No matter what you spend your money on, be it a ‘cross bike, a mountain bike or a road bike, chances are you’ll put more miles on your touring bike but not on the open road. Most likely it’ll be running errands around town, or going to meet friends for coffee and yes, even a bar bike. My touring bike has seen more miles than all of my bikes combined, without a doubt, and so I really gravitate towards these utilitarian machines while at NAHBS. Now, whether or not I chose one to photograph, over say a MTB or a cross bike is totally up to fate but this Sycip tourer was just screaming for attention!
“You have to shoot the Hunter Cycles cargo bike with those sick Randi Jo Bags!” I heard it over and over again yesterday. Rick is a more than capable frame builder, machinist and designer. The man has impeccable taste and ever the overly-quirky projects have such character that he really has developed a style, all his own. Case in point is this cargo bike. It features the same chain-tensioner system as the Bushmaster dirt tourer we looked at last year, as well as some clever problem solving in terms of steering and load capacity but the crowning detail of this project are the Randi Jo bags, complete with that crazy rabbit design!
Bananas. They’re some of the healthiest fruits you can eat but their nutritional value goes up as they approach a nearly all brown skin. As a complex fruit, with an even more complex lifespan, Squid Bikes looked to their friend, the banana for an homage to paint their ‘cross bike with. On display at the Gevenalle booth, this bike laid upon a bed of bananas, waiting, just waiting to be photographed. I still can’t believe their bikes are all spray painted!
Can No22‘s bike offerings get any more dialed? The short answer is probably not, especially after their big unveil at NAHBS this year because right now, they’re touting perfection. No matter how practical their other bikes might be, with super sleek lines on their road, cross, gravel and mountain frames, the Silver Wing track machine is straight up other-worldly…
Calfee‘s bikes are truthfully, some of the hardest to photograph. It’s like my lights just liquify them and all I get are bright reflections, rendering these beautiful machines useless to post. This year, I tried something new however and the digital renderings of this Manta Pro road bike truly capture this bike’s beauty. Look, Calfee makes damn usable art and these bikes are the most unique creations at NAHBS. They appear to be some ancient beast, laying dormant in chrysalis…
Adam Sklar brought some heat with him from Montana. Having just turned 16, he’s the youngest builder at the show (just kidding, he’s 22) but that didn’t stop him from turning out some beautiful machines. As I sat in his booth looking at the mountain and fatbikes on display, I couldn’t help but pick out the curved, swoopy-tubed ‘cross or “all road” bike in the corner. Complete with Sycip-inspired quarter fork blade toppers and some slick Reynolds wheels, this puppy is ready to take on some Montana fire road action!
Paul Sadoff from Rock Lobster and Bruce Gordon from, well, Bruce Gordon Cycles brought a few more models of the Grinduro-unveiled brand Schnozola this year to NAHBS. A steel ‘cross, an aluminum ‘cross, a tourer and this fixed gear. Why build a fixed gear for NAHBS? Because Paul Sadoff wanted to!
Mitch from Map Biycles in Chico, California has always been one of my favorite builders. The dude just oozes a cool, confidence that always shows in his work. From customer builds to his own, Map never ceases to impress. Even when his bikes have digi camo on them. The Rambonneur has popped up on this site before, but it was nice seeing it in person for the first time…
Carl Strong makes beautifully-simple, understated bikes, void of any flashiness or ostentation and I’ve always been a fan. This disc road is a shining example of precision framebuilding.
In my opinion, Demon Frameworks is doing something few other builders achieve: a unique, almost signature lug pattern. You can spot his bikes a mile away thanks to those meticulously carved, almost buttress-inspired designs. This year at NAHBS, this nickel-plated road accompanied him and people couldn’t get enough of it!