2013 NAHBS – Part 1

by Brian Mullin on February 24, 2013

The 2013 NAHBS or North American Handmade Bicycle Show took place in
Denver this year, and showcased US and international handmade bicycle
frame builders. It encompassed everyone from larger companies, to
one-person operations, whom all have the passion and love for handbuilt
and designed bikes. The bikes are predominantly made from steel and
titanium and aluminum, and other exotic materials, including carbon
fiber, wood and bamboo.

Shamrock Cycles
The paint job on the Galway 650 B52 bike really caught my attention.
The bike was created for Edward Deason of London England, and the
painting was done by Corby Concepts. The front triangle is bi-laminate
(fillet brazed custom lugs) construction with hand cut lugs, while the
rear is a Ventana painted to match. The paint job is meant to emulate an
old fighter plane, hence the occasional rivet graphics and aluminum

 I also liked the small attention to detail, like the shamrock
shaped water bottle mounts.

O’Donnell of Shamrock Cycles builds his steel bikes somewhere in the
mountains of Indiana, and he has a great  website name, lugoftheirish.com.

38 Frameworks
The Hogback
is supposedly the only USA made full-carbon fat tire bike on the
market. The frame uses aerospace grade carbon fiber tubing, a 170mm rear
spacing, and accepts 100mm rims and 4.7″ tires, and weighs in at 3.5
lbs. The frame retails for $2400 or $2600 with the Carver O’Beast carbon
fork. They gave the bike some light-green sparkles with the clearcoat,
making for a fetching paint scheme. They’re located in Denver, and in
addition to the trick carbon Hogback, they make the aluminum fat tire

Vibe Cycles
The Vibe Lincoln
was certainly an eye catcher with the bright copper plating
interspersed with black paint, along with the nice attention to detail
on this steel fat bike. He even copper plated Surly’s Rolling Daryls.
Vibe not only makes steel fat bikes, but bamboo and aluminum, and soon
perhaps titanium might be in the works.

All their bikes include a cool built in Blinky on the top of the seatstay and Vibe flask and flask holder.

Boo Bicycles
James and Nick of Boo based
out of Fort Collins, had an entire slew of interesting bikes in their
booth, their mainstay being the combination of bamboo and carbon fiber.
The most interesting on display was the wild looking Boo Glissando
townie concept bike, which ended up getting the Award for: Best
alternative material at NAHBS.

They used laminated bamboo as a natural shock absorber in a frame with a titanium backbone.

also introduced a fat tire bike named the BOOlossal, which was
constructed with larger than normal bamboo tubing to deal with the
higher torsional loads from this type of bikes. They used a Gates
CenterTrack drive system coupled to a Rohloff rear hub, which should
prove to be an interesting combination. I assume the fork and bar/stem
combo were made by Black Sheep, since it looks like their design?

had a couple of interesting wood bikes up towards the front of the
show. The Owen bike with the cantilever seatstay (would it be called
that?) was extremely unique.

Chris Connor’s
Woody 29er Scorcher wood bike is constructed with steam bent and Kevlar
reinforced laminated ash, and used a Gates belt drive.


Arizona based Form
had their titanium Prevail mountain tricked out with a sweet paint job,
with matching on the fork and seatpost. Specifics on the Prevail: Bob
Erickson custom Prevail 29er with XX1, ENVE Carbon rims to I9 Disc Hubs,
Rock Shox Sid 29er RCT3.

Festka Family from Czech Republic had some very wild wheels that had a
mirror finish and colors that matched the front and rear triangles.

Legacy city/commuter bike had sweet lines (top is dual tubes), Gates
belt drive and a front dynamo hub and light combination.

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