North American Handmade Bicycle Show 2018 - Round Two

Feb 20, 2018
by Richard Cunningham  



Die hard fans of the North American Handmade Bicycle Show said that this was the best one yet and it must have been. The builders were pinned with curious visitors, many of whom braved a late-season snow storm to catch the action on the last day of the expo. The Hartford, Connecticut venue pulled in a number of exhibitors from Europe and Asia, as well as a fresh slice of bike makers from the Northeast. For me, the most promising aspect of the show was all the new faces. The next generation of builders and customers were well represented in the hall, which indicates that the craft is thriving. Join me for one more stroll through the aisles of the NAHBS - you're gonna like it. - RC




Ultraromance

 Ti Retro bike
Benedict Wheeler's "Ultraromance" adventure bicycles and accessories are a step beyond convention. The wheels are original 650B with flotation tires developed in Holland for sandy beaches. Highlights are cable brakes, his girder flex fork, and brass water bottles. - NAHBS image

Ultraromance detail
Old-school water bottles.
Ultraromance detail
Before mountain bikers knew about 650B...



Black Sheep Bikes

black sheep cycles
James Bleakley founded Black Sheep Bikes in Colorado after working with a number of upper-crust bike makers. His specialty is titanium, and his metalworking skills are impressive. This is one of his 36-inch-wheel adventure bikes. Bleakley customizes them for each customer and makes almost every part you see.

black sheep cycles
Titanium bars are 36 inches wide with braces that double as bag and cargo lash-points.
black sheep cycles
Titanium fenders, a generator hub and a shock reducing girder fork.

My Favorite Bike at NAHBS

black sheep cycles
Black Sheep's "Roots" range are chromoly hardtails which are offered in four sizes with fixed geometry. The frame is shaped to look retro, but designed with modern features. They'll build it for all popular wheel sizes, but the go-to diameter is 29-inch. Convertible rear dropouts and Boost spacing accept single-speed or one-by transmissions. Its titanium Odd Sheep handlebar is 34" wide.

black sheep cycles
The rigid fork is suspension-corrected for travel in the range of 100 to 125mm.
black sheep cycles
The finish is done with various gun bluing treatments and topped with a matte clear coat. Bleakley TIG welds the frames with stainless steel, which highlights the joints, because the alloy resists the bluing.

blacksheep
The cast head badge is a sheep in wolf's clothing. Bleakley says the handling is aggressive enough to rip the downs, with enough efficiency in the bank to handle Colorado's extended climbs.



Moots

Moots
Moots Farwell is built for 27.5 plus or 29-inch wheels and designed for 120mm forks. Five sizes (small through X-large) and a lifetime warranty make this titanium trail bike a long-term investment.

Moots

Moots
Moots

Moots
Moots has invested in a number of anodized colors and surface treatments. The effect is subtle and compliments the look of brushed titanium.



Sinewave Cycles

Sinewave Beacon light
Forget to recharge it again? Sinewave's Beacon light is designed to operate with front-hub generators. An internal rectifier also converts AC current to DC, and its USB port is designed to power and charge GPS units and smart phones.

Sinewave Reactor stem caps
Sinewave Reactor stem caps convert AC to DC current to power onboard phones and computers.
dynamo hub
Dynamo hubs like this one, are available to fit all popular axles.



Olivetti Bicycle Co.
Olivetti Bicycle Company's 29er single-speed.

Here s how the Altruiste Zyteco dirt jump bike looks when fully assembled. Twenty Six inch wheels BTW.
Here's how the Altruiste Zyteco dirt jump bike looks when fully assembled. Twenty-six inch wheels, BTW.

Mosaic Titanium strider bike
Mosaic Titanium strider bike.

bamboo articulation
Bamboo Articulation's wooden strider reconfigures into a pedal bike and grows with the child.



Chapman Cycles

Views: 1,497    Faves: 0    Comments: 1



University of Iowa

The University of Iowa displayed the handiwork of the engineering and art students who were lucky enough to slot into their frame-building program 4 units .
The University of Iowa displayed the handiwork of the engineering and art students who were lucky enough to slot into their frame-building program (4 units).

The University of Iowa has a for-credit bicycle building class that is available for either art or engineering students. The one-semester program teaches everything a student might need to complete a frame: welding, machining, and design skills. Students pay a small fee for in-class materials and must cover the expense of the tubing and metal they need for the frame. The classroom has 14 frame fixtures, so each student has an assigned work space and can progress from paper through final product without interruption. By the end of the semester, students get four units, a hands-on learning experience, and a one-of-a-kind frame.

Connor Spading
Connor Spading poses with the chromoly hardtail he built. Spading is a senior in Mechanical Engineering.

bigquotesI had previous TIG-welding experience, but you don't need it. In the first part of the class, as you are designing your frame, you are also learning how to weld and miter, so you are able to make a good joint before before you start cutting your tubes.Connor Spading: Engineering Major

Lauren Hillman Bio-Medical engineering student at University of Iowa
Lauren Hillman, a Bio-Medical engineering student at the University of Iowa had little metal-working experience before building her bike.

bigquotesI kind of modeled mine after Surley's Karate Monkey. I drew it up in CAD and printed it out life-size, so I could see where all of my things should be. The takeaway? Learning to weld was really big. Learning to live with your mistakes and moving on from it, and patience, lots of patience. Measure twice and cut once - make sure you know what you're doing before you're doing it...Lauren Hillman: Bio-Medical Engineering major



Porter Cycles

Porter Cycles
Porter Cycles track racing frame.

Porter Cycles
The chrome-plated stem is also luged and fillet brazed

Porter Cycles
Detail of the transition from round to rectangular. The rear tire traces the arched tube.
Porter Porter Bicycle Co
Head Badge and Art Deco lug styling.



Vlat Cycles Impaler
Vlad Cycles "Impaler"

Seatstay detail
Seatstay detail

Chris Chance is back
Chris Chance is back - with a modest range of Fat Chance bicycles.

Abbey Tools
Abbey Tools will build this X wrench with four bits of your choice. They are permanently inserted, so you won't fumble and lose one in the heat of battle.



Art and Expression

Talia s art
Taliah Lempert
Altruiste detail
Gabriel Lang



Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

Cal Poly San Louis Obispo
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo's Bicycle Builders Club was on hand to compete in the judged competition with a carbon road bike.

Cal Poly San Louis Obispo
The frame components are molded separately and joined in a second operation.
Cal Poly San Louis Obispo
Students CNC-machined molds for the head tube, bottom bracket and seat tube junctions.

Cal Poly San Louis Obispo
One of the hardtails that was built by a member...
Cal Poly San Louis Obispo
...Was signed by the club to rally the troops at the NAHBS.

Cal Poly San Louis Obispo
Aaaaaand the ever-popular Pabst Blue Ribbon racing machine.



Carrer Wooden Frames

Career
Carrer's Valgrande frame is laminated from two kinds of wood

Career
Dropouts are CNC-machined aluminum.
Career
The seatstay junction looks like fine furniture.


Appleman carbon hardtail
Appleman's carbon hardtail can be disassembled for transportation and if you are creative, you can pack it small enough to duck the stiff charges that some airlines levy for bicycles, - NAHBS photo








113 Comments

  • + 64
 #36aintdead
  • + 9
 i want a 36er
  • - 2
 Time to be a dick about this wheel size and say hell no. Unless you change the rider position to something like Batmans motorcycle then maybe.
  • + 18
 I can't wait for the 69er :0
#alwaysmore
  • + 3
 So fast and stable, no needs for jumps or drops Fuck 29 or any number between 29 and 36 This is the future
  • + 4
 @Aksel31: Trek did a 69er a while back.
  • + 10
 Naturally the 36er would require a wider rear spacing. Introducing the Boost Ultra 178 XL!!
  • + 13
 I doubt those are 36. If you zoom in and look closely you can see clearly those are 35.99.
#0.01isthetruth
  • + 3
 Never go full 36!
  • + 2
 I have a 36" unicycle #CountsForSomething
  • - 3
 @Aksel31: I ride a 69er hartail (26 in back 29 front)
  • - 3
 They should have this convention at the YMCA to stay consistent with the overall theme
  • + 3
 I’m waiting for 37.5
  • + 1
 That 36er looks a bit unwheeldy...
  • + 0
 @blackthorne: Nah. It just needs less fork rake.
  • + 36
 North American Hipster Beard Show..?
  • + 18
 True there are many 'hipster' type builds but look at the other end with DH racers in florescent clown suits. I don't want to sound like I'm hating on either but the good thing about a handmade bicycle show is you get to see many outside the box ideas along with refinements to tried and true designs. (Me I love downhill but I don't like the bro-moto culture that goes along with it)
  • + 5
 @yeti951SD: There's a difference between "outside the box" and "outside this world". I like people and companies that are not afraid to do things differently, but only as long as the new solution is better (or at least not worse) than the old one. Being different just for the sake of being different is stupid.
  • + 4
 @Extremmist: Depends on purpose. For a race bike, there is no point in being different unnecessarily. But so many of these bikes are for adventuring, touring, and fun, and in that case being different for the sake of it doesn't matter as long as you enjoy using the bike
  • + 1
 @Extremmist: handmade bike shoes keep the art and beauty in frame building alive. Something that has been all but lost in mainstream mountain biking. Too much of mountain bike aesthetics is geared towards extreme sports, flashy gear, which last about as long until the next fad arrives. In my opinion ‘classic’ frame building envisions its creations as lasting forever, as it should. We’re so accustomed to bikes being obsolete in 3-4 years when traditionally bikes were designed to last forever.
  • + 28
 University of Iowa .. you go to uni and make a rad bike ... and the guy who runs the course, steve, is a total legend.
  • + 32
 Yeah but you go to iowa
  • + 0
 Correct me if I'm wrong, but it's my understanding that Iowa is flat? So those mountain bikes, as cool as they are, are pretty pointless?
  • + 19
 Is it wrong that I now want a lugged steel hardtail with modern geo and extra chrome?
  • + 7
 It's not wrong and has never been wrong. The feeling of riding something you built yourself or seeing a friend or loved one riding something you built is the best.
  • + 2
 @Patrick9-32: totally agree, I built a cx frame with the help of my old boss nearly 30 yrs ago. Would love to have another ago, but finding suitable lugs might be problematic lol
  • + 1
 @mallorcadave: In the UK Ceeway is the place to go (www.framebuilding.com) they have all the lugs, tubes, dropouts etc you could need. I imagine they would ship to Spain as well if you can't find a Spanish equivalent, might cost a bit though.

My friend who does a lot of framebuilding has been raving about rattlecad as well, it is a free piece of software that allows you to start with a generic frame and tweak the geometry to your liking and then print out drawings to work from. Very cool.
  • + 2
 @Patrick9-32: yeah I've played with rattlecad. Ceeway dont have lugs suitable for modern geo/sized tubing.
May be 3d printing a protype and getting them cast is the answer, sounds expensive though!
  • + 2
 @mallorcadave: Have you tried The Bicycle Academy UK for frame parts?
  • + 2
 @mallorcadave: When I built a frame I just fillet brazed the tubes together without lugs (I was making a tiny mountain bike with tons of standover but a nice relaxed headangle for my girlfriend, there were no lugs for that). It takes a bit more time shaping and profiling the ends of the tubes but it holds well and you have full control over angles etc.
  • + 3
 @Patrick9-32: yeah could do that but reallywant lugs. The nicest frame I ever owned was a cinelli supercorsa, electric blue with chrome lugs and dropouts. Then again I also had a filet brazed bob jackson lo pro that was something else.
  • + 2
 You Shall Ride in Valhalla, Shiny and Chrome!
  • + 16
 Nit pick- the UltraRomance bike was built by Adam Sklar (Sklar Bikes) out of Bozeman. UltraRomance is an internet personality with ideas.
  • + 5
 I hope he also brought some DangleBong prototypes to display.
  • + 2
 @pandafoo: My friend went, can confirm from his instagram story that the Danglebong was there
  • + 3
 Also the tires are made by Panaracer for a US based company, and are likely where WTB got the “road plus” idea. Not sure where the Holland thing came from.... maybe ultraromance was messing with PB reporters
  • + 15
 *Transfers to University of Iowa* Seriously, seems like a cool program. And that girl's bike looks so rad.
  • + 15
 Beside the fact, that it looks like she build it for her 195cm boyfriend.
  • + 7
 That bamboo kids bike is $450 on Kickstarter. So you get a really expensive kids bike that looks like a high school woodshop project that will continue to embarrass you and your kid for a really long time. That's value.
  • + 1
 Ya but did you see the gearbox on it?!?
  • + 2
 @Olimac: Yeah, wooden pinion... Smile
But, what i see are all the sharp edges on both, front and rear dropouts. A bit unsafe for the kid sbike...
  • + 10
 Is that a lot of bikes i wish not to have?
  • + 9
 Fat chance?!?!
Dream bike status
Back then AND now.
  • + 2
 Would love a new Fat Chance, but for now will have to settle for my '94
  • + 5
 correction... I wish I hadn't seen Smile

@RichardCunningham @pinkbike now prepare lineup for 2018 DH season to show us some really beautiful bikes
  • + 0
 @nojzilla: The geo is still the same as in the 90ies. Nice bikes, good that Chris is back but ride one? No thanks.
  • + 8
 That should be San Luis Obispo.
  • + 3
 I know it's an 'Art Show' first, and a 'Made in the US' show second.

Still, I can't understand why there aren't more longtime US brands represented, especially those that have been making bikes for forever.... dunno, maybe - S&M, FBM, Standard, T-1... Profile's current hub offerings are beyond good.
  • + 3
 Have we all seen how bags get sorted at an airport? If you’re dissassembling your bike to get it into a smalll enough bag that it can go through with everyone else’s bag, you’re gonna have a bad time:
m.youtube.com/watch?v=9MZqiE3yGlQ
  • + 2
 I had never seen that, but that is hilarious! And then I proceeded to watch 5 more videos of different types of delivery systems.... so day at work...
  • + 4
 That DJ bike looks awesome, i like the shock placement - granted its a bit unconventional...
  • + 13
 yes, but you can't have too big of balls to ride it
  • + 2
 @saintjimmy: Danny Hart dont sit down!!!!!
  • + 7
 There's a typo in the caption, it should read "Twenty-six inch wheels FTW."
  • + 2
 I don't get the shock placement. I know a variable top tube length isn't a huge deal on a DJ, but what advantage does it offer or is it just a way to be different?
  • + 1
 There's a reason URT is dead...
  • + 3
 Until you land heavy on a cased jump and smash the apple bag...
  • + 1
 Here is one from years ago at Cannondale with the Chase. It was a prototype. ep3.pinkbike.org/p3pb2506530/p3pb2506530.jpg
  • + 1
 @humanpowered: This bike is a hardtail with a bit of travel to take the edge off on rough landing and huge jump.
It was made for Matt Mcduff to ride on slope style big air and his crazy loop of death. Its not made to pedal up hill or sit down wile you depal. Its design to go big, land and go big many times in a row. The shock placement allow for a crazy short short chainstay length. This thing as shorter chainstay then most DJ hardtail frames on the market Wink
  • + 3
 My uncle was there selling his ti recumbent e-bikes... Definitely thought you'd be posting one just for the flaming comments.
  • + 3
 Ti-recumbent e-bikes..wow..that description should be accompanied by a picture of your dentist in spandex
  • + 5
 Oh man I dig the Impaler.
  • + 3
 @RichardCunningham @pinkbike Cal Poly is in San Luis Obispo, not San Louis Obispo.
  • + 3
 That ultraromance is a Sklar bike. Also, those are Crust Bikes handlebars. Ultraromance did not make those.
  • + 1
 Those are some nice rigs. It looks like MOOTS is copying Firefly's style with their anodized color.

fireflybicycles.com
  • + 4
 i want that pabst bike!!
  • + 1
 without the "beer"
  • + 2
 What the handmade bike scene needs is some fucker with a fucking bad attitude....
  • + 1
 Like Sick Bicycle Co?
  • + 3
 Whats the price of the Abbey X tool?Im guessing $300!
  • + 4
 it was 40 bucks
  • + 1
 @blast-off: really!!!That's cheap for them.
  • + 2
 I'm surprised to see a saddle on the Vlad Impaler ;0)
  • + 1
 @richardcunningham The bars on the watermellon bike were made by Oddity Cycles.
  • + 1
 The author is right- at their prices, moots have to be a long-term investment
  • + 1
 I wish they had a frame building class when I went to college! That would have been rad!
  • + 0
 We need to look at the definition on handmade cause I don’t see any here? When machines are used to make these bikes, cutting, molding, drilling...is no longer hand made!
  • + 1
 "Altruiste Zyteco dirt jump bike" : No no no! Side loads are going to eat that CCIL
  • + 7
 I've been building variations of that design for almost 10 years, with 200+ frames built. Side load has never been a problem. The swing arm axle is your crank spindle, and it rotates on 4 large R12 bearing.
No stress! For real!
  • + 2
 the 26" wheels aren't BTW, they're FTW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • + 2
 So Olivetti is back again....
  • + 1
 I'm just getting started my friend. : ) but yes my great grand father is Camillo.
  • + 3
 Not Career - Carrer
  • + 1
 @will-narayan spell-correct woes. Thanks for the catch.
  • + 2
 Does anyone know where I can get started in frame building?
  • + 19
 The garage.
  • + 2
 check out the forums on facebook for framebuilding as well as perhaps on Velocipedes. There should be some pretty lengthly threads on building schools.
  • + 1
 There is a neat frame building course at Queensland Tafe. I did it a few years ago and loved it. It’s not really set up for making an mtb, though you may be able to organize it ahead of time if you can already braise. I built an awesome lugged roadie/commuter (well, I think it’s awesome...) with no background at all. Pm me for more details.
  • + 2
 The Cal Poly HT is stunning.
  • + 2
 Thats what before mountain bikers knew about 650B. Damn.
  • + 1
 In the spirit of the Winter Olympics that chrome stem was luged!
  • + 1
 Cal Poly SLO, way to represent!! My alma mater and still my home!
  • + 2
 Cool pics, thank you.
  • + 1
 i don't get nahbs anymore.
  • + 1
 Oddity Cycles wi-fi bar/stem... so artsy
  • + 1
 Heya yeah, the Ultraromance bike is a Sklar
  • + 1
 Carrer Wooden Frames is beautiful.
  • + 1
 hookworm!
  • + 1
 New Instigator.....?
  • - 1
 Altruiste Zyteco dirt jump bike.... aka. the crown-jewel snipper.
  • - 1
 Original 650b... ????
I stopped reading there...
  • - 1
 I just puked in my mouth a little bit.
  • - 2
 Some seriously shit looking bikes!
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