The North American Handmade Bike Show – NAHBS – brings forth a pretty spectacular mix of bike builders. They’re not all American – people now come from all over the world to exhibit at the show. And they’re not all handmade bike builders either – component companies also have stands at the show.
There’s a ton of bikes of all shapes and sizes, and luckily for those of us not lucky enough to get to be there, they’re photographed at the show so that you can behold them from the comfort of your living room. We’ve been through the press pack of images – there were well over 400 of them – and picked out those which are, approximately, mountain bike shaped. Or at least flat barred and large tyred. Because when it comes to NAHBS (as you’ll see in this list of bikes below), pigeonholing some of the frames into a niche can be pretty difficult.
1. Altruiste I
This is a bit of mystery bike. It’s in the press pack, and it’s tagged as being by Altruiste bikes, but beyond that we can’t see any information about it. A bit of digging around the Altrusite Facebook page reveals it’s the ‘Zydeco slope rig’. We think that means it’s for doing tricks on and getting air and possible ‘steezey’.
It’s an unusual position for a shock. We strongly recommend tightly fitting shorts. Or very, very skinny jeans.
Look at those spokes, and that chain!
We’re assuming that’s some kind of pivot round that bottom bracket shell. Maybe not designed for UK mud?
There’s a clown’s approach to colour coordination, but it kind of works. We’ll be coming back to Alturiste later…
Is it a mountain bike? Possibly, one of the bike packing variety maybe? There’s certainly room for plenty of water for a desert crossing, plus space for a pizza.
For when even a Jones Bar is too mainstream? This bike is by Beardman Bikes, and that’s an orange/purple combo that we can definitely see appealing to Chipps.
This Bingham Built bike is by the maker of the company who won best TIG welded bike.
It’s sooo looong.
4. Black Sheep Bikes I
Is this a mountain bike? It has a dropper post. And appears to have the capacity to carry stuff – maybe a live raccoon? And then there’s the wheels…which are apparently 36in wheels. <mutters darkly about new standards> This creation by Black Sheep Bikes won the ‘Best Artisan Bike’. So maybe that rear rack is for sourdough and beard oils.
5. Black Sheep Bikes II
Singlespeed, backswept bars, rigid fork, dropper post…it’s almost a normal mountain bike. It’s also made by Black Sheep Bikes.
That looks like a tricky little niche to weld neatly.
We think that’s a sheep wearing a wolfskin coat.
This is the Blaze Fox 29er. It seems like a pretty normal mountain bike. There’s also a Blaze Wulf 27 Plus, another pretty normal looking mountain bike.
Nope, nothing to see here folks, just lots of lovely titanium.
This creation is from the Cal Poly Bike Builder’s Club. Imagine if we’d all spent our school days so constructively. It looks pretty slack up front…
…and is that sliding dropouts for swapping wheelsizes, adjusting handling, or singlespeed conversion? Or all three?
8. Fenix Bykes
This is the 1Fourty+ by Fenix Bykes. A trip over to their Facebook page reveals that this bike has the following features:
- 140mm travel 27.5+ FS Bike
- Designed around true plus size tires (27.5×3.0 max tire size)
- Hand built by Ted Wojcik in Plaistow, NH
- Steel frame with steel upper and lower links
- Shown with 622mm (24.5″) top tube, to be sold in top tube lengths
- 66.5° head tube angle with 150mm fork and 67 deg HT angle with 140mm fork
- 439.5 mm (17.3″) chain stay length
- Designed around long travel dropper posts (175 to 200mm)
- 1X Drivetrain only with optional chain guide with bash guard
- Hydropack free design for shorter rides includes downtube water bottle braze-ons with additional braze-ons installed higher up on the downtube for storage and tools.
Erm…it’s made by Independent Fabrications. That’s about all we can tell you about this.
10. Groovy Cycleworks LLC I
This pink and blue splattery spackley number is by Groovy Cycleworks LLC.
11. Groovy Cycleworks LLC II
Image Courtesy of NAHBS/Brad QuartuccioAnd this no-I-must-not-pick-at-the-paintwork (which is apparently not actually paint but some kind of special coating) baby blue number is also by Groovy.
Multicoloured spokes again.
12. Groovy Cycleworks LLC III
And yet another Groovy bike. This time with two top tubes, one of which seems specifically place for unpleasant interfaces in emergency dismount scenarios.
This is…basically a pretty normal looking bike – but made for a tall rider, so actually a cunningly designed bike to keep everything look in proportion. Kitted out by Northern Frameworks with some rather nice looking Paul Components, er, components.
14. Olivetti Bikes
This is the Thunder Pig from Olivetti Bikes. Should sit nicely in the shed alongside the Thunder Chicken above then, hmm?
15. Porter Cycles
Porter Cycles that made this also make a variety of metal products, including sculptures – not just bikes. Is it a mountain bike? Or a shopper? Argh, the hell with labels, it’s a bike. Or is it a travelling sculpture?
16. Sklar Bikes I
Argh! This klunker bike is all rusted and textured and we can only imagine that it feels horrible to the touch. But it’s got a dropper post, so it’s not all bad.
Originally, this is called the Klunk and it’s by Sklar Bikes. Klunk and Sklar – possibly also items of Ikea furniture? Actually, they’re built by Adam Sklar, an actual person, who is nevertheless very handy and probably quite good at building flat packed furniture too.
17. Sklar Bikes II
Another Sklar bike – one with a lovely fade paint job. So it’s not all rusty klunkers.
Mmm…that is a really lovely fade.
18. Squid Bikes I
Ok, Ok, so this is a BMX. But it does have 26in wheels. And a brilliant Squid Bikes head badge.
Just don’t leave it lying down on the grass or you’ll never find it again.
19. Squid Bikes II
With a very grubby set of grips – what’s that about? – this is another Squid Bike.
We’re letting it in here because it’s got knobbly tyres and flat bars, but apparently it’s a ‘tracklocross’ bike, not mountain bike. We would totally give that a go on some wooded singletrack though!
This plus bike from Stinner looks pretty spectacular. Just look at that paint. What is that? Metallic marbling? Crackle glitter?
Whatever it’s called, we’d love to ride it if only we weren’t so scared of scratching it.
This is another Stinner bike. Everything about it looks lovely and simple, except the paint work, which is not simple, but still rather nice.
This is from Russian makers Toresvelo. A hunt through their Instagram feed has us reaching for our wallets, and also tells us that this fork has a 51mm offset, tapered steerer and 490mm length. Plus lots of bosses, as this is made for travelling.
23. Vicious Cycles
This is by Vicious Cycles. Carl ‘Snarl’ Schlemowitz behind this bike doesn’t appear to have updated his Instagram or website since forever. We suspect you reach a point where you’re so in demand there’s no point in advertising. Or maybe you just don’t give a hoot.
24. Altruiste II
We said we’d come back to Altruiste, and here we are. We know a little bit more about this one as it won Best Mountain Bike and Best In Show. And that’s what we know. The NAHBS press release is big on pictures and that’s about it.
Here is the man behind that winning bike. He looks pretty happy. Either he’s called Gabriel, or he’s stolen his shirt.
A trip over to the Altruiste Facebook page reveals this is an enduro bike called the ‘Thunder Chicken’. Possibly a name worthy of an award.
This image shows just how that shock is fitted in. It’s pretty wild.
So much whut?
The back end may be wild, but the front is a little more short-stem-stock-forks normal.
Except for those forks of course. Which are pretty wild whatever colour bike you have.
This shock is pretty lovely to behold. But what do you reckon to that bent seat tube? It’s this innovation along with the effort and attention to detail that won the judges over. You can see Gabriel being interviewed here – or rather the judge showering him with praise and Gabriel being ridiculously modest.
Phew! Now we think that’s everything that might just about fit the ‘mountain bike’ category. More weird and wonderful definition defying bikes coming soon.