North American Handmade Bicycle Show - Judged Competition Results

Feb 19, 2018
by Richard Cunningham  
Lead image

Each year, bike makers submit their works to be judged in a number of categories. Entries vary from elegant to whimsical, which makes the task of choosing a winner daunting at times. For a steel road bike, the lug-work alone could be a category of its own. Some have intricate cutouts and even inlaid jewels, others are sculpted into simple curves, executed in perfect mirror images, throughout the frame. Judges must be able to understand the nuances of TIG welding and materials, have an eye for paint and anodizing techniques, and all the while, not forget that these works of art are also functional machines - and must be evaluated as such. Judges are selected from handmade bike builders, from the media and from technical members of the industry. The following bike makers earned top honors at NAHBS 2018


Photos courtesy of NAHBS



Altruiste
Best Mountain Bike and Best in Show: Altruiste Bicycle Company

Best Lugged Frame -- J.P. Weigle
Best Lugged Frame and Best Road Bike: J.P. Weigle

Best Fillet Brazed Frame: Bishop Bikes

Best Tandem Bike -- Chapman Cycles
Best Tandem Bike: Chapman Cycles

NAHBS winner
Best Cyclocross Bike: Triton Bikes

NAHBS winner
Best Gravel Bike: Breismeister Bicycles

NAHBS winner
Best City/Utility and Presidents Choice: SaltAir

NAHBS winner
Best Finish: Enigma Bicycleworks

Best Artisan Bike -- Black Sheep Bikes
Best Artisan Bike: Black Sheep Bikes

NAHBS winner
Best New Exhibitor: Eyewater Bicycles

NAHBS winner
Best TIG-Welded Frame: Built. Cycle

NAHBS winner
Best Track Bike: T-RED Srl

Best Lay Up Frame Crumpton Cycles
Best Lay Up Frame: Crumpton Cycle

Judges Special Award No 22 Bicycle Company
Judges Special Award: No 22 Bicycle Company



151 Comments

  • + 261
 I was expecting a higher beard-to-bike ratio
  • + 46
 Parking lot full of Sprinter Vans
  • + 27
 I wonder what the ratio is of who has a favorite microbrewery?
  • + 2
 @0gravity No, you have your acronyms mistaken. That's the North American Handmade BREW Show.
  • + 4
 Seeing the builders next to these contraptions it's all starting to make tons of sense.
  • + 178
 One bike, four bottle cages. Happy now, f*ckers?
  • + 27
 Has room for 12 tho...
  • + 3
 Also it’s geo is dialed. It’s loooooooong. (Not see about slack).
  • + 1
 Only 2 per rider...
  • + 1
 @BenPea #bestcomment
  • + 48
 This just in: Black Sheep Bikes invited to crush old cars at the MonsterJam MonsterTruck rally in Modesta California next week...Sunday Sunday Sunday!
  • + 17
 I just thought he was very very short.
  • + 9
 New wheel standard 36" or was that 40".......hard to tell.
  • + 17
 The dropper means its ready to get rowdy!
  • + 9
 @rivercitycycles: It will be 36" and then just after you bought one they'll drop the 40"er on you. Wink
  • + 9
 @Thustlewhumber: Not for getting rowdy, the dropper is on the higher spec'd model, lower spec.come with a stepladder.
  • + 1
 @Thustlewhumber: What's the point of a dropper where your arse would ride on the rear wheel regardless?
  • + 1
 @rivercitycycles: it'll actually be a 39er with gear driven steering lol
  • + 1
 @pikebait2013: No those wheels are exactly 38.99 inches in diameter.
  • + 1
 @vikb: I'll pour a 40" out for all the dead 36" riders.
  • + 32
 "Best mountain bike in show" also known as "only mountain bike in show".
  • + 1
 Making me laugh my ass off. But no, I know there were others, Indy Fab brought some I know for sure.
  • + 16
 The Altruiste looks awesome, but concentric BB pivot with a eagle drivetrain? Singlespeed would make a lot of sense - but the anti-squat is going to be terrible on this. That DVO shock is going to have to be basically locked out full time. Can't be too critical though, I wish I were talented enough to make anything that would show up on this page (even if it pedaled poorly)..
  • + 3
 Seat angle looks slack...otherwise very nice
  • + 2
 @jrocksdh: The actual is slack AF, but the effective is all that matters at the end of it all.
  • + 1
 i think you could expect issues from side loading that shock as the frame flexes too? seems a little sketchy to me
  • + 8
 @olslash: The pivot is 3\4" cromo or titanium bmx crank spindle, you Can not find a stiffer pivot axel then a BMX crank spindle like is used on this frame. There is NO flex going to the shock. On top of it... He use the R12 bearing(BMX BB bearings) one of the strongest and most easely available bearing in the world.

This pivot design as been used and tested for over 10 years on slopestyle bike doing 540's double flip's, tailwhips by riders that are pushing limites of or sport like Matt Macduff. I honestly think it is safe to use on a trail or enduro bike.

Also...we cant see this on the pictures, but there is a tube inside the down tube between The shock mount and The bb to triangulate everyting even more. This thing is a beast...and a beast that Will last many...many sessions of hard riding Smile
  • + 1
 @dobmaster: nice! thanks for the details Smile
  • + 14
 I love the idea of a hand made road bike but am I the only one that feels that a dual suspension with all it's complexities is better served being built by a company with a good team of engineers?
  • + 14
 Every dual suspension bike is a balance of compromises to meet the needs of a specific use environment. Imagine being able to order a custom bike that is not only tailored to meet your body measurements, but also your riding style and favorite trail type. That seem like an ideal custom bike to me. And, the math to create these designs is actually not that complicated if you have been through basic mechanical engineering or physics courses.
  • + 3
 @timmins Which complexities do you mean? Steel is fairly easy to work with, so the level of complexity of the fabrication process isn't unreasonable, and as for the suspension characteristics, you can dial those in using software like Linkage. The only thing left I can see is durability and since mass produced bikes are nowhere near immune to breaking, it's more a matter of individual approach than mass-produced vs handmade, I think.
  • + 10
 Starling Cycles - enough said ;-)
  • - 6
flag dthomp325 (Feb 19, 2018 at 13:48) (Below Threshold)
 Seriously. How many of these garage built bikes get destructively tested? Seems sketchy to me.
  • + 10
 You really only need one person who knows what they're doing for rear suspension design. If that person can also weld or handle carbon you don't need anyone else.
  • + 28
 @dthomp325:

I've been building double suspension frames for over 10 years, and have built a couple hundreds of them. I've learned a few things throughout the years And trust this knowledge. Most good framebuilder can ace a good double suspension frame. Big brands like to pretend that building a bike frame is akin to magic; it's not. Common sense is key.
  • + 7
 @dthomp325: my frame was fillet brazed in someone's basement in East Vancouver and has survived more than 3 years of riding on the North Shore, Squamish etc.
  • + 1
 @PhillipJ: yeah that guy’s name is Jeff Steber.
  • + 6
 A team of engineers?...I think you have severely over estimated most bike companies.
  • - 3
 @gabodude: great, good for you. I don't think building a frame is "magic". It's relatively simple engineering.

I'd prefer a design from someone who knows how to use finite element software to model the forces a frame will experience and QCs their manufacturing process by destructively testing samples before hurtling myself down mountains at high speed on your product.


Maybe some of these small time builders have a great engineering and QC process, but I doubt most do. Do small time builders even do basic safety testing like EN 14766 compliance?
  • + 2
 @dthomp325: You really beleive the new DH or enduro bikes from a "BIG" brand with those engeneer's team (and MOSTLY marketing dep) are any good after a full year of racing ? Theese thing are pure danger hazard's! Lol Maybe you dont know this, but Gabriel (Gabo) as built 1000's of MTBMX street hardtails, forks and a few undred suspension frames mostly for slopestyle use and some for DH racing... His steel DH frames Stella were in some cases raced up to 5 years in a row... Not someting you Can say about any top of the line DH frame on the market now....But a steel suspension frame with proper bearing's and axle Will last you a hell of a long time. And if its built by a a guy like Gabriel, its weigth Can be very competitiv
  • + 17
 The Altruiste MTB is dead Sexy..
  • + 13
 Thanks!
  • + 2
 Indeed
  • + 1
 So stoked for you Gabo!!!
  • + 1
 The winner here in the list.
  • + 16
 Im so stoked to see NAHBS coverage here, great work PB!
  • + 9
 What is the difference between a cyclocross bike and a gravel bike?
  • + 7
 Geometry. Bb height, heat tube angle, etc. in general a gravel bike will be lower and more relaxed.
  • + 36
 One means you need to shave your legs, but just up to the knee...
the other is all the way up.
;-)
  • - 13
flag poah (Feb 19, 2018 at 14:03) (Below Threshold)
 Difference is the inches you can swallow
  • + 3
 @necros: A gravel bike is essentially a touring bike. But "Touring" doesn't sell so they renamed it "Gravel" strapped on some CF forks and gave it some additional tire clearance.
  • + 3
 @chasejj: My gravel bike is about as far from a touring bike as you can get. Dedicated disc only through axle carbon with no rack or fender mounts. The only similarity is the tire clearance I suppose.
  • + 2
 @seraph:While you may not think of it as a touring bike. But lower BB, longer WB, Taller HT sounds like a touring bike except for the cool CF fork and no raked out Tange blades and a shitload of braze-ons for racks.
Discs cross all categories these days.
  • + 15
 GRAVEL BIKES? Thats so 2017. I've been toying with the idea of building up a bike specifically for riding on wet leaves.
  • + 4
 I have to say I’m proud of a fellow New Brunswicker
Pulling off the win. I’m guessing the trial and error, sweat and frustration that goes into designing and making a Bike can’t be easy so my hats off to Gabe, if I’m ever up your way beers on me.
  • + 7
 Congrats on the award Gabe
  • + 7
 Thanks!
  • + 7
 So awesome. Shine on you crazy diamonds.
  • + 7
 they should have an award for most sales.
  • + 1
 Most custom framebuilders generally aren't trying to sell tons of bikes, at least not in the long term. They want to build a good enough reputation and demand to be able to set frame prices where they don't have to work a hectic pace or 80 hours a week to make a modest living
  • + 4
 @showmethemountains: i get that but you still can award successful business.
  • + 4
 @showmethemountains: Yeah! Gotta get that float ready for Burning Man.Can't have too much work to do.
  • + 2
 Ha!
So much for your modern new and improved
Each year! Plastic dualy.
Wow how hmmm they all look the same.
A steel dual suspension bike in this modern era?
Yes thank you for thinking out side the corperate box
Bike looks sweet!
  • + 3
 Having been to a couple NAHBS I gotta say it's almost as fun as Sea Otter. Someday I'm going to get a Black Sheep 36' wheel bike with growler cages and slap a custom Trucker trailer on the back. Stone cold pimpin'.
  • + 2
 One of my favorite bikes ever demo tested at bootleg was a bamboo fat bike with ti fork and bars made by Black Sheep. It literally felt like a 4" suspension fork! I looked into how much it would be for one of those truss forks, and it is a bit out of my price range. Pretty cool ride quality going on.
  • + 3
 Can't fault the winner, pretty close to ideal in my opinion. Maybe the tubes look small, but they might be thick. Probably just put a gusset on the head tube if it were me, and it would be perfect.
  • + 9
 Thanks! The frame is very long, and I'm very short, so the tubes look small. But she's burly!
  • + 3
 J.P. Weigle ? the framesaver spray guy ? You spray it inside your Chromo tubes to stop corrosion before assembly when painting or P. coating... that guy ?
  • + 3
 Yes, that guy.
  • + 3
 @feldybikes: cheers ! sold all my road bikes 5 years ago. I would not mind owning one of his bikes. Absolutely beautiful.
  • + 1
 He used to make very cool mountain bikes too!
  • + 5
 they love chris king headsets...some beauties in here
  • + 2
 There are Black Sheep employees bikes, my favorite at the show.
Check out the fins to cool down the coaster brake.

ibb.co/faUN5x
ibb.co/nuSLsc
ibb.co/nfxQQx
ibb.co/bJ3bXc
  • + 4
 Chapman Cycles, Brian use to ride Flatland BMX back in the early 2000's, now hes making tandems. So completely opposite!
  • + 4
 Lot of crap in yesterday’s post and some reeeaaal nice bikes in today’s!
  • + 4
 no bagging allowed on these guys how do you all think we got here today great job . glad to see the coverage
  • + 1
 While that may be true, it looks like a few of the weren't too thrilled about winning. Look at their faces it's like they expected more. Maybe they're just tired?
  • + 7
 @Duderz7: I couldn't feel my legs in that picture! I did my best to look cool, but I was shaking!
  • + 1
 @gabodude: don't know which one of those guys is you, but it's all awesome work and I'm sure you were all happy to win, it was just an observation.
  • + 1
 @Duderz7: Gabo won Best MTB and BEST of show.
  • + 1
 @Duderz7: They're just pissed because they have to fit those ugly bowling trophies in their luggage.
  • + 4
 Black sheep with the hamster cage is sweet
  • + 0
 They need a show like this just for mountain bikes. Too many roadie type looking thingy bikes there. The one Mtb looks pretty interesting though. Wonder how it rides? BB pivot looks way sturdy the way he designed it but still... the IC located on the B.B.?
  • + 1
 Unfortunately a show like that probably isn't going to happen. Most custom frame fabricators have a bigger client base within road bikes due to the higher need for customization compared to mountain bikes. I can only think of a handful of fabricators that deal with mountain frames and most are only hardtails.
  • + 3
 Altruiste doing it right! BMX cranks and downtube routing, I'd pay good money for that.
  • + 1
 BMX cranks FTW
  • + 3
 my fave : [PI=15620765 width=window]Best City/Utility and President’s Choice: Salt Air[/PI]
  • + 2
 Nice catch - fixed now. Thank you!
  • + 1
 @sarahmoore: "SaltAir" is one word. It's the name of a venue here in Salt Lake that was built on the ruins of a health spa that burned down like three times in the 1920s.
  • + 1
 @Pynchonite: Two mistakes, one photo! Changed now. Thank you!
  • + 2
 No offense, but only one mouintain bike?! The rest look great but I’m a mouintain biker.
  • + 38
 Yeah, but best in show in a venue that is 70% road is a bit of a victory, especially a dual-suspension bike.
  • + 4
 @RichardCunningham: the venue was 70% road?! Didn't know that, shows how awesome mountain bikes are!
  • + 10
 No complaints from me. Thanks for the coverage Richard. Even as a mountain biker, I can appreciate a gorgeous road bike.
  • + 0
 @Adamrideshisbike: I appreciate all the craftsmanship also until I see a mountain bike
  • + 1
 I do hope that Pb will post some of the best Mtb's from the show. A bit of a mountain bikers view of the bikes would be great!
  • + 2
 I can't be the only one that thinks drop bars are horrible for a utility/city bike?
  • + 3
 One "Mountain Bike" category, a million drop bar categories.
  • + 4
 So? It's not like it's impossible for an MTB to win best finish, best artisan, best new exhibitor, best TIG, best lugged, best carbon, etc...
  • + 3
 Bikes built by guys that look like they don't ride bikes
  • + 11
 What does "someone who rides bikes" look like anyway? Please inform us all.
  • - 10
flag weebleswobbles (Feb 19, 2018 at 19:20) (Below Threshold)
 @PinkyScar: not really sure, but Gabriel lang winner of best mtn. bike and best in show doesn't really look like he rides a bike all that much. Just my observation. You can agree or you can disagree, no worries mate
  • + 3
 I like how proud they all look.
  • + 2
 What's going on in the forward/top shock eyelet of the Altruiste?
  • + 1
 The shock is offset to the right. Have a look at RC's other article. He took a few pictures that should make things clear.
  • + 2
 the altruiste seat tube angle is so..... 2014.
  • + 0
 I think the road bikes look great here, the mountain bikes look absurd there should be a criteria on the functionality of the mtb...
  • + 2
 I wish there were more urban bikes like the SaltAir! I want one.
  • + 1
 pretty uninspired -I like the altruiste shockplacement though -the rest of the bike and show not so much
  • + 2
 The Triton guys were pretty awesome. And will do you up a sick MTB too.
  • + 2
 TIL: David Cross works at Crumpton
  • + 1
 What are those things on that Built frame? Looks like it can be taken apart.
  • + 1
 s&s couplers, yes for a travel bike. It breaks apart so it can fit in a small travel case.
  • + 1
 @richsoffar: Thanks.
  • + 1
 Best lugged bike/road bike, Judges: Oh look he made a Colnago all by himself...
  • + 1
 www.bikerumor.com/2018/02/19/official-nahbs-gallery-part-one

Here are a bunch of the MTB's from the show.
  • - 1
 I wouldn't call 8 of 26 "a bunch".
  • + 0
 @seraph I looked at those 8, and including the Altruiste bikes, I wouldn't ride any of them. Disappointed because some years they have some highly desirable MTBs, like the Alchemy Arktos from last year.
  • + 1
 @iamamodel: Really cruddy turnout from a lot of brands this year actually.
  • + 2
 @seraph: If you actually go to the show, there are usually more than make it into the galleries. When they had it here in SLC last year, there were like a million 27.5+ hardtails.
  • + 3
 @seraph: you wouldn't call 8 a bunch??? damn.

You really don't want to know what 8 bananas clustered together is typically called.
  • + 2
 @speed10: I always said to bring home a two cubed of bananas.
  • + 2
 Tobias Crumpkë?
  • + 1
 What a great set of pictures! Beautiful bikes all around.
  • + 1
 Mountain bikers love flannels.
  • + 1
 *white dudes love flannels
  • + 0
 @speed10: well I know I sure do.
  • + 1
 @COnovicerider: I'd bet a nickel you are 1) a mountain biker 2) white, Caucasian, prefer not to say 3) handsome holding an ipa
  • + 1
 @speed10: haha that's funny!
  • + 1
 Uggghhhghuhdguh godDAMN that Enigma is sexy Drool
  • + 1
 That tandem makes Bob proud
  • + 1
 44er's aunt dead @black sheep. That bike is gorgeous.
  • + 2
 What...no E-Bikes?
  • + 1
 Crumpton Cycles appears to have employed David Cross to build their bikes.
  • + 1
 Would jeff stebers prototype frames be considered handmade?
  • + 1
 Where are all the gearbox fanboys hiding out? This place is slipping..
  • + 1
 i like that Black Sheep bike, now thats a 29er
  • + 0
 Yes but who won Best Beard?
  • + 1
 Holy Eye Candy!!
  • + 0
 Take it no one who entered left without a prize
  • + 0
 Holy crap! Altruiste was founded by Hurley from Lost!
  • + 1
 Best tandem bikeones.
  • + 0
 was there any handmade bike that didn't get an award?
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