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Well, well, it took a few days to “come down” from our trip to Austin, TX to the NAHBS of 2011. Lots to see and think over…and a crap-ton of pictures to upload, edit, and pick through.

I’m going to start out right off the bat with my favorite bike of the show. The wife of the owner of Independent Fabrications is the lucky, lucky owner of the Caffeine Racer, a lovely little purple-black-and-Ti mixte with a matching travel coffee cup! Of all the bikes I saw at the show, this is the one I can remember remarking aloud, “I’d totally ride this bike!”
I have such a girl-crush on this bike
Here’s my crap pic of this sweet bike, but if you want to see it done justice, you should click here. I just can’t get over how beautifully proportioned this bike is. It looks like it’s a complete flying rip on the street, and I hope the lady who owns it is out there having fun on it daily!

There were plenty of really sweet girl-bikes at the show. I think these were the ones that caught my eyes the oftenest. Back when I was road-bike shopping, I found a real dearth of interesting, desirable WSD bikes. The Burley I bought is proportioned almost exactly opposite of what I needed, though it was supposedly a women’s bike. As a woman who rides pretty much all the time, I find myself more and more enthusiastic about girly bikes done right.

Ain't she a beaut?
As to be expected, Bilenky Cycleworks knocked it out of the park with Shelly Horton’s art-deco influenced mixte. Their intricately carved lugs won them “Best Lugs” award of the show, and rightfully so. The unexpected combination of maroon and pistachio green really brought out all of that exquisite detail.

Sycip put out a really pretty ladies’ around-towner as well. And in the minty green I like so much…this is along the lines of the color my car will be, when I get it painted.

Judging by the curves and the pinky plum-blossom embellishments, I think this off-roader was aimed at the feminine market, as well. I’d ride it!

One of my favorite bikes at the show
This step-through from Vulture Cycles featured a plum-blossom cutout skirt/chainguard.
Cutout of plum blossoms

I also really dug the handlebars, which have a sort of Mary-Bar profile but are bent to mimic the other curves of the frame itself for an integrated look.
LOVE these bars.

My favorite flavor from Vanilla this year was a girl’s bike too.
A little girl’s bike. This cute little mixte is Sacha White’s next planned production model. Both of his daughters have bikes like this now!
So! Cute!

Continuing with the theme of ridiculously over-the-top-girly bikes, Retrotec brought out a bike that the original 1950s Barbie wouldn’t look out of place riding!

Bicycle Fabrications out of San Francisco built a cool cruiser bike with a beautifully integrated rack.
These guys had some super cool, fun stuff
I think this guy (and his painter) have a lot of fun.
Another show-stopper from Bicycle Fabrications. The seatpost/tube is a single carbon-fibre tube.

Another completely badass rack
Easily my favorite straight Ti bike at the show, this Blacksheep 29er had matching, pointy racks and the coolest handlebars which reflected the curves in the frame and racks. This is such a elegant and shapely machine!

Speaking of shapely, this Cherubim roadster is a swoopy marvel. Twin toptubes are bent to form the seatstays, as well. Plenty of bling to go around, too.

Speaking of “bling” this chromed Speedhound catches the eye. The most ingenious thing about Speedhound is their dropout design. They’re built so you can run standard derailleur gears, singlespeed/fixed, an internally-geared hub, or even a belt drive! One frame can support pretty much any drivetrain configuration. Brilliant!

It's like a mixte-29er.  I way dig!
Rich Phillips plum-purple 29er caught my eye. It’s got the twin toptubes like a mixte, but it’s shaped more like a beach-cruiser Klunker. Good, good, good-looking bike.

For a bit of levity, here’s the windup bottle-cage monkey from King Cages demonstrating their wares. You should definitely go to their website and watch one being bent into shape.

For reference, Joel's about 6'5.
This wicked high-bike wasn’t actually an entrant into the show…a spectator had ridden it to the venue and had to park it outside the bike corral as they couldn’t get it in through the door. For reference, Joel’s about 6’5″ so this is a damn tall high-bike. The upper frame was hand-fabricated by some ambitious tallbike tinkerer.

There was a truly astounding, overwhelming quantity of cool-ass stuff to be seen at the show. Even though I took over 500 pictures, I’m sure I missed something good, but if you have further curiosity and fortitude, feel free to check out my Flickr account, or go on Flickr and just search out NAHBS 2011. It was one hell of a show!

3 Responses to “Back from Texas and totally wowed”

  1. Bing says:

    Don used to bug me about coming to his show, but has given up in recent years just as I gave up my bike for kids, shift work, wife, mortgage, etc.

    I’m dipping a toe back in the waters as I’ve tentatively made arrangements with him for a long-weekend bike building blitz in Speedway at his shop. Maybe sometime in April or May.

  2. Meetzorp says:

    Cool, cool! I’d like to hear more about it after your build-fest!

    Next year’s show is meant to be in Sacramento, CA. I’m not sure if that’s any nearer to you, but if it is, maybe a long weekend of bike-ogling would be in order.

  3. Bing says:

    Nope, Sac CA is even farther.

    I’m about 8 hours from Speedway on the CDN side of the border, only 2 hours from Detroit.

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