Round 2! More bikes that impressed me at NAHBS 2016
Collin Schaafsma – Matter Cycles
“Single pivot 4 life” award
I’ve spent a lot of miles on good old single-pivot mountain bikes, including the most recent incarnation of the Santa Cruz Heckler. In my opinion the single-pivot is still a viable option in a world of linkage bikes. The Two-Stroke shown here is a good example of why. You can get a U.S. made full-suspension frame, with custom reach and stack and a Cane Creek DB Air shock for $2,800. Sure it weighs more than a carbon-frame, but this thing will probably be around for your grand-kids to find in the barn. Check out the pivot, which uses headset bearings to simplify replacement. More info: Matter Cycles
Curtis Inglis – Inglis and Retrotec
“Dollar shave club” award
Retrotec makes some amazing bikes with the bendy tubes. Proportions are hard to get right. This bike nails it. I dig thie double top tube that transitions into a wishbone, with the curve tightening a bit through seatstays to the rear axle. Unlike some cruiser-style mountain bikes, this one is a proper ripper, with 27plus tires, a dropper, and new fork from X-Fusion called the Macqueen. I’d ride this in a second. More info: Retrotec and Inglis Cycles
Ventana Mountain Bikes
“Most modern bikes, least updated website” award
I didn’t get a chance to snap a portrait of Sherwood Gibson, Ventana’s founder, but I did grab this bike for a quick photo shoot. Obviously the big deal here is than Pinion gearbox. The Pinion was on a few bikes at the show, and I expect a few more at Sea Otter. The swoopy aluminum frame stood out among all the steel and ti bikes, and I liked the lines with the belt drive, and single cog and chainring. Ventana is always quick to market with new technology. More info: Ventana Mountain Bikes USA
“Did this bike get lost on the way to an EWS race” award
To say this bike stuck out at NAHBS would be an understatement. Not only was the Arktos a full-suspension carbon bike, it also looked ready for enduro racing at a high level, something I wasn’t expecting to see at the show. The main triangle and linkage is made in Colorado, with the swingarm coming from overseas. The dual-link suspension is called Sine, after the wave that is formed when graphing the rear shock rate. For $3,800 you get a frame and shock with two-tone paint job with a choice of a dozen stock colors. More info: Alchemy Bikes
Adam Sklar -Sklar Custom Bike Frames
“Lemme see some ID, kid” award
Sklar was a new brand to me, but I really dug his bikes. While it is thoroughly modern, this 27plus mountain bike really took me back to a time when one bike did it all. Singletrack, commute, tour. This bike looks ready for just about anything. It is also full of custom touches including the dropouts, racks, fork and handlebars. More info: Sklar Bikes
If you missed part one of our NAHBS coverage, find it here.
At this point most everyone knows the who, what, where and why of the North American Handmade Bicycle Show. I haven’t been since 2009, and the increase in quality for both bikes and booths was easy to notice. Here is a selection of some of my favorite bikes from the show.
Rick Hunter – Hunter Cycles
“Most likely to play Buddy in a re-make of “Six String Samurai” award
Lots of fine details on this bike, including Hunter handlebars made by Nitto, minimalist thru-axle dropouts and a sweet chainstay yoke. More info: Hunter Cycles
Brad Hodges – W.H. Bradford Custom Bikes
“Bike most likely to get featured on the Radavist” award
Brad has been building bikes under the Nemesis Project name for years. NemPro focuses on fixed-gear freestytle bikes, The W.H. Bradford brand will be for a bikes with wider uses than rail grinds and bar spins.
Dr. Klunkinstein was built for Ty Hataway (@tytantium on the Instagrams). The details are pretty amazing. Check out the rear coaster brake with a custom torque attached to the ISO disc mounts. The fork is almost to obvious to mention. The Moonmen Ti cruiser bars are the perfect finishing touch. More info: W.H. Bradford Cycles
David Folch – DirtySixer
“Tallest Drink of Water” award
A few years ago at Sea Otter, this guy showed up with a bike that made even Maurice look small. 36″ wheels, sizes that start for riders at 6′ and go up to 7′ 3″. While previous versions of this bike were made of titanium, these production frames, built by Ventanta and funded via Kickstarter, are made from aluminum. Complete bikes will start around $3,400, this Rolhoff/MRP dual-crown build would be much more than that.
This bike took me longer than any other to get outside, so many people had questions, and/or witty (or not-so-witty) comments about its size. More info: Dirty Sixer
Todd Ingermanson – Black Cat Bicycles
“I am a patient boy. I wait and wait and wait” award
A different Black Cat won best in show. I liked this one better. It took at least sessions of cutting and masking for the seven colors of paint on this thing. The head tube/down tube/lug area in the third picture is probably my favorite square foot of the show. More info: Black Cat Bicycles
Sean Burns – Oddity Bicycles
“More bends than the Stelvio” award
Oddity had a 10×10 booth crammed full of bikes, many of them still dirty from recent rides. I was drawn to this tiny bike, which happens to belong to one Shanna Powell, owner of Endless Bike Co., maker of anodized cogs and rings.
This thing has been on some travels and had the dirt and dead bugs to prove it. More info: Oddity Cycles
Continue reading with part two of our NAHBS coverage.