Category Archives: nahbs

Baby You’re Much Too Fast: NAHBS 2017 Recap

A toddler riding a custom Triton Push Bike

A toddler riding a custom Triton balance bike.

Now in its thirteenth iteration, the North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS) is an annual convention showcasing the bicycle industry, prioritizing those who choose to construct bicycles specifically designed to the owner’s personal specifications.

Unlike its larger counterpart, Interbike, NAHBS is open to the public, with a specific focus on handmade bicycles; an art first pioneered by Ignaz Schwinn of Schwinn Cycles. While the majority of modern-day bicycles are mass-produced and imported from overseas, there is still a strong following of artisans that continue to push the envelope of bicycle construction locally on the North American continent. These frame builders utilize not only a variety of assembly techniques, but unorthodox material choices and graphic designs as well. While there was no shortage of innovation to behold, three artisans in particular took precedent over all others.

Emily Kachorek, Squid Bikes:

“It started because bikes were boring in general.” Emily Kachorek on the inception of Squid Bikes.

“It started because bikes were boring in general.” Emily Kachorek on the inception of Squid Bikes.

Handmade and spray painted in Sacramento, CA, Squid Bikes is creating bicycles as unique as the people who ride them. Spearheaded by Emily Kachorek, Squid Bikes is leading the rattle-can spray-painted bicycle movement.

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Squid Bike’s custom build for the TRP booth. This particular finish was accomplished via layering with painters tape and spray paint.

Instead of providing stock finishing options for their clients, Squid Bikes instead sells their frames raw, and encourages new owners to take up a DIY approach through the use of masking tape and spray paint. From memories of pizzas past, to dreams of clouds and orange creamsicles, the creativity of Squid Bikes and their clients speak for themselves.

David Folch, DirtySixer:

The only bike designed for tall people, by tall people.

The only bicycle designed for tall people, by tall people.

At 6’6″, the standard 27″(700c) wheel size does not make for an ideal bike fit for David Folch. Led by a passion of cycling and inspired by a crash on a custom bicycle sporting 27″ wheels, Folch took it upon himself to design the ideal frame for men of greater stature; the DirtySixer. Rohloff hubs, custom dropouts, disc brakes, 36″(!) rims, oversized tubing, and extended crank lengths all come standard; every part specifically tailored to the task of serving a larger-than-average rider.

Lauren(5'7'') leg presented for comparison.

Lauren(5’7”) leg presented for comparison.

Folch has two Kickstarters to propel his business; a 32’’ wheel based design for those measuring over 6ft, as well as a corresponding 36’ variation for those who live larger than life. Check out both campaigns by clicking here and here.

As an added bonus, be sure to check out his DirtySixer in action in this American Express commercial featuring a very familiar basketball player…

Erik Noren, Peacock Groove

Eric Noren, posing with his award-winning build, Purple Reign.

Erik Noren, posing with his award-winning build, Purple Reign.

Erik Noren is a man who needs no introduction. Well known throughout frame building culture for his unapologetic mannerisms, when it comes to designing and creating bicycles, Noren has no peer. This could not be made any more clear than in his Magnum Opus, Purple Reign.

Commissioned by famed bicycle designer Anna Schwinn, Purple Reign is an homage to the late fellow Milwaukee native, Prince. An avid fan himself, Noren integrated homages to some of the artist’s most famous lyrics within Purple Reign. These references include, but are not limited to, Little Red Corvette, Purple Rain, When Doves Cry, Sexy MF, Seven, as well as a gratuitous use of Prince’s beloved Love Symbol. Purple Reign took home not only Best Theme Bike, but also Best In Show for NAHBS 2017.

“This is a sort of mania.”, Don Walker, Frame Builder and NAHBS President/Founder discussing Norton’s Purple Reign.

“This is a sort of mania.”, Don Walker, Frame Builder and NAHBS President/Founder discussing Norton’s Purple Reign.

For a closer look into the builders and bikes present, check out the slideshow by clicking here.


Cain Ramirez is the Co-Founder and CEO of Cowgirl Bike Courier. He has been designated by Richard Masoner as part of the less-than-one percent of transportation cyclists that identify as “Strong & Fearless”.

Fat tire minivelo, and a carbon fiber minivelo

Erik Noren’s off-the-wall artistic mind can always be counted on to create something insanely wonderful for the North American Handmade Bicycle Show, and he doesn’t disappoint for 2016. Everyone else is talking about his electric cargo truck (he rigs a hub motor as a midmount motor, with a 7 speed hub mounted directly behind the bottom bracket, which in turn connects to a differential on the rear axle. It’s got to be seen to be believed), but I’d like to showcase his APHP-10000, a fat tire minivelo bike.

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You can see Erik’s creation at his Peacock Groove booth near the center of the show floor, which he shares with HED Wheels and show organizer Don Walker.

The other minivelo at NAHBS was fabricated by Tim Crossman of Kiev, Ukraine. I’ve seen plenty of minivelo bikes, but I believe this is the first time I’ve ever seen a carbon fiber minivelo.

This is Tim’s first time in America. He flies out of LAX next week, and he told me he plans to bike down to L.A. on this bike. I told him it’s over 600 kilometers to Los Angeles from Sacramento. He did a little mental calculation and told me in his Slavic accented English, “Is no problem, I can do in five days on this bike.”

Kudos to Tim. You can find him on the back wall at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show taking place now in Sacramento, California.

Titanium fender from Honjo

Honjo Koken hand fabricates 20,000 metal fenders each year. They’re regarded as the best bicycle fenders in the world, and are priced accordingly at $150 and up. Honjo fenders mostly made from aluminum or brass, but the Honjo rep visiting the North American Handmade Bicycle Show in Sacramento has a prototype titanium fender on display.

Honjo fender - titanium prototype H3

The rep tells me they plan to begin production of this H3 Titanium Mudguard beginning sometime in the spring. Titanium fenders would look mighty fine on just about any custom bike.

Historical bike prints, cheap at NAHBS

Brett Horton of San Francisco has a huge collection of bike photos collected from around the world. He’s now making prints from his Horton Collection available for sale. Buy them this weekend at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show in Sacramento for a hugely discounted price. These framed and autorgraphed 20×24 prints of Eddie Merckx can be had for a ludicrously low price.

NAHBS 2016 photo dump

Numerous 8×10 prints are also available for $12.95 unframed, or $26.50 framed.

NAHBS 2016 photo dump

As of now they’re only available at the show. They’ll eventually be available for sale online, but expected prices to be nearly double what they charge at NAHBS.

NAHBS continues through Sunday afternoon at the Sacramento Convention Center. For more info, visit the NAHBS website.

DIY bamboo bike building kit from Calfee on Kickstarter

Calfee Design announced their new bamboo bike building kit at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show on Friday. For the crazy low price of $580, you get the tools and supplies you need to build your very own bamboo bicycle frame.

NAHBS 2016 photo dump

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Santa Cruz builders at NAHBS 2016 in Sacramento

All of the usual suspects from Santa Cruz County will return with their selection of beautiful wares at the 2016 North American Handmade Bicycle Show beginning Friday, February 26, 2016 (tomorrow!) at the Sacramento Convention Center. I can’t get over John Caletti’s show bike, the CALETTI X KILLE, so let’s talk about that first.

caletti x kille

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