By Adam Newman
Kent Ericksen has been building with titanium for more than twenty years, and this year he was showing off his brand’s new suspension design, complete with a full-titanium rear swingarm and this boxy chainstay yoke.
With the suspension designed in house, only two complete frames have been built so far, both 650b, though 29er versions are likely to follow. Each is custom built to the customer’s preferred geometry.
Hailing from the Czech Republic, Festra built this track bike from steel, then chromed it and applied a tinted, fading clear coat that was dazzling to the eye. Even the carbon fiber fork, seatpost, stem, and handlebars go the chrome treatment.
This road bike was built in Japan by Sanomagic completely from marine-grade mahogany, including the wheels, stem, handlebars, seatpost, and yes, the saddle. The top tube, down tube, spokes, and handlebars are hollow to reduce weight. Sanomagic is an eight-generation wooden shipyard, so a bicycle is probably pretty simple by comparison.
Spectrum Powder Works
One of the premiere finishing studios, Spectrum has been chosen by some of the best framebuilders to coat their frames in what looks like it could only be paint, but is, in fact, powdercoat.
In addition to the new frames they finished, Spectrum was showing off a trio of vintage mountain bike restorations.
The untrained eye may not have noticed this 650b mountain bike in the Moots booth shod with what is the first pair of Mavic 650b wheels in the US. Though unlabeled, they appear to be mostly identical to the Crossmax SLR wheels already available in 26 and 29-inch versions. Over at the Mavic booth we were told that the company had been listening to consumers and didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to give them the products they were asking for. An interesting note: One of the Schwalbe tires was labeled “650b”, the other “27.5″. I guess we’re not the only ones still deciding what to call it.
Nothing is out of bounds at Groovy, and this titanium zombie-theme bike was created with a ceramic coating that is incredibly thin and light. Each of the green blobs and peeks of raw silver zombies was individually masked off and then painstakingly removed before the coating could cool. There are tons of hidden details in the finishing work. Like it? It’s for sale over at Groovy Cycleworks.
It’s safe to say any framebuilding outfit with “groove” in the name is going to have some out-there stuff. Erik Noren of Peacock Groove never disapoints in this regard, with this crazy Voltron themed track bike.
The pink fat bike even had a 3D logo made from crushed stone. See more of it in our fat bike round-up.
Paragon Machine Works
NAHBS isn’t only about the bling, there’s some awesome engineering going on as well. These new dropouts from Paragon, called Toggle Drop, are specially designed for belt drive systems. Setting the perfect tension on your belt is crucial to performance, so it’s a pain to re-do it every time you take your wheel out. These dropouts let you tension the wheel perfectly, then with the flip of a lever the swing forward, dropping the tension and letting you remove the wheel.
They were installed on this custom, titanium mountain bike that was built around the Pinion P1.18 internal gearbox. The Pinion system is a natural partner for a belt drive with 18 gears and a fully enclosed crankcase, and has a huge range of 636 percent.
You might not think there’s a lot of room for innovation in the bottle cage business, but King Cage keeps trying new things. Fittingly, each of its products is handmade in Colorado from Stainless steel or titanium.
Here is a prototype of the Handle Bar, a bar that acts as a giant flask, with threaded end caps doubling as shot glasses.
We also spied this flask cage designed around the 8oz. Stanley flask, which are a perfect match for our Dirt Rag flasks.
Hidden away in the back of the booth was this prototype of a new cargo cage called the Many-thing Cage. “It can’t carry anything, but it can carry many things.” Look for it and the Stanely flask cage to be on sale soon.