2018 NAHBS Drive Side Gallery and the First Ever Radavist Awards

Every year, I find myself staring down the barrel of my telephoto lens in a convention center, documenting some of the year’s finest bikes, yet there is very little time for reflection of these bikes on my end. At some point, I jokingly said “I should do a Radavist Awards for NAHBS this year…” to which whoever was on the receiving end agreed. While I commend the judging panel at NAHBS on their choices, what goes on behind the scenes there might not necessarily reflect this website’s subjective perspective towards bikes. In a lot of ways, the selection of bikes chosen for documentation have already made it through an initial “judging” process. I usually walk into a booth and pick my favorite bike to shoot. Even then, I have no idea what the scope of NAHBS will show me and it isn’t until it’s all said and done where I can finally reflect on what I saw. So, all I ask of you is to flip through this gallery of drive-side bikes before reading any further.

Best Experimental Black Sheep Bikes

It’s hard to argue this one. While I have strong feelings towards the Sklar Nutmegger, the Black Sheep 36’er was the best bike I’ve seen from them at NAHBS in recent memory and let’s be honest, I’ve never seen titanium baskets and fenders before!

Best Classic Road DiNucci Cycles

While there were plenty of classic road bikes at this year’s event, the DiNucci really stuck out to me not as only the final product, but the bike that brought me the most joy to document. Mark is a maniac with the file and his lugs were flawless.

Best n00b Olivetti Bicycles

There weren’t a lot of first timers this year at NAHBS, but fellow photographer Brad Quartuccio and I agreed on this one.

Best Randonneur J.P. Mutha Fuckin’ Weigle
I mean, come on…

Best Finish McGovern Cycles

This one is tough. I wanted to call it “best made in the usa carbon” but that’s too complicated. This McGovern checked a lot of boxes, but the John Slawta paint is what really resonated with me.

Best Component Selection Chapman Cycles

The frames are only half the battle at NAHBS. While many builders receive part kits from various component manufacturers to display at the show, others take it upon themselves to deck their bikes out with their own selection, while a special selection of others actually make their damn components…

Best Story Groovy Cycleworks

Jeff Archer and Rody from Groovy were homies and when Jeff passed away, Rody decided to make him a bike to ride in peace.

Best Camo Stinner Frameworks

Believe it or not, there were a lot of bicycles with various camo treatments. From the paint to the bag selection, this Stinner set a new standard for just how crazy camo can look on a bike.

Best Track Stanridge Speed

Look, if there is any sub-genre of bicycle where the most experimentation has occured, it’s the track bike. Do these experimental bikes always have everything figured out on the first run? Hell no. Does this bike have some idiosyncracies that make some crazy, while others dumb with awe? Hell yes. The problem-solving and design work that went into this bike is second to none.

Best All Road DeSalvo Cycles

You know what? I like the story here and the owner of this bike looks stoked! This bike will ride all kinds of roads and I can’t believe Mike DeSalvo made this!

Best Non-Native Triton Bikes

A lot of foreign, non-US builders display at NAHBS, and over the years, Triton’s offerings have continued to amaze me. The reason why I love their bikes is because they’re all so purpose-driven, motivated only by their client’s demands and this ‘cross bike, with its dummy shift levers and all – the client will run this as a geared bike as well – really made an impression with me.

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  • Chris Valente

    Nice picks. That DiNucci is kind of insane.

  • GNARdina

    The desalvo. The frame is amazing, the functionality s great, the blue ano pairs well, but that wheel and tire combo makes that bike look so over-branded.

    • everyone know that the more white words you got on your wheels, the faster you do.

    • Brian Richard Walbergh

      The fork is pretty rough looking too.

    • I’m sure those companies sponsored Mike’s project and love the exposure. That said, I’d be removing all labels once I got the bike home. haha.

  • California Travis

    That Jeff Archer bike is a cool story and very sick!

  • DopePedaler

    The Splatter Track! Bummed that lowbicycles wasn’t there this year!

  • Thanks for all the photographs from this years show. Im sure Im not the only one whos really appreciated the shots. Shooting them properly and not just in the show gives those of us who cant go a chance to see the amazing work thats been put in. Thanks Jon

  • AdamBike99

    Gah-Gah… Goo-Goo…
    Have to wipe up my drool!

    Fantastic documentation John. THANKYOU!

  • Jason Stanford

    First of all, great idea! Second I lol at the Stanridge 3Rensho when I came across it “driveside” photo.

  • AdamEldridge

    Thanks John!

  • Goddamnit Stinner, take all my money.

  • barry mcwilliams

    Love seeing all the hardtails, especially the SS hardtails.

    I’m days away from new (used) bike day and I’m already dreaming of more!

  • DarinM

    What’s the story with the cranks on the Chapman? Do not look like anything off the shelf I’m aware of.

    • Brian and another builder teamed up on them. I forgot who. Thought it was Groovy, but I’m not 100% sure.

      • Brian Chapman

        I made the crank arms and Jon Williams of Drillium Revival did his thing on the TA rings.

  • George T Rosselle

    Thanks for all the work, all the photos. So much to look at.

  • JimthePE

    I have never understood the whole drive side/ non-drive side thing. Unless it’s one of the 2016 US Olympic track bikes, what’s wrong with right and left?

  • James Stroud

    Love the Triton. Those are the best feeling road hydro levers and etap makes so much sense for a quick and clean geared to SS swap. Nice build.

  • Dane_Watt

    I know this isn’t at all relevant to the post, but what do you think about the recent push to boycott brands such as Giro, Bell, and Camelbak? As always, fantastic NAHBS coverage.

  • That Groovy Cycleswork Klunker is awesome and my favorite of this years NAHBS offerings, although there were so many great bikes! Great job to all the talented builders and thanks for the coverage and all the amazing photos!

  • Kevin Hall

    only one geared bike rocking a chrome/silver grouppo. Keep yer eyes peeled i’m building up a wide range all road with campagnolo hack to wide range cassette in all silver

  • Gotta love that consistency

  • pablo_skils

    It’s good to see some special recognition of some of the outstanding bikes at NAHBS that didn’t win an award.

  • Pete Olivetti

    Boom! Thank John! Thunder Pig is now rolling with some extra swagger.

  • Tom Greek

    There is something about the proportions and how slender that Royal H bike looks that I dig. Also, loved the way this post is laid out. It was nice to click on a small thumbnail and not have to scroll back up to see the larger photo.