2012 North American Handmade Bicycle Show

Mar 14, 2012
by Colin Meagher  
A few highlights from the 2012 North American Handmade Bicycle Show that just took place in Sacramento. There definitely some interesting bikes being made out there, some good, some well, we'll let you decide...

Moots Wagon Wheeler 29er

There were a number of "standard" offerings at the show--predominantly of the 29er variety. This was one beautifully sculpted Moots wagon wheeler, for example.


Form bike with a Lefty front fork and Surly endomorph tires

Along with the "normal" bikes on display at the show, there were the one off specialty items, including this Surly endomorph tire equipped Form bike with the Lefty front fork; this bike is designed for riding in snow and sand.


Custom clamp for the lefty fork on the Form bike

Custom clamp for the lefty on this ride.


100mm wide Bottom Bracket shell to attain proper clearance and BB stiffness on the Form Bike

The massive tires require a 100mm wide BB shell in order to attain proper clearance and BB stiffness.


The rear is laced up much like a trials bike but the front is laced asymetrically to provide the appropriate clearance for the Lefty fork.

The rear is laced up much like a trials bike, but the front is laced asymmetrically to provide the appropriate clearance for the Lefty fork.


Form ti frame utilizing an aluminum Ventana rear swing arm for 100mm of travel.

Form was also sporting this ti frame utilizing an aluminum Ventana rear swing arm for 100mm of travel.


1888 Whippet replica welded up by Paul Brodie.

One of the show highlights was this 1888 replica of a Whippet, welded up by Paul Brodie. It's pretty damn amazing seeing the primordial soup that full suspension mountain biking emerged from, especially when so exactingly executed by as legendary a frame builder as Paul Brodie, even down to the solid rubber tires.


period perfect block chain and crank

Everything on this bike was period perfect, including this block chain and crank.


sprung bike saddle

A sprung saddle was just one suspension element on this bike. The seven point suspension frame was originally designed to take the edge off the unforgiving nature of cobble stone roads meeting up with the solid rubber tires.


linkage design originally engineered by C.M. Linley and J. Biggs of London England.

Another linkage in the design originally engineered by C.M. Linley and J. Biggs of London, England. The key to the design was the rigid front triangle that allowed the bike's suspension to move independently of the rider.


Another linkage.

Another linkage.


There was no front brake on this replica bike--just a yabba dabba do style of friction brake for the rear tire. Evidently it doesn t stop so well in the wet...

There was no front brake on this replica bike--just a yabba dabba do style of friction brake for the rear tire. Evidently it doesn't stop so well in the wet...


Radial lacing on the rear hub.

Radial lacing on the rear hub.


Bicycle Fabrications DH bike.

Bicycle Fabrications made the short hop to Sacramento from their San Francisco shop to show off their DH bike.


Bicycle Fabrications Candyman single pivot steel 4X DS Dirt Jump bike featuring a Unified Rear Triangle.

Much more interesting, however, was their single pivot steel 4X/DS/Dirt Jump ride. Featuring--yup, you guessed it--a Unified Rear Triangle. I believe this is the "Candyman" model.


The bike featuers horizontal drops for either gears or SS drive train.

The bike features horizontal drops for either gears or SS drive train.


As a single pivot and a URT at that . the bike has a pivot point optimized for a typical middle ring.

As a single pivot (and a URT at that). the bike has a pivot point optimized for a typical middle ring.


Shock gusset on the Candyman.

Shock gusset on the Candyman.


The bikes come with ISCG tabs for a chain guide.

The bikes come with ISCG tabs for a chain guide.


A quick peek at the SS option.

A quick peek at the SS option.


Beer keg transportation bike from My Dutch Bike.

Coming soon to a party near you... Along with the practical bikes, there were a number of fun bikes, including this keg transportation number from My Dutch Bike.


This Evil Dead tribute bike from Peacock Groove out of Minnesota was absolutely amazing. The wheel graphics were air brushed on free hand.

This Evil Dead tribute bike from Peacock Groove out of Minnesota was absolutely amazing. The wheel graphics were air brushed on free hand.


Details included blood splatters and a chainsaw chain for a bike chain.

Details included blood splatters and a "chainsaw" chain for a bike chain.


There were axe wounds to the head tube and head badge.

There were "axe wounds" to the head tube and head badge.


Another view of the chainsaw chain.

Another view of the chainsaw chain.


LH Thomson stems they are working on handlebars and a dropper post for 2013.

It wasn't all bikes and bike frames. Component makers were on hand, too. Among them was LH Thomson with a bit of different look to their venerable stems. And yes, rumors are true: they are working on both handlebars and a dropper post for 2013.


Gates belt drive

Gates was also at NAHBS with their belt drive tech on display.


wooden bicycle wheels are manufactured in the Ghisallo Pass in Northern Italy.

The 1888 replica was not the only nod to heritage at the show, either; these wooden wheels are still manufactured in the Ghisallo Pass in Northern Italy.


It s not all about freaky bikes or bling components at NAHBS. A number of companies that offer everything the boutique builder or aspiring builders might need were on hand showing their wares.

It's not all about freaky bikes or bling components at NAHBS. A number of companies that offer everything the boutique builder or aspiring builders might need were on hand showing their wares.


Anvil Bike Works with a ti welding rig on display.

Anvil Bike Works with a ti welding rig on display.


Miller Electric also had welding rigs on display at NAHBS.

Miller Electric also had welding rigs on display at NAHBS.


Cielo 29er hard tail from Chris King

Chris King was on hand with not only their bling components, but a 29er hard tail from Chris' Cielo line of boutique bikes.


Check out the trick white Chris King headset on this Cielo.

Check out the trick white Chris King headset on this Cielo.


Independant Fabrications bike with Enve carbon

Long time boutique builder Independent Fabrications showed off this gorgeously decked out ride with the Enve carbon bling everywhere.


Custom paint was the name of the game on this ride.

Custom paint was the name of the game on this ride.


I have never seen a better t-shirt in my life.

I have never seen a better t-shirt in my life.


Vibe had this sweet winter Sleigh Ride on display.

Vibe had this sweet winter "Sleigh Ride" on display.


No water bottle cage on the Sleigh Ride but rather a flask cage.

No water bottle cage on the Sleigh Ride, but rather a flask cage.


Stinner frame works hard tail with rear thru axle

Stinner frame works had this hard tail on display. Note the rear thru axle?


Detail of the pinch bolt retainer for the rear thru axle and rear derailleur

Detail of the pinch bolt retainer for the rear thru axle and rear derailleur.


wooden bike from Bekes.

There were also some genuine head scratcher bikes at the NAHBS, like this wooden bike from Bekes.


You gotta like the stash hatch though...

You gotta like the stash hatch, though...


Groovy Cycle works rocking a genuine leopard print pink bike.

Groovy Cycle works rocking a genuine leopard print pink bike.


Rear brake caliper mount on the Groovy Pink Bike.

Rear brake caliper mount on the Groovy Pink Bike.


bamboo bike with henna ink inspired graphics.

There were a number of bamboo bikes on hand at the show, including this one with the henna ink inspired graphics.


bamboo bike from Boo bikes.

Another bamboo bike on display from Boo bikes.


Calfee renowned for Bamboo bikes was rocking this Carbon Fiber tandem mountain bike.

Calfee, renowned for Bamboo bikes, was rocking this Carbon Fiber tandem mountain bike.


Blackcat hardtail with integrated racks allows a dedicated bike packer enough carrying capacity to get to the zone establish a base camp and then ride for a 3-4 days with a fair degree of comfort.

Bike packing seems to be taking root with more boutique builders. I'm not sure if this concept will really take off enough to become a mainstream manufacturing offering, but it's nice to know that this niche has options available for the masses from manufactures such as Blackcat. This hardtail allows a dedicated bike packer enough carrying capacity to get to the zone, establish a base camp, and then ride for a 3-4 days with a fair degree of comfort. Or do an off road tour in a place like the Black Canyon in Arizona.


Another bike packing whip offered by Hunter Bikes with a nod to Johnny T s racing style back in the day ala the drop bars.

Another bike packing whip offered by Hunter Bikes with a nod to Johnny T's racing style back in the day ala the drop bars.


On display at the FSA booth. You ll have to contact ti cycles about the licensing of the design but it was done above board and with Santa Cruz s consent.

On display at the FSA booth. You'll have to contact ti cycles about the licensing of the design, but it was done above board and with Santa Cruz's consent.


Evidently there was a trade involved with the head frame designer at Santa Cruz for a custom rig...I guess it pays to know people.

Evidently there was a trade involved with the head frame designer at Santa Cruz for a custom rig...I guess it pays to know people.


one sided English hipster fixie type bike with Enve components. Note the lack of left hand fork leg and stays

Another Enve clad bike. You may not like road bikes or hipster fixie type rides, but you can't deny the lines and innovation of this one sided English bike. Note the lack of left hand fork leg and stays?


The belt system uses the split belt to stay on track.

The belt system uses the split belt to stay on track.


Hub design on the one sided English bike.

Hub design on the one sided English bike.


Brake mount detail...

Brake mount detail...


Ahh Risse Racing. A headscratcher for me... I do not have a large enough cranium to be able to successfully tweak this bike for my own riding needs. EVERYTHING on this machine is adjustable for a full custom ride. Is it practical I have no idea. But it seems fairly logical that if you send them your geometry utilizing this frame they can mimic your angles and better determine a custom shock for your whip.

Ahh, Risse Racing. A headscratcher for me... I do not have a large enough cranium to be able to successfully tweak this bike for my own riding needs. EVERYTHING on this machine is adjustable for a full custom ride. Is it practical? I have no idea. But it seems fairly logical that if you send them your geometry, utilizing this frame, they can mimic your angles and better determine a custom shock for your whip.


Need a longer shorter wheelbase

Need a longer/shorter wheelbase?


Note the puzzle joint holding the stay together.

Note the puzzle joint holding the stay together.


Another puzzle joint.

Another puzzle joint.


And puzzling joints.

And puzzling joints.


An aluminum steel bonded joint on the Risse bike.

An aluminum/steel bonded joint on the Risse bike.


Funk titanium pivotless design bike

Speaking of interesting suspension... Funk had this titanium pivotless design bike on hand.


The ti chainstay is designed to flex offering 4 inches of travel.

The ti chainstay is designed to flex, offering 4 inches of travel.


Funk also had a newly designed head-badge for their bike.

Funk also had a newly designed head-badge for their bike.


Priority was on hand with a hand laid up carbon framed belt driven gear box design bike to be piloted by Jerry Vanderpool at Sea Otter.

Priority was on hand with a hand laid up carbon framed belt driven gear box design bike to be piloted by Jerry Vanderpool at Sea Otter.


This was quite literally laid up by hand--no mold for this prototype Although I was assured that the production model would be--ahem--tidier .

This was quite literally laid up by hand--no mold for this prototype! (Although I was assured that the production model would be--ahem--tidier).


The business side of the bike--the left side--is where you find the belt. And you no doubt already noted that the brake is on the right hand side

The business side of the bike--the left side--is where you find the belt. And you no doubt already noted that the brake is on the right hand side?


Belts tend to run better when tight. Actually they like to be tighter than a chain driven option to prevent slipping. This one appears to be mighty slack so I m guessing that as one settles into sag that the belt tightens up

Belts tend to run better when tight. Actually, they like to be tighter than a chain driven option to prevent slipping. This one appears to be mighty slack, so I'm guessing that as one settles into sag that the belt tightens up?


X-Fusion and Manitou were handling suspension duties on the Priority.

X-Fusion and Manitou were handling suspension duties on the Priority.


And back to the brakes. Not sure if that s a particularly safe place for a brake caliper but it is a lot smaller than a rear derailleur.

And back to the brakes. Not sure if that's a particularly safe place for a brake caliper, but it is a lot smaller than a rear derailleur.




100 Comments

  • 28 1
 Screw a 29er DH bike, I want to SEE a bamboo DH bike!!! And I would love to RIDE a bamboo FS trail bike. Such shows must be great, it's like going to a tattoo convention - the way to check how beige you are. Both extreme tattooists and such frame builders are the least beige people on the planet. Love that rasta painted bike with ENVE components - we need more of that to kill that white/black/red scheme which is everyone's bitch at the moment. ENVE clad roadie with one sided chain stay and fork, sweeeeeeet!

So industry - maybe instead of getting 99% focus on making things lighter you could get a bit more creative in your quest for what you call "innovation"?

THX Pinkbike for debeiging the community before we get all spyshots of latest toys from big boys during PMB and Sea Otter - it's Faaaabuloouuuuus!
  • 3 0
 If anyone's interested, I rode that boo bicycles hardtail at the old rampage site, It gets my sign of approval. A 29'er, no less. For the bumpy fireroads there it was amazing, better than a ti frame at smoothing everything out...and it also survived a ridge line..Video here: www.pinkbike.com/video/215707
  • 16 1
 That Priority bike was a fugly beast
  • 3 5
 yeah, I'm sure i wasn't the first one to think that half of those bikes were as ugly as fuck
  • 6 1
 one of the best articles on PB in recent times great to see the underground bicycle companies and individuals putting their awesome ideas out for everyone to see not everyone will appreciate these products, but there will always be a small number of educated customers who will pay top dollar for the highest quality or unusual products that run contrary to the 'mainstream'
  • 1 0
 still, it's bloody refreshing to see such designs, I have a strange feeling that all "popular" bikes get more and more similar to each other. At the same time some generaly praised designs deserve to be there as well: LaPierre's latest DH bike qualifies for such variety show totaly!
  • 1 0
 yup i think i just saw a tandem with triple crowns
  • 1 0
 no, I meant their bike raced in the World Cup...
  • 1 0
 Am I the only one that noticed that that ice tech rotor is on backwards on that left side belt drive bike? I'm assuming it's because they basically have the hub switched around, but you can't Flip that rotor over. Why not use a different rotor?
  • 2 3
 to be honest this shows how shit some american bikes are i mean comon
  • 1 2
 Yea not like Zerode ha?
  • 1 0
 here's a dude on mtbr who just built a FS bamboo bike...
forums.mtbr.com/9096465-post57.html
  • 1 0
 na Zerode are sick as man!
  • 1 0
 belt driven i certainly somthing i would like to try, looks like it could realy get going !
  • 2 0
 I think someone should do a true bikepark rental machine that rides pretty well but is most of all very reliable and cheap to maitain. If I would design one (heh maybe I will), I would definitely make it as a single pivot with pivot in BB to run it as single speed. That would cut down some costs and maintenance time directly - no cassette, no rear mech, no shifter, no CG, just 2 bashrings on both sides of chain ring.

Then open bath coil fork (some smart top cap to change spring easily), coil shock and biiiig brakes for brake burners.
  • 8 0
 That was one of the best posts i've read while being on this site, that priority with raw carbon on show with all the moulding was beautiful, i would have loved to go to this event Salute
  • 2 0
 Totally agree, absolutely everything fascinated me, even if it was xc bikes or whatever. Everything was just absolutely perfect and exquisite.
  • 5 0
 Love the flexy chan stay bike.
I remember Gary Fisher did something similar back in the 90s but with a piston damper where the seat stays meet the seat post. Any body else remember this bike ?
It was features in MBUK here in England about 96, I remember it being painted red, white and blue !!
  • 1 0
 I have ridden with a guy who has one.
  • 1 0
 Going by the colour scheme, it sounds like the RITCHEY MODEL...
  • 1 0
 anybody got a link to some pics ??
  • 1 0
 If you look at the pic of the Form Fatso they use this system on the snow bike.
  • 1 0
 To boo86, softail is the name of the model i think...
www.oldmountainbikes.com/bikes
  • 1 0
 @ davidstuartkelly, cheers mate, found it !!

www.oldmountainbikes.com/cgi-bin/bikes.cgi?bike=SOFT 0030

It was the Richey one I remeber, not Gary Fisher. Damn '96 was a long time ago !
  • 1 0
 Very long time ago, the days of the Malverns and Bike shows at the NEC...Ooooh, the memories....
  • 6 1
 This is the COOLEST thing EVER. ALL these bike are Sick, Bomb-Diggity dude. I love the chains, the one sided green bike, the DH bikes, the whole thing !!!
  • 3 0
 The one sided bike looks amazing!
  • 1 0
 Agreed, way way cool!
  • 7 0
 Progression Razz
  • 1 0
 @DaninBC

well this is my reply to your comment "progression"

it is definitely progression, because these bike frames and bikes are handmade with serious skill, experience and love

in the near future we will probably shift our thinking towards what these guys are doing, and bicycle frames will become an expensive purchase, made locally, from durable materials, with an emphasis on long term ownership...

...rather than the current "disposable culture" where an offshore manufactured aluminium alloy or carbon fibre frame / bike is junked after a couple of seasons and the latest "year model" bought

cromoly steel and titanium alloy frames can last for years if built properly and looked after, with many components mounted on these frames during a 10+ year ownership
  • 1 0
 Haha I didn't say otherwise. I love how you made a post with 5 sentences as a response to one word.
  • 1 0
 we were talking about the bikes seen at this show today on a trail ride here in the UK, everybody had the same thoughts about the quality of owning and riding a hand built bike from a smaller custom builder Smile
  • 2 0
 "Kill all the bike thieves!" I need to get me one of those shirts. I wish I could have gone to this. It was in my backyard but I was gone for the weekend. I deserve to have my leg get sucked up into the chain saw chain for missing this.
  • 1 0
 not mentioned here but the Vibe "Sleighride" fatbike is bamboo and super sweet. I must say Blackcat bikes are amazing pieces of artwork and function, my current xc dreambike. more pics from this awesome show can be found on Dirt Rag's FB page.
  • 3 1
 Whaaaat? No pictures of Steve Potts' award-winning titanium 29er? For shame!
  • 3 0
 That Orange Independent Fabrication's bike is GORGEOUS!!!!!
  • 2 0
 Yes it is....
  • 2 0
 Ha Groovy CycleWorks from wonderful Wooster, Ohio with a pink bike on PinkBike LOL
  • 1 0
 wow Risse must have had to clean the dust off that bike for weeks before coming to this show. That thing should have been a fossil by now that dinosaur is so old.
  • 1 0
 man i am such a bike porn addict, there's so much awesome craftsmanship in here, the English bike rocks, the wooden cruiser, man show much to drool over
  • 1 0
 how Fing sweet was the detail on the Evil dead tribute? Chain saw chain, saweet! Wood frame cruiser? Schawing! Real strudy, made a wud!
  • 1 0
 Oh my science, The priority cycles DH bike looks sketch, I'm pretty sure its actually made of paper mache and not carbon fiber. I wonder if there is candy inside?
  • 1 0
 Funny! The reporter has such a primitive view of handbuilt custom bikes. As if he knows almost nothing about the bike industry! Too funny!
  • 1 0
 Damn! i really like that belt. Looks rad, lighter than chain, frame paint friendly
  • 2 1
 Looks like Priority based the suspension design on the now patent-expired mert lawhill 4-bar design.
  • 2 0
 Dr Frankenstein is alive !!!
  • 1 0
 so many gorgeous bikes, and then thrown in for giggles: anodized thomson components... jee-ZUS
  • 1 0
 Where on Earth were Marty and all the fabrications from the Geekhouse crew ?!! Frown
  • 1 0
 Possibly there, I think Colin had about 2-3 hours max to go through the show...
  • 1 0
 Loopy ideas that works well with the bike concepts & designs...love it...
  • 1 0
 i wish i was there to see them first hand. they look so much better than off the shelf bikes
  • 1 0
 Awesome to see Paul Brodie there. The Whippet looks classy. Full suspension bike over a hundred years ago.
  • 1 0
 A+ pb we salute you, i never thought i would be seen drooling over xc bikes or fixies: how i was wrongBlank Stare
  • 1 0
 That single-sided English just blows my mind. What an incredible bit of design. I'm curious to know how it would ride,
  • 2 0
 Denver next year! I'm sooooo there.
  • 1 0
 cool bamboo rig! after a long and tiring day of riding, you can cook rice with it after! LOL brilliant bike scientists!
  • 1 0
 by far the best article i have ever read an seen! hope to see more like this one Smile
  • 1 0
 umm, urt designs don't have to "optimize" pivot points for pedaling in any ring.
  • 1 0
 Hello

Would someone know who makes the sprung saddle mentioned in the article?

www.pinkbike.com/photo/7809274

Thank you.
  • 2 0
 I Like that last bike
  • 2 0
 Beards and 29ers....
  • 2 0
 So much want.
  • 1 0
 bunch of new ideas, so much great bikes!
  • 1 0
 That Funk badge reminds me of the Ellsworth badge.
  • 1 0
 So do you think that these guys like Enve wheels?
  • 1 0
 who doesn't?

But 3 large for a wheelset...its a bit out of my price range.
  • 2 0
 All crazy
  • 1 0
 the trixxy is still alive?!!
  • 1 0
 wouldnt that flexing chainstay just snap after alot of riding and abuse?
  • 1 1
 That sounds sketchy as hell. I don't know how anyone would think that's a good idea.
  • 1 0
 There have been a few 'soft tail' bikes like that over the years, most notably probably the Moots YBB and the DeKerf Team ST. I'm not sure what happened to the DeKerf's, but they're not made anymore. I know in a few reviews they were described as one of the favorite XC trail bikes out there.
  • 1 0
 How do they work though? I can understand them flexing a bit like handlebars do without snapping but i dont understand how a frame with that much flex can take the impacts that a frame does without snapping when its a softtail like that.
  • 1 0
 iirc ti has an infinite fatigue life; meaning as long as the range of motion is in the elastic range it can flex indefinitely
  • 1 0
 Specialized made a city bike called the roulux which has the same kind of flexing frame for a bit of suspension. It was in the chain stays though not close to the bb like this one is.
  • 1 0
 Some titanium alloys don't fatigue if the stress is low enough. Hopefully they did their homework
  • 2 0
 Ti plate flex pivots have been around for some time. Ferrari even used them for F1 suspension.
  • 1 0
 That is an old Ibis design from the 90's called the Ti bow. Before Ibis was sold to the current owners.
  • 1 0
 wow that's some real nice interesting stuff going right there !!
  • 1 0
 gotta love the keg bike lol.
  • 1 0
 BAMBOO BAMBOO BAMBOO FREERIDE!
  • 1 0
 What cranks are on the FS funk??
  • 1 0
 They are XTR M975 with "carbon" crank stickers.
  • 1 0
 Me gusta for all the above
  • 1 0
 * * * American Beauty * * * I'm in Knockout
  • 2 0
 Hipster stuff...
  • 1 0
 great coverage of the show P.B. Thanks
  • 1 0
 I like that puzzle bike.....would be fun to put together!
  • 1 0
 My favourite pinkbike article in a long time!
  • 1 0
 hipster's wonderland Big Grin
  • 1 2
 it could do with a bit of paint Smile
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