This year’s North American Handmade Bicycle Show will take place in Denver, CO, on the weekend of February 22-24. NAHBS is a great place to see many builders showing their craft. The event is a showcase of the vibrant custom framebuilding scene in North America.
As you admire the gleaming machines, you may wonder how they ride. Bicycle Quarterly has tested a number of NAHBS show bikes over the years, including several show winners. I am happy to report that most rode as well as they looked.
First among these was Tony Pereira’s first randonneur bike, winner of the “Best Road Bike” award in 2007 (above). It’s still one of my favorite bikes among the more than 50 we’ve tested. I loved the aesthetics, which were different from the French constructeurs, yet just as functional. I enjoyed using Pereira’s excellent lever-operated front derailleur, and I smiled at the juxtaposition with the Campagnolo carbon cranks. Most of all, I loved how that Pereira flew over our favorite “Mountain 100 km” course!
We also tested show bikes from Rebolledo, Coho and Ellis (photo at the top of this post), as well as a Bilenky tandem. Historic bikes shown at NAHBS by Peter Weigle and Landshark were featured in our book The Competition Bicycle. It’s been fun to spend more time with these machines, but even if you just can admire them in the show booths, NAHBS presents a unique opportunity to see many bikes in person that you will rarely meet on the road.
This year, Boulder Bicycles is organizing an “unaffiliated” display in Denver on Saturday evening (February 23) at the Denver Marriott City Center Hotel. They will be joined by three other well-known builders: Mark DiNucci, Bruce Gordon and Mark Nobilette. Boulder Bicycles will show a collection of classic René Herse bicycles together with the latest machines carrying the famous name. (Boulder Bicycles is the home of modern René Herse bicycles.) The photo above shows a 1974 Randonneuse from our René Herse book, similar to a bike that will be on display at the show. You’ll also be able to browse the René Herse book (and buy a copy).
If you are in the Denver region that weekend, both NAHBS and the Herse/Nobilette/Gordon/DiNucci display are well worth your time. Click here for information on NAHBS, and click here for information on the second show.
Further reading: Test report of the Pereira Randonneuse. (Bicycle Quarterly Vol. 6, No. 2), also available online.