Author: Justin Simoni

NAHBS: Adventures in Off Road Adventure Bikes

[Publisher’s Note: Justin is being coy when he writes about these adventure bikes and fails to mention his own participation in the 2012 Tour de Divide — and on a single speed bike, no less.]

Most – if not all the bikes being shown at this year’s NAHBS are head turners, and the variety of types of bikes and the journey their designers and builders took towards completion is just as unique. I couldn’t myself help from trying to  overhear the conversations of attendants as they talk amongst themselves about these creations.  Nowhere did these talks take on such a feeling of hushed excitement than when the attendants were talking about, and sometimes to, the bikepacking, expedition and snow bikes.

The Tour Divide, a 2700+ miles mountain bike race, traversing over the spine of the Rocky Mountains from Banff, Alberta Canada to the border station in Antelope Wells, NM – the majority of the route on undulating dirt roads is one of the supreme measuring sticks of endurance – not just for the rider, but for the bike as well. The race is sometimes becomes a rider’s passion and life dream, and when it comes to picking a rig to take you all the way, many turn to getting a custom job done.

Moots, of Steamboat Springs, CO, was showing off its latest Tour Divide-destined titanium wonder, almost eclipsed itself by its own trail maintenance bike (which we’ll get to, later)



NAHMBS Trends: Alternative Materials Rhyming with, “Good”

When you think “Hand Made Bicycles”, and especially showing off your 100+ hour creations, one may unconsciously begin to dream of steel tubes of various flashiness matched up and bonded together using incredibly decorative lugs and powder coated to perfection. NAHMBS 2013 certainly does not let down on this front, but another trend is certainly easy to spot: wood, and wood-like materials used in frames, as well as in various components. What seemed to be the domain of metals, then unseated by carbon fiber, may find an unlikely brotherhood with these natural materials, used in creative ways, with old-world techniques.

Nestled in the back of the agoraphobically-enormous Colorado Convention Center, Wheel Fanatyk had set up its booth, showing a dizzying array of current prize offerings from Italian Ghisallo wooden rims.



NAHBS: Ground Up Shows Up with Creative and Fun Race Car Stylings



Master Frame Builder of the Trifecta Bicycle-Tubing of steel, aluminum and titanium Eric Baar of groundupdesigns showed up to the North American Hand-Made Bicycles show with his home brew creations complete with his artist’s hand in the paint pots Featuring dazzling glitter paint under a heavy clear coat, his frames are also hand-lettered and pinstriped – often having the finishing touches being done before your very eyes on the showroom floor. (more…)