North American Handmade Bicycle Show

Last weekend’s North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS) was a great success by all accounts. I’ve especially enjoyed the beautiful photos of John Watson (aka The Radavist) from the show. With his permission, I am reposting a few of them here.

J. P. Weigle’s bike (above) for the 2017 Concours de Machines in France was never intended as a show bike, and yet it won ‘Best Road Bike,’ ‘Best Lugged Frame’ and was the runner-up for ‘Best of Show.’

I think Peter can’t build a bike that isn’t beautiful, and even after hundreds of hard miles on two continents – not to mention very rushed Rinko-style disassembly – the bike still looked good enough to impress the judges. Congratulations, Peter!

Speaking of Rinko, Peter showed his ‘backup’ bike from the Concours in disassembled Rinko form. He reports that many visitors couldn’t figure out how a bike without couplers could become so small. I wish Natsuko could have given demonstrations of how to disassemble (and reassemble) the bike in less than 12 minutes.

Next door in what became known as ‘Rando Alley’ was Brian Chapman with his amazing and very different take on the ultimate randonneur bike. Where Peter’s Concours bike was all about function and classic aesthetics, Brian created a unique combination of black components with 1970s racer-style ‘drillium.’ True to form, it appears that he even hand-crafted custom cranks for this bike. A stunning machine!

A showpiece of a different kind was this Mosaic titanium bike – built to showcase Jpaks, a new brand of bikepacking bags. Titanium allroad bikes can be great fun, and I’d love to have a go on this one! I’ll ask Mosaic whether a Bicycle Quarterly test is on the cards.

Another bike I’d love to try is Chris Bishop’s ‘Item 4,’ a more affordable model with TIG-welded main triangle and fillet-brazed rear. Equipped with 700C x 38 mm tires, it’s a thoroughly modern road bike with a beautiful steel frame, available with rim or disc brakes. (I’d like a centerpull brake option, but that is difficult to do with a stock carbon fork.)

These are just a few of the interesting, beautiful or just plain crazy machines that were on show at NAHBS this year. Head over to www.theradavist.com for the full gallery, and then tell us in the comments which one is your favorite.

About Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly

Spirited rides that zig-zag across mountain ranges. Bicycle Quarterly magazine and its sister company, Compass Cycles, that turns our research into the high-performance components we need for our adventures.
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8 Responses to North American Handmade Bicycle Show

  1. canamsteve says:

    Chauvinistically, I’d have to go with the show and MTB winner from Altruiste from my home province of New Brunswick Canada. I had Gab make me a custom adventure bike a few years ago after seeing his work at a previous NAHBS

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  2. My wife and I traveled to Connecticut from sunny Minnesota just to see the show and had a great time. Our distinct impression was that “Rando Alley” was one the crowd favorites with consistently large groups of visitors gathering around the beautiful handmade Randonneuring bicycles on display.
    If the show is at all a window into the present and future of American cycling it certainly appears to me this style of bicycle and this type of riding are here to stay, and I was glad to see it.

  3. Mike says:

    I got to see Peter’s bike at the Boston Bike Expo in September. I was itching to take it for a spin, but we were on the fifth floor of the building. The front rack did not catch my eye that night, but has since. Do you know the origin of the rack? Fits so well it looks like a custom.

  4. relish14 says:

    I love that the Weigle was “never intended as a show bike” yet won 2nd for Best In Show among various other awards. That is my definition of beauty in a bike, utilitarian beauty.

  5. morlamweb says:

    I’ll never tire of seeing photos of the Weigle bike. The classic styling and utterly flawless execution make it “bite-the-back-of-the-hand” beautiful in my book.

  6. After looking at all the footage, one of my favorites is the Moots Softtail Drop Bar bike. If it has the performance of the Moots Routt we tested last year, plus wider tires and suspension, it might just be the perfect bike for really rough stuff, like the Otaki 100 km Mountain Bike Race…

  7. Seeing the Weigle and Chapman bikes in person was a real highlight of the show. The photos I had previously seen did not do them justice.

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