03 March, 2016

Cool and Weird Bikes from NAHBS

by Igor

First, big thank you to Joshua of Frances Cycles. He was kind enough to let us borrow a beautiful sportif-style frameset for the weekend. Here it is, all outfitted in VO components and accessories. In addition, his cargo bikes are extremely well thought out and can handle anything you throw at them.

A photo posted by Joshua Muir (@francescycles) on

We had a great time at the show. We spoke to lots and lots of friendly people from all over the world who came to enjoy the craft and scene. This show is different from some other industry shows in that builders bring out their big guns and construct frames and bikes that exemplify not only their style but also their capabilities. 

Rob English puts out some stellar bikes that would not look out of place in an art gallery, but they are machines designed to get the snot ridden out of them. This stainless steel road bike with super lightweight components has every inch considered for weight savings and performance. This bike weighs something like 9.5 lbs (4.3kg) complete, which, if you haven't held a bike this light before, is an odd sensation. It almost feels like it could float away if you're not keeping an eye on it.
Chris Dekerf put together a fully titanium time trial bike with a custom titanium fork. Every tube is formed for aerodynamics and stiffness. The fork is custom to the bike and has formed tubes as well.

Calfee put together an alternative build for their Dragonfly model. 650b wheels, nicely mounted fenders, integrated front rack, and integrated seatpost-mounted bottle cages make it a lightweight randonneur. The contrast between the green lugs and matte tubes is very striking up close.
Wheel Fanatyk not only had super cool splined alloy nipples, but they were also showing off a clever sorter for quick nipple access while you're building wheels.

Bohemian Bicyles is a steel and carbon frame building school that puts out some really nice work. They had a few very nicely filed S&S couplers on display which will get brazed into a tube for a travel bike.
The Horton Collection has fantastic racing photographs from old magazines and newspapers. Every original is unique with markings on the back for placement in the page layout from editors and photographers. I have a few lovely mounted ones at my house, which I picked up at Cirque a number of years ago.
Abbey has amazing tools for the serious mechanic and enthusiast. Titanium, carbon, and wood are all used in the construction.

Sims Works from Japan were showing off a new touring frameset based around the 650b platform. The fork had a clever way to mount super wide fenders. They also released some cool mixed terrain tires inspired by those no longer produced.
Razik makes ridiculously cool frames that look fragile but can, in fact, take a serious beating. I have no idea how such a unique carbon weave rides, but they are definitely a head turner.
Steve Rex, a long time Sacramento frame builder, does beautiful work. Here is a road bike with a very unique striped pink and red paint job.

If you had a chance to go to NAHBS, what stood out to you? 


joshua said...

I always love Mitch's work at Map Bicycles and the framebuilding program at the Iowa institute (Is that what it was?) was impressive. California framebuilders had a ton of good work there.

eponodyne said...

I kept circling back around to the English booth as well as Rex. For my money, though, the DeKerf was, hands down, the most innovative and finely-crafted bike in the show. NAHBS is a three-day temple to the Gods of craftsmanship.