Category Archives: 2017 NAHBS
The NAHBS 2017 Awards
Photos by Brad Quartuccio
Each year, a panel of judges pick out the creme of the crop from the many builders showcasing at NAHBS to hand out a series of prestigious awards. This year, I thought I’d pull our NAHBS documentation to a close with a superb gallery, compiled by Brad Quartuccio. Enjoy! (more…)
Each year at NAHBS, I like looking for innovative design solutions and this year, the bike that really resonated with me was this Steve Potts Silk Ti soft tail mountain bike. It’s got S&S couplers and a rear rack for touring. These days, you see nothing but bikepacking rigs for MTB tourers at NAHBS and on the internet, so seeing a ride like this is almost out of place. Then you look closer. Yes, the chainstays are made from a piece of laser-cut titanium, but check out the rack! Steve engineered a leaf-spring stabilizer on this rack, so when you hit a rough patch, the 1.75″ travel rear “shock” absorbs the terrain and this rack, due to its design, remains free of any jostling that might jettison your panniers onto the road or trail.
It’s hard to even begin to display how it works, but when you sit on the bike and compress the shock, the rack, with or without weight, keeps its normal height. Kooky? You bet. Smart? Uh huh. After all, this is NAHBS…
After the dust from the explosion of hydraulic disc brakes, electronic and wireless shifting settled over the bike industry and ultimately, NAHBS, I found myself tuned into the classic road bike offerings. There’s a misconception that steel is heavy, and perhaps many of the readers of this website aren’t privy to that, but plenty of conversations with cyclists prove this negative connotation exists.
This year at NAHBS, Carl Strong of Strong Frames looked to break that stigma, with a classic road bike, built with Dura Ace that weighed in at 16lbs. Carl described this bike as a throwback to the 7402-era race bikes. He even used Dura Ace hubs on the wheel build. It’s easy to get caught up in technology at NAHBS, but bikes like this just make me swoon.
This bike is proof that if you take a clean, straight-forward all road or ‘cross bike and put a Lauf Grit on it, you’ll turn heads. That’s what I did anyway as I walked the aisles at NAHBS this year. Don’t get me wrong, the Lauf didn’t make or break this bike. I really like what Proudfoot is doing. Their frames are all $1,750 and are made by hand in Golden, Colorado. You could say they’re void of ostentation, and rely on precision construction and welding to promote their products. The result are mountain and all road bikes, available in a handful of colors.
Check out more from Proudfoot!
If the Necronomicog would ever come out of retirement, this would be its bike of choice. This year at NAHBS, SRAM had a four bikes on display, including this Shamrock road with eTap. The paint job is one of my favorites at the show. It’s not overly complicated, or bright and that’s why I like it.
Like tree branches reaching for the ground against a deep blue sky, this bike is reminiscent of those long rides where you’re trying to get home before the pitch black hits.
This year at NAHBS, Moots debuted their Chris King collaboration color dubbed emerald. Much like its namesake, this color really pops, like a well-fertilized lawn in suburbia. Moots decided to display this new hue on their Routt RSL, built with Dura Ace.
It’s hard to photograph titanium bikes with this lighting setup, but this bike with those green components made the struggle well worth it.
A love for the desert brought Anton Gorbunov, the owner and builder of Astrakhan, Russia-based Toresvelo to the geologic playland known as Mangistay. While there, he found inspiration for the branding and the modus operandi for his brand. Toresvelo makes machines capable for all forms of riding. Whether it’s a rowdy hardtail or a precision road you’re after, Anton can craft whatever your heart desires. In this case, a Gates-equipped rigid SS MTB, fit for riding in Mangistay, or the USA. My personal favorite detail is the head badge and Toresvelo’s new, ruin-inspired branding.
I can’t find it now, but Anton showed me a photo of a rider blasting down one of the alluvial fans in the desert, along with a big-horned sheep skull. While there is a bit of a language barrier, I could tell he was one Rad Atavist! Follow Toresvelo on Instagram.
The work of Chris Igleheart is some of my favorite and every year at NAHBS, I try to seek out one of his bikes to document it. This year, my quest took me to the Gevenalle and Hifi booth, where this beaut was waiting for me.
Built custom for the owner of Gevenalle, this bike features the Ritchey Breakaway system and one of those prototype White Industry headsets, as well as Hifi Wheels, Gevenalle shifters and a Burd rear mech.
NAHBS isn’t just about the builders. It’s also about makers. People who produce bags, hubs, headsets, saddles and other components or accessories. For Vlad Cycles and Andrew the Maker, this year’s event became the perfect venue to display ATM’s newest bags, including a zipper closure porteur rack bag, saddle bag and his Many Things sacks, all on Andrew’s own dirt touring bike.
Because it’s NAHBS, Andrew reached out to Carson Leh to make bartape and a custom saddle to top off this loud, but beautiful rig.
Each year, Argonaut brings some very classy bikes to NAHBS and even though I loved the matte black and Olive Drab with King 40th build he brought, I couldn’t help myself and had to shoot this white beaut with SRAM Red eTap. Being a tall guy myself, I love seeing bigger bikes that still nail the proportions and aesthetics.
The best thing about Argonauts is they ride just as well as they look.