San Diego Custom Bike Show Recap

On-time is better than late, but better late than never. That said…

I had the distinct pleasure of attending the 2011 San Diego Custom Bicycle Show April 9th and 10th. I knew about the show a couple of months in advance, but my decision to actually go was 11th hour, so I *gasp* drove to So Cal by myself, just to cover the show.

A diverse group of over sixty exhibitors were set up in the Golden Hall at the Golden Concourse in Downtown San Diego, A complete list can be found at the show’s website, and photos of many can be seen here. Frames, complete bikes, apparel, accessories, and components were on display from makers big and small, well-known and less-known. I also attended two enlightening presentations that were part of the show.

My favorites at the show are as follows:

Frames: DiNucci and Muse. Mark is a craftsman of unparalleded skill, and makes the simplest bike beautiful. Lyle is an artist, and brings balanced design, critical alignment, and well-proportioned curves to the structure of his frames.

Bikes: MAP Bicycles and Bilenky’s Shelly Horton Mixte. Mitch and Stephen both make beautiful frames that build up into even more beautiful bikes.

Apparel: B. Spoke Tailor and alloneword. If you’re ride for transportation, want to look good on and off the bike, and don’t want to change when you get arrive at your destination, you really need to talk to Nan. I have a big head, and most hats don’t fit. Mary makes all my headwear, and I’m a very satisfied customer.

Accessories: Hjeltness Panniers. I welcome ‘newcomers’ like Eric to the bike biz. His panniers and saddlebags are stylish, classy, and made here in California. I don’t need any more bags, but I want a couple of his.

Components: Paul Component Engineering. Made in the USA, classy, well-designed, heirloom quality. Paul’s the man.

I had the opportunity on Saturday to get educated.
Richard Schwinn and Ted Ernst addressed a packed room for “The Schwinn Paramount – American Hand-Built Legend”. I used to work at an old Schwinn shop, and I thought I knew a lot…
Diane Lees MC’ed ‘Women’s Panel – Empowering Women Cyclists’ Seminar on women in the bike industry. The concensus was that it’s now better than ever for women in all areas of cycling, from racing to employment in the industry to how they are treated in the bike shop. There is still room for improvement, but much progress has been made in the recent past, and the seminar was most positive.

A big thank you to Bina Bilenky, Brian Baylis, and everybody involved in making this show great. I look forward to going again in 2012.

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