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NAHBS 2009 Highlights

So, the North American Handmade Bicycle Show was AWESOME! A little overwhelming at times, but isn’t that the “awe” part of “awesome”? Since pictures are supposedly worth thousands of words, you’re gettin’ mostly pictures (and honestly, isn’t that what you’d want anyway). It was a really fun experience and I look forward to going to a future NAHBS when Joel gets Grin Cycles up & running and the show isn’t too ridiculously far away.

It was really cool to be able to check stuff out that I’d only ever seen online before, and to meet some of the creators of the bikes we all ogle and admire. I was really struck by how friendly and cool most of the framebuilders were. On the whole, I’ve usually gotten a really positive vibe from the majority of people I’ve met in the bicycle community, and it goes right on out to the people who make the bikes, too. It was invigorating to spend a weekend deep in Bike Geek Utopia, looking at bikes, riding bikes, talking about bikes, and photographing them.

Without further ado, here are some of my favorite bikes from the show, and whenever possible, linkage to the websites of the builders who created them:

Insanely cool hand-made dual suspension
Naked Bicycles brought all kinds of awesome with them. If there is any justice in the world, this bike will have won the People’s Choice award. I’m a singlespeed hardtail rider when it comes to offroad, but even I can recognize double-boingy genius when I see it. Everything about this machine was just ridiculously beautiful. My photo doesn’t do the rich, black-cherry metallic paint job justice, but even so, you can tell that this bike is a beaut.
Naked dual-suspension
Where the magic happens!

This bike is best viewed "original" size.
This elegant “newsboy” 29er from Villin Cycle Works came in close second for knocking me off my feet with its utter gorgeousness.

Joel took the best detail pics of this bike, so I’m “borrowing” this image from his photostream.

They used the same hand-painted plum-blossom detailing on the downtube of this one, too.

plum blossom hand-painted detail (I love it!)
Ridiculously pretty.

You pretty much couldn’t beat the Sillgey booth for being colorful.
Velocity Rims tried very hard, though.
That printed floral design almost makes me wish I were insane enough to ride a brakeless fixie.

Speaking of colorful, this Pegoretti was totally graffiti-ed out. Here’s more on Pegoretti’s paint schemes.

IMG_6860IMG_6865LOVE the peacock cutout
Erik Noren of Peacock Groove is as much a showman as he is a craftsman, and even a cursory look at his bikes shows great care and attention to detail. Sadly, I didn’t get a full photo of his GnR “Appetite For Destruction” track bike, but it was definitely a crowd-pleaser, especially with those of us who’d been adolescents during GnR‘s heyday.

Erik pointing out a highlight of this particular bike.
IMG_6855 IMG_6858IMG_6856
Appetite iconography.

Hufnagel Cycles, an Indy local, showed up with some gorgeous, inspiring bikes.

They also showed up with a no-fooling display booth. (pic nabbed from Joel’s photostream)
This one was so pretty, I kept going back to look at it again.

Built for the ginormous “Pugsley” wheels, this cruiser-style Retrotec was pure styyyyyle!
IMG_6756 IMG_6754
Fender details!

This step-thru Bilenky kept bringing me back, too. The yellow/chartreuse/orange paint scheme, the clever basket/rack, the thin-tubing chainguard…I dunno, but the total package well exceeded the sum of its parts. What a lovely little bike!
Dig that pinstripe highlighting!
This teeny-tiny DeSalvo was a crowd favorite, too, and with good reason. Not only is it darling, the story behind it id good. The owner of this bike is engaged to the owner of DeSalvo’s previous year’s award-winner, and he commissioned this bike for his fiancee so she wouldn’t feel left out. I spoke to the owner of this bike and told her how much I liked it, and she said she couldn’t possibly be happier with a bicycle.

This lovely piece from Southwest Frameworks out of Dallas Texas gives you PLENTY to look at.
A more mellow paint-job, but still plenty to see. The fenders are from Woody’s Fenders in Bend Oregon and have rosewood inlays!

Okay, this is getting completely ridiculous because really, everything there was worth looking at, so I’m just going to cut to the chase and give you a link to my NAHBS Flickr photodump. Please enjoy!

3 Responses to “NAHBS 2009 Highlights”

  1. SewDucky says:

    Okay I used to bike on a Schwinn from the 60’s on orange. (I was not a hobbyist, I rode to work) and I love the florals. I want one! And I don’t get on bikes anymore!

  2. Julie Stark says:

    I am totally slobbering!! Those beautiful lugs, the pretty colors, the fruit stripe bike and the bike for pugsley tires!! Gotta get me a Pugsley before I die. Didja buy anything?

  3. meetzorp says:

    sewducky you might want to look into getting a nice hybrid for getting around town on. My main errand-running bicycle is an old Bianchi Advantage from the mid-1990s. If you can track down a used Castro Valley like it would be an excellent getting-around-town bike, and would be so much easier to ride than your old Schwinn was.

    Julia I’m still Uneployed Girl, so nothing was bought. On the other hand, I got lots and lots of inspiration (and photos) for free! I have all kinds of big ideas for future hat and painting projects and so I’m getting ready to be super creative.

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