Co-Motion makes some of the most utilitarian, well-designed, and low maintenance touring bikes on the market, all from their shop in Oregon. Their embrace of new technology culminated at this year’s NAHBS with this Pinion-equipped Pangea tourer. When it comes to consistency and reliability, nothing beats a chainstay yoke and the Pangea utilizes one to keep things rolling smoothly, without the fear of breaking somewhere in the wilds of Patagonia, or Africa. While the Pinion gearbox adds a bit of weight, that is greatly offset by the German-engineered reliability and consistency. I saw a lot of touring bikes at NAHBS, but this one is by far my favorite.
I love seeing Moots‘ offerings at NAHBS. They’re typically very subdued, void of ostentation and fine-tuned for whatever form of riding. So when I see Moots do something experimental, I’m intrigued. This year, they brought a dirt drop “Soft Tail Prototype” to the show and it gained a lot of attention. My favorite moment was overhearing an older gentleman explaining to a younger child who John Tomac is. Sure, bikes like this live in that magical Tomac era, and many would argue they should stay there, but part of me – the fun part of my brain anyway – really wants to see how a machine like this handles. As for the details, Moots selected the Fox AX fork, a new soft tail design with 15mm of travel in the rear wishbone seat stay and a chunkier tire up front. All it needs is a dropper post, ATMO.
Are you interested in one? Well, this is a prototype, and Moots is still trying to figure out the final detailing. If you want to email Moots, you can do so at their website.
Down on Rando Alley at NAHBS this year, a few booths from the J.P. Weigle randonneur and the Chapman randonneur, was this Johnny Coast. It’d been a while since I’ve seen Johnny, or his work but I began my Saturday morning documenting this bike before the crowds descended upon the show. Everything about this bike was a pleasure to photograph and it’s one of my favorite drive-side shots from the entire weekend.
Admittedly, I was bummed when I didn’t see Japan’s Cherubim‘s name on the list of exhibitors of NAHBS bikes but was thrilled to find one in the Rolf Prima booth. This particular bike is Cherubim’s first ever “all road” bike and was made for Blacksmith Cycles. It features clearances for 38mm tires, fender mounts for matching Honjo fenders, flat mount brakes and custom-selected Kaisei steel tubing.
No22 may be known for their razor-edge precision road and track bikes, but their XC mountain frameset, the Old King, is the one that grabbed my attention in their booth this year at NAHBS. These 29’er XC frames are designed to maneuver and track in tight, technical terrain, as well as offer a smooth ride for full-on, all-day excursions. It was nice to see so many XC-oriented frames this year at the show, especially ones that are this beautifully executed.
Last year at NAHBS, I documented a rigid mountain bike from the Russian framebuilder TORESVELO. This year, Anton from TORESVELO couldn’t make it to the show himself, due to visa issues, but his friends brought this rigid mountain bike for him. It was commissioned by someone who saw last year’s bike and wanted one just like it. I love little stories like that because ultimately, that’s what NAHBS is for – showcasing bikes for builders to grow their audience – and it’s why I love documenting NAHBS.
This frame has a beautiful olive drab finish with orange Hope parts, and a Bjorn, handmade in Russia carbon saddle. I’m really glad the Russian contingency showed up this year and brought such great bikes!
You know what I love about this bike? It’s been out there, getting dirty and living it up in the randonneuring trenches. It was built for the Concours de Machines, which you can read all about at Jan Heine’s blog. This competition is used to determine the best lightweight randonneuring bike and adheres to very strict rules. While this feat may sound intimidating, for Peter Weigle, it’s just another day in the shop. You see, Weigle is a master of his craft and it’s the details you can’t see that make his bikes so extraordinary. His construction techniques are second to none and his bikes are meant to get ridden, not to be hung on a wall in someone’s personal bicycle gallery. A Weigle wants to live its life to the fullest and luckily for the owners of his bicycles, the pleasure is shared between the two. To top it off, this bike, as shown here weighs 20lbs (9.1kg) on the nose and can be broken down easily to “Rinko Parts,” or the Japanese method of breaking down bikes for train travel.
Dmitry Nechaev from Triton Bikes is a character whose presence is intoxicating. The dude is just a good time! I first met him at Eurobike a few years back as we tore into a black forest cured ham and drank bourbon. Ever since then, I always look for what this Moscow-based framebuilding operation brings to the table at NAHBS. This year, they did not disappoint with this single speed ‘cross bike. Built with ENVE, i9, Whisky, SRAM, a Bjorn, made in Russia carbon saddle, and rollin’ on some supple Challenge tires, it’s got bling in all the right places, but don’t get too distracted, or you might miss my favorite detail: the Triton chainstay yoke.
Out of all the new-to-me brands at NAHBS, I was most impressed by Dublin, Ireland-based Fifty One and their carbon road bikes. Everything about the brand was dialed, from the paint to the geometries, and the overall stance of the bikes. Take this Fifty One road, coated in a matte peach color, with bold, white branding, it looks almost uncomfortable just sitting still in a convention center. The overall package and presentation distracted me from the frame construction and the unique seat stays, which are made in-house at Fifty One’s facilities.
Sometimes, the simplest bikes at NAHBS are the ones that grab my attention. It doesn’t have to be shiny or flashy to motivate me to document it. In fact, I often like seeing bikes at NAHBS that don’t look like overly precious, especially when it comes to mountain bikes. This year, Indy Fab brought a handful of completes and various frames, but this hardtail really did it for me. Chris, the painter, had fun applying this fade paint job, a throwback to IF’s first bike ever. These paint jobs lived on for a while, even through the serial numbers in the 200s. For example, this “Test Bike” on the MTBR forums, built with XTR. Now, with this bike and its updated, modern components the legacy that is IF lives on.