NAHBS Coverage – Best of Show, Videos and Photos.

News

The North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS) was held in Sacramento, CA this year and was bigger than ever! Mtbr and RoadBikeReview strive to provide you with as many video interviews and photos as possible. We setup a video/photo booth on the show floor and schedule appointments with the builders. Some are brand new guys just starting out and others are old friends. During the 3 days of the event, we talked with over 50 builders and shot over 70 videos! Check them out here and let us know what you think in the comments section.

2012 NAHBS Featured Builders
Alchemy Bicycle Co.
Carbon Cyclocross Bike
KVA Steel Road Bike
Alliance Bicycles
Titanium 29er
All Road Bike
Bamboosero
Bamboosero – Enabling a Nation
Black Cat Bicycles
Singlespeed 29er
Carbon Fiber and Lugged Steel Road Bike
Black Sheep Bikes
Ti Fat Bike “Two Face”
Boo Bicycles
Bamboo Singlespeed 29er Race Bike
Di2 Bamboo Road Bike
Caletti Cycles
Adventure Road Bike
Calfee Design
Carbon Tandem 29er Mountain Bike
Dean Ti
Ti Marathon Softail Racer with Belt Drive
Ti ExoGrid Road Bike
Don Walker Cycles
Singlespeed
English Cycles
18.5 lb Custom SS 29er
Project Right
Festka Bicycles
Racing Team Bike
Royal Flush
Form Cycles
Fatso” Ti Full Suspension Fat Bike
Stainless Steel Full Suspension 29er
Funk Cycles
La Ruta Ti 29er Full Suspension Racer
Guru Cycles
Photon
Inglis Cycles
Steel 29er
Retrotec Steel Ultegra Di2 Road Bike
Mosaic Cycles
Colorado Ti 29er
Ti Road Bike
Moth Attack
Track Bike
Panda Bicycles
Lugged Bamboo Road Bike
Pereira Cycles
JBR 29er Steel
Pitz Cycles
Cyclocross Bike
Priority Cycles
Hand Built Carbon Fiber DH Racer
Rex Cycles
Fillet Brazed Steel 29er
Ritchey Design
Tom Ritchey Breakaway Tandem
Ritchey Road Logic
Tom Ritchey Classic 40th Anniversary Frame
Ritte
Stainless Steel Road Bike
Speedhound Bikes
Only One
Steve Potts
Buying & Building the 2012 Award Winning Ti Bike
SyCip Bicycles
Unleaded Steel Hardtail (not a 29er)
Jeremy SyCip’s Cyclocross Bike
Ti Cycles
Rando
Ultralight Compact Road Bike
True Fabrications
Road Bike
Vendetta Cycles
Best Finish of the Show Track Bike
Lugged Commuter Bike
YiPsan Cycles
Cafe Racer
S and S Coupled Randonneur Bike

Trends:

NAHBS is a great indicator of where the bike industry is going. For example, a few years ago most of the builders were showing 29er and commuter bikes while they were still an oddity with big manufacturers. But now, that is clearly the growth segment of the bike industry.  This year, we did see some common themes that we feel will have a bright future in cycling:

1) Big Tire Road Bikes – Many manufacturers brought their best bike to our booth and at least six of them brought road bikes with big tires. Some called it an Adventure Road Bike or Dirt Road Bike  but the concept was a road bike that can go on trails or broken pavement.  It is similar to a cyclocross bike but a cross bike typically has knobby tires, high bottom bracket, steep head angle and bad brakes.  These Fat Tired Road Bikes use long reach caliper brakes to make room for tires up to 34c or beyond.  Some of them use disc brakes as well.   The geometry is similar to a road bike so it can handle and descend like a the best road bikes.  They key difference really is the big tires allow the rider to explore  and keep going as the good pavement ends.  The rider can punch through trails and parks and keep going on long day rides or multi-day excursions.

Technologies that have made this possible are: disc brakes or long reach caliper brakes and high quality big road tires.

2) Fat Bikes – Fat bikes are mountain bikes with tires almost as big as a motorcycle’s. These bikes float on these big tires usually at 10-12 psi and they allow the rider to handle almost any terrain.  Initially popular for the snow and beach areas,  the range of fat bikes as increased  to any terrain available.  When a normal mountain bike tire is stopped by terrain that is soft and ungroomed, a fat bike is able to float through and roll over with ease. And despite looking slow and difficult to maneuver, fat bikes are usually able to keep up with normal mountain bikes in cross-country terrain. Even without any suspension, fat offer a comfortable ride in rough terrain because of the huge tires with low pressure. Most fat bikes right now are hardtails but NAHBS showed us front suspension bikes and rear suspension bikes as well.

3) Bamboo and Stainless Steel Bikes – These new materials were very common at the show.  Bamboo is used because it is sustainable, attractive and it delivers a supple ride quality.  Bamboo wood absorbs a lot of the shock and vibration from the road or the trail so the rider benefits from a smoother ride. With advanced wood selection and manufacturing, builders are able to keep the weight down and build high performance in these frames.  Stainless steel was common too as builders dubbed it the ‘cheaper titanium’.  It is durable, rust proof, light like titanium but it is about $500 less for a comparable frame. It has an attractive finish too that can be maintained easily to look like new even after several years of riding.

Awards:

Every year, NAHBS gives out awards to the best bikes of the show. 2012 showcased an selection of winners.

BEST ALTERNATIVE MATERIALS FRAME Paketa Magnesium Bikes
BEST CARBON FIBER FRAME Alchemy Bicycle Company
BEST CITY BIKE Ira Ryan Cycles
BEST CITY BIKE Muse Cycles
BEST CITY BIKE Shamrock Cycles
BEST CYCLOCROSS BIKE 611 Bicycle Co.
BEST CYCLOCROSS BIKE Moots
BEST EXPERIMENTAL BIKE Black Sheep Fab.
BEST EXPERIMENTAL BIKE Ti Cycles Fabrication
BEST FILLET CONSTRUCTION Bishop Bikes
BEST FINISH Vendetta Cycles
BEST LUGGED CONSTRUCTION Bishop Bikes
BEST MOUNTAIN BIKE Naked Bicycles
BEST MOUNTAIN BIKE Pereira Cycles
BEST MOUNTAIN BIKE Retrotec-Inglis Cycles
BEST ROAD BIKE Demon Frameworks
BEST ROAD BIKE Rex Cycles
BEST STEEL FRAME Bishop Bikes
BEST STEEL FRAME Ellis Cycles Inc.
BEST TANDEM BIKE Kent Eriksen Cycles
BEST TIG CONSTRUCTION Black Sheep Fab.
BEST TITANIUM FRAME Kent Eriksen Cycles
BEST TITANIUM FRAME Steve Potts Bicycles
BEST TRACK BIKE Rebolledo Cycles
PEOPLES’ CHOICE University of the Fraser Valley
PRESIDENT’S CHOICE Cherubim by Shin-Ichi Konno
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR Stinner Frameworks
BEST OF SHOW Cherubim by Shin-Ichi Konno

 

 

About the author: Gregg Kato

Gregg Kato studied journalism and broadcasting in college while working many different jobs including deejaying, driving a forklift and building web sites (not all at the same time). Kato has been the Site Manager of Mtbr.com for over 12 years and enjoys riding local Santa Cruz trails. Besides being an avid mountain biker, he is also a motorcycle fanatic. Two wheels, one Passion.


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