilbeck

Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)

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