Winning best finish at NAHBS seemed to be a shoe-in for Indy Fab at this year’s NAHBS. Especially when PPG gave them access to their newest color: Sun Kissed Orange. I posted the most obscure photo, because you’ve really gotta go over to IF’s Blog to see the photos NotStock Photography took in the woods outside their New Hampshire shop!
At a glance, this chop-job might actually appeal to some of you. Hey, it’s got everything you need. Low-riding porteur rack, shifting options, multiple paint finishes, massive tire clearances, rim options, disc brakes (hydro or cable) and a reasonable saddle to bar drop.
Doing this little exercise made me realize one thing: damn, there were a lot of disc brakes at NAHBS this year!
While I enjoy detail photos, the drive side of a bike lets you see so much, especially when it’s shot at a nice and level side profile. You can see clearances, BB drop, overlap, trail and reach.
The drive side photo is the most important portrait you can shoot of a bike, in my opinion anyway… This Gallery breaks it down. Flip through for easy comparison and if you missed any of these photosets, check out the 2014 NAHBS archive.
Let me preface this by saying the Guest Gallery you’re about to click through (hopefully!) was no easy feat. Photographing macro details in a convention center isn’t easy, especially when you’re toting around a Hasselblad 500cm, equipped with an 80mm lens, an extender tube, a Phase One back and lighting the scene with an LED lamp. It doesn’t matter how much you know about cameras, that last sentence probably made you scratch your head a bit.
Why would any photographer go through that much of a hassle to shoot NAHBS? Well, because the photos produced by such a rig came out stellar, that’s why.
Photographer Atom Moore had the most unique camera setup at NAHBS. When I saw him toting it around, I had to see what he was working on and after flipping through his submissions to PiNP, I gotta say that I’m so stoked on how they came out!
Check out some incredible macro shots from the 2014 NAHBS in the Gallery!
Much like the road, cross and MTBs found at the 2014 NAHBS, this gallery has a 44mm headtube and is built from OS tubing. In fact, there’s so much packed into the gallery, that I had to give it hydro disc brakes, electronic shifting and through-axles. So descend into the rock garden of Galleries at your own risk…
This year, NAHBS was in my old stomping grounds of Charlotte, North Carolina. I went to architecture college there, slaved away for five years, got my degree and walked away, never looking back. Nothing against the city, because Charlotte has its rad moments, I just never found myself close enough to make the trip. So for me, NAHBS was kind of a homecoming. While I didn’t recognize a lot of the downtown or surrounding areas, that’s to be expected. It had been over 10 years…
I knew a few things were on the agenda: eat at Bojangles fried chicken and biscuits, try to shoot as many bikes outside of the convention as possible, chat with Chris Bishop (who wasn’t showing this year) and somehow, avoid getting wasted each night, because working 14 hour days with a hangover sucks.
Then I got sick. Sicker than I’ve been in some time. Musta been some bayou bug I caught down at Rouge Roubaix. Whatever it was, I could barely focus on anything, my head hurt, my throat was swollen and it was hard to stay indoors with the horrible lighting. So I lost a full day of work, didn’t get to chat to Chris Bishop (sorry dude!) and missed out on the late night shenanigans (thankfully).
What I did accomplish was a selection of bikes I felt were significant and a pretty ok Gallery, showcasing the highlights of the show (for me anyway). I also managed to catch a few friends meandering the aisles… See more in the Mega Huge Oversized Gallery!
In the midst of all the NAHBS madness and in between nearly overdosing on Dayquil, I bumped into Armando Quiros, a frame builder I’ve featured on the site before, way, way back. Armando usually pops up at NAHBS with some insane track build. This time, he didn’t disappoint.
Like most builders, Armando keeps an eye out for vintage, rare tube and lugsets. A few years back, he acquired a set of the uber-scarce Tange Aero lugs, knowing good and well that the lugs aren’t worth anything without the tubes, or the post.
Some time passed and a random search on eBay revealed the tubes and the post, with a note stating: please note, the lugs are not included. He now had all the pieces to the puzzle so to speak.
He got cracking to it, built up a mean track frame and got it powdercoated before the show, building it up in the hotel room the night before. I bumped into him, outside the convention and shot some quick photos, which you can see in the Gallery!
At this point, Tony Pereira of Breadwinner has won three “best MTB” awards at NAHBS over the years. So when this Bad Otis was getting built up on Thursday night before the show, I was interested to see what he had up his sleeves… Boy, was I surprised and impressed. Both Ira and Tony had killer personal bikes at the show.
Tony’s Bad Otis sports a Rockshox 160mm Pike front fork and it’s a hard tail. While that might be an issue on a 29′r, this 27.5 bike will destroy about anything Tony throws at it (or anything he hucks it off, rather). The Reverb Stealth dropper adds another level of adaptability for trail conditions.
With a head angle of 66 degrees and some nice, plump tires, this bike wants to go down things, fast. I just wish I could be there to see him shred on its maiden voyage.
See more in the Gallery!
You gotta hand it to Mosaic Cycles out of Boulder, Colorado. They really do love their dealer shops. In fact, this year, each of their bikes were designed specifically for a different shop, around the world. My favorite happened to be for Crankstar in Brisbane, Australia.
Painted in a navy and baby blue rings, this road racer has an intimidating stance. Built with Dura Ace (yes! calipers!), Chris King Turquoise, ENVE wheels, custom painted Shimano Pro Stealth Evo bars, custom Busyman saddle and bartape, this bike caught my eye before the show even opened on Thursday night.
I had a lot of fun photographing this one. See for yourself in the Gallery!
“Step right up, come see the latest from Cielo / Chris King – this bike has it all: tapered head tube, ENVE wheels, Chris King e’rywhere, PF30 BB, Ultegra Di2, grippy, fast tires and even the latest in chartreuse technology.”
Kyle from Chris King is always peddling the latest from Cielo and Chris King. With good reason too. Made in the same facilities as their brightly-colored, or murdered out Sotte Voce headsets, these bikes bear the same precision as the rest of the Chris King line.
The newest model in their road line, the Ultegra Di2 Road Racer is a full-on production model – meaning from the time you place your order, till it arrives at your front door, you’re looking at 60 days. Maybe 61. But still.
One reason I’m so stoked on these bikes is that any Chris King dealer can carry the frames. That means – nudge, nudge – any shop employee with a Chris King account can order one. Retail price is $2,495 for the frame, fork, I8 headset and add $300 for the matching stem. Cielo’s Road Racer frameset is also available as a standard “cabled” option. Remember, there are always Stem options too…
This bike in particular came in around 16 lbs. It might be less than that, but I don’t want Kyle wacking my knuckles with a straight edge if I’m wrong… See more of this chartreuse beauty in the Gallery! I took extra time with this one…
One of my favorite builders this year at NAHBS were the Czech builders Festka. Their work with oversized Ti and stainless tubing is impeccable. While most of their paint jobs are pretty over the top, this Union Jack Di2 disc road was actually pretty subdued.
Built for Richard Hardy, this particular frame was constructed from Columbus XCR tubing and sported a British racing green coat of wet paint, overlaid with a pattern inspired by the Union Jack flag of the UK.
When people asked me what the overall theme of NAHBS was this year, my reply has been: Di2 and disc brakes. Staying true to that observation, Richard’s bike is equipped and ready to rip. The addition of Rocket Wheels and Tune hubs gave this bike some European flavor amongst the sea of Chris King and Enve.
Remember, if you are interested in carrying Festka, or ordering one for yourself, contact Cycleast in Austin, TX.
See more in the Gallery!
Going into NAHBS this year, one builder I was very interested in chatting with was Kris from 44 Bikes. I’ve enjoyed watching his brand gain so much notoriety over the past year and wanted to find out more about what made him tick.
We chatted a lot, went over all his bikes, talked about New Hampshire life, dirt, trails and what inspired his insane DIY workshop project. At the end of the show, I realized that I shot all three of his bike, essentially giving more coverage to him than any other builder.
There’s no real reason for that, other than since Kris was new to NAHBS, I really wanted to give him some exposure because I really admire his work.
Case in point: this 1×8 Retroshift Cross Bike. Kris used the Retroshift system on his TRP Hylex hydro disc brakes, Industry 9 wheels, along with the Retroshift BURD rear derailleur. Tech aside, this bike has stance. Bright red, crisp lines, no-nonsense language and yes, as I like to say, it’s utilitarian art. See more in the Gallery!