Sunday, February 24, 2013

2013 North American Handmade Bicycle Show

The show was in Denver this year and Heather and I went up to check it out yesterday. I didn't know what to expect. While there were a lot of really nice bikes there, it was strange at what really impressed me and what I just glanced at and walked right past. It was a bit of sensory overload when we first walked in but I quickly found my bearings. There were quite a few fancy road bikes and quite a few fat bikes. Neither of these are really all that interesting to me. The issue with most road bikes is that my neck just can't handle it any longer. While I think fat bikes are neat, I haven't ridden one yet and even though I would love to have one, I just don't spend hours looking at them. 

Lately, what's been catching my eye are more touring style road bikes, Monstercross bikes and SS 29ers. I saw this bike right after walking in the front door and immediately wanted to check it out. The bars are still way too low for me but if they were higher and used a Woodchipper bar I think this would be really fun. It's by Shamrock out of Indiana and I just dug the little details on it. I normally do not like lugged bikes either but I sure liked this one. 

This is the kind of bike build that I have been spending a lot of time staring at. This bike was built by Ground Up out of Colorado Springs. This particular bike belongs to Fixie Dave Nice and he used it for Tour Divide last year. It's fixed, front brake, funky bars (would love to know what bars they are), Middleburn cranks, and just no nonsense. Very nice.

This black beauty was made by English and the customer is the owner of Black Rainbow Project bags out of UK. The bags were burly but will serve him well on the Great Divide this year (which was the inspiration for the build). Lot's going on here. Alfine internal gear hub with a Gates belt drive. If that ever fails then the front 135 spaced hub that has a SS belt cog on it can be swapped to make it to the next town. There is a small rack on the front that is curved to support the roll bag. The arm rests for the aero bars are integrated into a kind of custom stem thing (really similar to the one I have from Moots but much cleaner). The frame bag uses braze on mounts instead of straps so the paint won't get rubbed off.

This townie SS from Guru would be a really fun bar bike. Loved the gumwall tires. The paint was nice too.

Blacksheep had some bikes there that I just didn't understand (like the dual suspension fat bike) but, like I said, I don't have much experience with them. I did kinda like this SS which is unusual because I don't like too many curved tubes in frames. I usually hate curved down tubes. I'd ride it though.

Independent had some nice stuff but a lot of road bikes and a lot of geared mountain bikes. Loved this purple color and the baby blue behind it (kinda looks like my Salsa).

This was another favorite and, ironically, not really one of the craziest at the show (and I don't say that to be disrespectful). This bike was built by Reeb out of Lyons, Colorado for Chad Melis. It's a belt drive SS, steel frame, Niner fork, On One Midge bar (which really caught my eye), Cane Creek levers, etc. Pretty simple rig but, again, between this and Dave's Ground Up, I actually thought about theft. 

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