It’s been the North American Handmade Bike Show this week. Sadly we’re not able to fly out there and fondle the bikes, so we’re left to rely on the official press release and images to satisfy our freak needs. What we get is a huge gallery of all the bikes, a list of the prize winners, and… that’s it. In the interests of bringing you things to make you ooh, we’ve been through and picked out the bikes that caught our eye. Hopefully in due course we’ll be able to find out some actual facts about the bikes, but for now, here are our observations.
All images courtesy of NAHBS, by Brad Quartuccio
The Mountain Bikes
This is a mountain bike website, so we’ll start with the bikes we think are for riding the mountains. Some are hard to pigeonhole, and why would you want to hole a pigeon, but with flat bars, fat tyres or front suspension, these pigeons are ready for the wild.
Built in California, this quite normal looking hardtail has been adorned with a paint job that makes us a bit scared. There’s something about it that’s rather angry-ghostbusters-monsteresque.
This is built in Idaho, which probably explains the Mr Potato Head. It doesn’t explain the blue forks though.
Squid Bikes can be relied upon to provide a wild paint job, and this year is no different.
This bike won the ‘Best Mountainbike’ award at NAHBS. It was probably the best tie. Maybe the only tie.
From Durango, Colorado. We’d totally ride this. But we might get someone else to floss that yoke clean.
Marin Museum of Bicycling
Built by Frank the Welder and being auctioned off in support of Charlie Cunningham, we’ll let the eBay listing speak for itself:
Cunningham homage Medical Relief Fund Mountain Bike handbuilt by Frank the Welder – ONE OF A KIND 2019 Cunningham homage bike. Built by legendary Yeti framebuilder “Frank The Welder” Wadleton along the lines of frames by Charlie Cunningham. Steve Potts created the iconic Type II fork. The “Good Guys” group from around the world donated stellar vintage parts to the project and assembled the bike. The sale of this bike goes to benefit fallen comrade Charlie Cunningham, a legendary framebuilder and pioneer of the sport. Charlie had a nasty tumble from his bicycle in 2015. He remains in treatment for severe complications suffered during his recovery. All proceeds of the bike sale will go to Charlie.
It’s titanium! And that rack is titanium! We don’t know where Corvid is based, but we do know that the builder is Chad Corbin, and he used to work for well known Ti builders Merlin and Dean.
Cal Poly Bike Builders Club
It’s a downhill bike! And it’s steel! Might be heavy enough to pull the hill towards it? We don’t care. It’s made by what must be the coolest after school club ever.
Last year they made a hardcore hardtail. This year they made…everything? Check out those brake levers!
There’s a lot of something going on around those bars, but let us not get waylaid and distracted. Take your eyes to that linkage.
The Electric MTBs
In an interesting development for a land where there are far greater restrictions over where e-bikes can and can’t be ridden (which may or may not be related to the lesser restrictions on the top speeds, compared to here in the UK), a couple of e-MTBs were to be spotted.
The troubling thing here is that the fork is not quite the same orange as the frame.
If you don’t care for this bike, they also make knives. Which look lovely.
Hardcore Shoppers And Cruisers
Shopping might be just a little less horrible on one of these bikes.
We should probably just stop here. This might be utility/fun perfection. Rack, knobblies, tan walls, and it just. looks. right. Take our money.
Paul Components / Retrotec / Sierre Nevada
But wait! This one is lovely too! And it has BEER on it! And lots of green bits. And it’s good beer. Oh heck. Maybe slightly less practical than the Steve Potts, but it’s more lickable than a popsicle.
This is another pretty knobbly cruise me casually around town bike, but it’s the back that gets us flushed. Check out that coaster hub with cooling fins.
Defying logic and labels, bend your eyes round these.
If the above doesn’t do it for you (and if it does, we’d like to know quite what it does for you), there’s a slightly more easy on the eye flat bar creation too.
Since Retrotec had a hand in some of the glories above, they probably won’t mind us expressing a touch of dismay here.
Built by UK builder Dear Susan, this is what happens if you let the internet design a bike. Anyone who has ever sat on a voluntary committee will likely recognise the number of cooks that this broth represents. Whatever is in the soup, we want some.
Lots of people chipped in to make this bike happen, giving money, tubes, components, and possibly brownies.
Good grief. Our eyes are tired. Do you have a favourite? One you’d like to see smelted down sharpish? Or are you thinking ‘I could do that…’? Maybe you’ve already done that – send us a photo of your creation for us to check out!