from road bike review ….
Each year, the North American Handmade Bicycle Show brings together a unique and talented assortment of frame builders and bike enthusiasts. Each handcrafted piece is a reflection of the builder’s skills and imagination. Some builders went above and beyond the rest and were recognized at the awards ceremony for their creativity, vision, and craftsmanship. Here is a run-down of some of this year’s winners.
The NAHBS Best In Show Award went to Groovy Cycleworks for an imaginative and superbly executed mountain bike and surfboard carrier. The level of detail on this bike is astounding with hand built wooden rims, a custom carved Brooks saddle, and integrated racks and fenders.
Built for an avid surfer, Groovy’s Kauai custom rig was designed with racks to carry a surfboard, making a commute to the beach a breeze. The integrated racks and fenders are also removable if a day on the trails instead of the waves is in order.
The Kauai’s 1960’s “Woody” inspired wooden features were superbly executed. Builder Rody Walter partnered up with an Amish carpenter to build the unique and beautiful wooden rims. The wooden fenders were one of the few pieces that Walter did not build himself, but he did fabricate the front and rear light boxes covers.
Ken Paulson carved the bike’s saddle with a picture of the bike owner surfing.
More info: www.groovycycleworks.com
LoveBaum Bicycles’ Chad Lovings won the prestigious Best New Builder Award with impressive details and ingenuity found throughout this gravel road bike.
Having built just four bikes in his career, Lovings is certainly an up and comer to watch.
More info: www.lovebaumbicycles.com
Price: $1850 frame
Availability: 4-5 months
DiNucci Cycles won the Best Lugged Frame Award with a frame that captivated fans and attendees thanks to its bare-metal state.
While paint and finish work can hide imperfections, Mark DiNucci shared his flawless craftsmanship at NAHBS with several lugged varieties.
More info: www.dinuccicycles.com
Price: $5300 frame and fork
Availability: 8 months
Cykelmageren’s artistic details and ingenious designs were the hit of the show with every tiny detail meticulously planned out and executed for aesthetics. Cykelmageren developed this bike specifically for the NAHBS Artisan Award category and then got the win.
Each component on the Cykelmageren road frame was hand crafted by builder Rasmus Gjesing. The brakes were built using a bandsaw rather than the more typical CNC machine process.
The shifting and brake systems were the most interesting aspect of the Cykelmageren design. A small click of the shift knob sets in motion a visible mechanism of chains and gears working together on the underside of the handlebars.
The Cykelmageren brakes work simply by squeezing and pulling back the cables for a simple yet elegant stopping system. The brake cables are strung with small nuts for added industrial character.
More info: www.cykelmageren.dk
Price: Estimated $200,000 – yes, seriously
REPETE Cycles won the Best Road Bike competition this year with the beautifully crafted “REborn” road frame. REPETE’s Czech frame builders Mikolas Voverka and Robin Fišer established the company just one year ago. However the frame building duo’s craftsmanship is a testament to their individual years of experience designing and building handmade bikes.
More info: www.repetecycles.com
Availability: 2-3 months
Vancouver based Brodie Bicycles won Best City Bike.
More info: www.brodiebikes.com
Choosing the Best Cyclocross Bike Award was one of the tougher decisions for NAHBS judges this year. Ultimately, No.22 Bicycles earned the prize with its beautifully crafted titanium Broken Arrow ‘cross bike.
When Serotta announced its unfortunate ending, No. 22 Bicycles snatched up production workers and builders from the timeless bike company. Along with these skilled workers came years of experience that was evident throughout each No. 22 bike.
More info: www.22bicycles.com
Price: $2700 frame
Mars Cycles’ fillet brazed cyclocross bike wowed the crowds and took home this year’s People’s Choice Award.
More info: www.defthousebicycles.com/mars
SyCip’s electric assist “go anywhere bike” won Best Experimental Bike. The e-bike’s fat tires are perfect for hopping curbs or taking back roads while running errands around town.
SyCip’s front rack is specifically designed to fit a six-pack.
The custom crankcase is built around Shimano’s mid-drive motor.
More info: www.sycip.com
Price: $2500 frame
Availability: 3 weeks
Alchemy’s handmade carbon frames certainly stuck out in the sea of titanium and steel bikes at NAHBS. Alchemy won the Best Carbon Lay-Up Award for the company’s brilliant hand crafted carbon work.
More info: www.alchemybicycles.com
Price: $3950 frame, fork, headset
Availability: Four stock sizes available starting in May
Retrotec’s brilliant orange fat bike won Best Mountain Bike at NAHBS this year, beating out all other fat bikes as well as all types of mountain bikes.
Retrotec’s vibrant orange fat bike stole the show with its sweeping top tube and chainstay curves and a Pass and Stow rack painted to match.
More info: www.ingliscycles.com
Price: $1700 – $2400 frames
Availability: 5-7 months
Known for immaculate TIG welds, it was no surprise that Kent Eriksen Cycles won the award for Best TIG-Welded Frame.
Eriksen’s precision with each TIG-weld was evident from top to bottom of every bike the company displayed at NAHBS.
More info: www.kenteriksen.com
Shamrock Cycles took home the award for Best Finish with this eye catching paint job by Corby Concepts.
More info: www.lugoftheirish.com