North American Handbuilt Show: 2. The fat bikes cometh.

by 11

Our tall guy with a camera, Brad Quartuccio, reports once more from the NAHBS show. A couple of years it seems all the builders were making $10,000 townie bikes to show off their craft. This time it’s the turn of the fat bike. (Click on the pics to make them extra biggerer). Looking at some of these, you’d think that California was Frozen2, (er – frozen too, but can you see what we did there? Badum-tish)

Peacock by name, peacock by nature.

Peacock Groove

Based in one of the coldest big cities in the United States, Peacock Groove is well versed in fat bikes and cold weather riding. If you want to ride in Minneapolis, you’re going to have to deal with some snow — there’s a reason the modern fat bike was more or less “invented” by the bike industry in and around Minneapolis. Erik Noren is one of the most talented builders around, with the creativity and finish work other wish they could harness so succinctly. This fat bike featuring color shifting paint, a Rohloff hub, and enough rack and bottle mounts to get plenty dangerous is no exception. Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The show is a chance for painters to show off too.


Like a ’90s Vauxhall Nova


Big wheels and a Rolhoff for Tonka Toy terrain conquering


And you can add a rack too…


Fat tyres, carbon rims, skinny dropouts


Lovely headbadge too.



Bring on the Reeb.

Reeb Cycles

Oscar Blues Brewing started its own brand back in 2011, and in the years since, Reeb Cycles has established itself as a favorite Colorado-based builder. Along with a RockShox Bluto fork and red Gates Carbon Drive, this titanium fat bike features a built in Pinion gearbox, eliminating most external sources of drivetrain failure. While some fat bikes are meant to plod along on soft surfaces, this one is clearly meant to go fast, and go anywhere — note the upright position and dropper post. Longmont, Colorado.



A red Gates belt, just for show-offs


A neatly integrated Pinion gearbox up front.


A brewing company that makes bikes. Makes sense to us.


Not sure about those bars though.


Ride Bikes, Drink Beer, Go F – orth and ride?


There’s a lot of gears in that there bottom bracket


Neat, hollow chainstay bridge


Frame painted in Ostentatious ClearCoat.


Retrotec Cycles

This Retrotec fat bike is the personal bike of builder Curtis Inglis, and was judged the Best Mountain Bike of NAHBS 2015. Curtis is the modern master of American cruiser-like frame construction fit for current use, and year after year brings out show favorites. Note the segmented fork and seatstay construction, and final prototype Paul Components disc brake calipers,190mm wide hub and matching thru-axle QR. Napa, California.


Ideal for just running to the shops for groceries, right?


This bike won the ‘best mountain bike’ prize. How things have changed, eh?


Curtis made the rack too


Trademark double top tube


Custom rack bosses unsurprisingly work perfectly with the bespoke rack


This is what mountain bikes look like to some people now.


Fellow Californians Paul Components supplied hubs and brand new cable disc calipers


Paul also makes some great cam-action QRs too.




Wiseman Frameworks

David Wiseman is the rare mountain bike builder still choosing classic brazed steel construction throughout. Done well, brazed frames look seamless like carbon, yet the tubes remain classically proportioned. This fat bike features internal front triangle cable routing, and impeccable paint finishing.
Naperville, Illinois.


Top marks for the subtle bend on that brake hose


This paintjob gets a big thumbs-up here.


Custom painted forks too.


Look at that fork brace paint!


Is this what they call ‘frenching’ in custom cars? It’s lovely whatever it is.




Singletrack Editor

Chipps wasn’t around for the dawn of mountain biking in the UK, but he likes to claim that he arrived in time for second breakfast (about the time he shows up for work, then…) starting in the bike trade in 1990 and becoming a full time mountain bike journalist at the start of 1994. Over the subsequent quarter century, he has seen mountain bike culture flourish and diversify and bike technology go from rigid steel frames to fully suspended carbon fibre (and sometimes back to rigid steel as well.)

His riding style is best described as ‘medium, wheels on the ground, trail riding’ though he’s been spotted doing everything from endurance downhill racing to 24 hour cross country racing. He favours mid-travel trail bikes and claims to be wheel-size, gear, brake and tyre agnostic. In fact, his garage spans most bicycle flavours, taking in steel hardtails, carbon trail bikes, even a mountain bike tandem, along with road, touring and gravel/cyclocross bikes.

While he’s happy to chat about bikes all day, his real interest is in the people and places that bikes can introduce you to and he talks as fondly about the trails he’s ridden and riders he’s met as the bikes that took him there.

Comments (11)

    That Wiseman is beautiful. Almost looks like a normal bike. I really like Peacock Groove, too; Erik just does things differently.

    The Reeb,looks like an awesome trailing conquering weapon.You have to love the workmanship and the paint finish

    my Christ – the best Friday treat i’ve ever seen on STW

    The Reeb is incredible – i even had a little sex wee 🙂

    The new brake callipers from Paul Components look amazing.

    I’m not fussed about fat bikes, so why do I “need” that Wiseman:-)

    I so “need” a Wiseman! Can’t stop drooling…

    Some beautiful things on display. Stunning attention to detail!

    First time I’ve realised I need a Fat Bike…..

    @Brad are you sure the Reeb is Ti?

    Its the rowdiest fatbike I have seen; lovely

    I think I _actually need_ a fatbike for next winter. Marathon Winters and an old SS’d DEAN just won’t cut it anymore.

Leave a Reply