NAHBS: Eric’s overview of this year’s edition.
The NAHBS 2015, North American Handmade Bicycle Show, was held last weekend in Kentucky. One of, if not most, prestigious bespoke bicycle awards a frame builder can win is given during the show. There are prizes for different types of bikes, prizes for beginners and also for different manufacturing processes. The NAHBS website offers a great deal of pictures and information about all of the exhibitors.
In today’s mass-production world, it’s always refreshing to see a celebration of people’s handiwork. What’s even more precious, in my eye, is to see big companies that have strong roots helping small businesses. This year, ENVE took this great marketing opportunity to hint at new fork designs. A couple of bikes in the show featured a new 12x100mm thru-axle fork and a new take on their seatpost. Chris King followed the lead with some prototype hubs to match. If you’re in the market for high-end all-year or dirt/gravel carbon fork, you should check it out because they look awesome and the fender that comes with it looks great. Check it out on a gravel Moots bicycle.
I was mostly interested in what was up in the touring/gravel/cross section of the show as that’s what I’m working on myself.
Stinner Frameworks were the first to catch my eye. A splendidly well painted disc-cross bike presented by Henry James (a company producing True Temper tubing, lugs, etc.) fitted with ENVE, Chris King and SRAM stuff. Check out more on the Radavist.
But the best of show for the cyclocross category went to No.22, whom we’ve already talked about, and their superb titanium frame. Here’s a video from Cyclocross Magazine showcasing the Broken Arrow, with thru-axles and are offered in stock or custom sizing. I wish I could’ve been there myself taking pictures, that’s gonna be for next year.
Best bicycle in the overall category goes to Groovy Cycleworks from Ohio who made a custom bike for a surf enthusiast. The bike supposedly captures the surf spirit, and can carry the board, and I agree. It’s certainly an eye-turner!
Worst bike would go to Allen Abbot, ask Camille about it. With the release of the CIRC report, and independent commission for the UCI studying doping in the sport, and the failure of launching a sexist bike on Women’s Right day, cycling still has a lot of work to do.
On a positive note, I’d like to give praise to Altruiste Bicycle Company Inc. from Notre-Dame, New Brunswick, for their work. I’d like to see more Canadian and local framebuilders go to NAHBS. Hopefully, a couple more will attend next year.