Hello from Salt Lake City! We’re here at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show, checking out some highly unique and interesting bikes and bike-related things from builders around the country and world.
This is personally my first time at the show, but it’s been one that I’ve been hearing about for the past several years. I knew it would be cool and different from the usual trade show experience, and indeed it was.
For me, the first day was all about getting the lay of the land, wandering around and staring at pretty, shiny, or just plain strange-looking bikes. Here are just a few of my favorites from the day.
Yeti Ultimate Tribute Bike by W.H. Bradford
This “modern version” of the Yeti Ultimate was crafted by Brad Hodges of W.H. Bradford out of Sacramento, California. Its color scheme was definitely an eye-catcher—teal with purple accents and custom Paul componentry. This bike combines the old-school style of the Yeti Ultimate with updated geometry and modern standards, such as Boost spacing and plus tires. And yes, that’s right, those are toe clips.
1992 Clark-Kent Fat Bike
Amongst the booths of builders showcasing their latest designs, The Pro’s Closet was doing the opposite. This Boulder, Colorado-based shop specializes in resale of used bikes and gear, but they also have an extensive museum of vintage bikes. They brought a small selection to NAHBS, and one that caught my eye was this Clark-Kent Fat Bike. But it’s not a fat bike as we know it today. Rather, its tire width comes from not one, but two tires and rims welded together and laced to a single hub. This contraption was invented for Iditabike, a 1000-mile race across the Alaskan tundra, because riders wanted something more capable than a normal mountain bike. Necessity is the mother of invention, right?
Dirty Sixer 32er Mountain Bike
Dirty Sixer bikes are designed “by tall riders, for tall riders.” Offering sizing ranging from small to large in both 32 and 36-inch wheel sizes, these bikes are meant for anyone from about 5’8″ all the way up to 7’5″. As I snapped some photos of this bike, its designer, David, snagged me for a chat. He showed me pictures of very tall people riding and standing next to Dirty Sixers, making them look like “normal-sized” bikes (whereas if I were to stand next to one, it would look massive). He then showed me a picture of the famous basketball player Shaq riding one in a commercial for American Express.
“The goal is to outfit the entire NBA team,” he jokingly chuckles. Or maybe not so jokingly.
So why the name Dirty Sixer? “I have an accent,” says David, “and a lot of the people I collaborate with from around the world have different accents. I guess sometimes when I said ‘thirty sixer’ it sounded like ‘dirty sixer.’ And it makes sense. These bikes are meant to get dirty, after all.”
Adam Sklar started building bikes after every stock model left him dissatisfied and now, at only 23 years old, he is crafting beautiful and functional mountain and all-road adventure bikes out of his workshop in Bozeman, Montana. This rigid 27plus singlespeed mountain bike was my favorite of his four rigs that he brought to NAHBS.
These are only a few of the awesome bikes we got to see today. Follow us on Instagram for continuous coverage of the show all weekend long, and of course stay tuned for more photos and stories right here on our website.