February 28, 2011
We have literally hundreds of photos from the 2011 North American HandBuilt Show in Austin, Texas, thanks to super-contributor Dr Jon. Here’s the first batch. We’ve skipped detailed captions in favour of sheer quantity. We hope you enjoy!
“The 2011 North American Handmade Bike Show is back in Austin, Texas this year. Although Austin is famous for Lance Armstrong, music festivals such as South by South West and superb BBQ food, we are here to see what the custom bike fabricators have to offer. In past years, there have been some raised eyebrows at the $4,000 commuting bikes, but this year it seems to be all business, with countless lightweight and beautiful road racing bikes, some stout looking trail bikes, singlespeeds in every imaginable material and a slew of ‘adventure’ bikes – basically cross bikes with slacker geometry and space for mudguards and rack mounts.
Close up, the level of craftsmanship is eye watering. Yes, there are some aesthetically over the top paint jobs, but clearly a lot of time has been spent on the details, fit and fabrication that mass production cannot achieve.
There are some old school custom shops, new micro-brands and some industry heavy hitters, even the frame building schools are represented (all with full classes for the near future reportedly) – all showing that the United States bicycle industry is alive and kicking and indeed thriving.
More from day 2 and 3 soon.
You can check out part 2 HERE…