Category Archives: 2018 NAHBS
Photo by Brad Quartuccio
I don’t know about you, but at this point every year, I’m pretty burnt out on NAHBS. It’s a lot of work for all involved from the builders to the painters and everyone that is a part of this traveling showcase. Over the years, the show itself has changed drastically and it might not be completely apparent from this website’s coverage – which essentially blacks out all context, allowing the bikes themselves to be the subject, rather than the show. That’s what this convention is about; bringing builders under one roof to give them exposure. Yes, NAHBS is far from perfect, but I’d like to address some key issues, some of which are faults but most of which are positive notes to keep NAHBS relevant. (more…)
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. (more…)
In 1971, Panasonic Bicycles first began exporting bicycles to the USA and while their bikes in Japan are mostly consumer-level mamachari and other commuter cycles, this year at NAHBS, their hand-made division brought this beautiful randonneur with Shimano Ultegra, various Nitto products, and one of the wildest finishes I saw at the show.
The man. The myth. The Cheetah. Nelson Vails‘ career at the track is one filled with gold and his post-professional track cycling career is only getting better. With tons of appearances at various events all over the globe, the man is on his A game constantly and consistently. To commemorate his track cycling career, last March, Raleigh announced a collaborative effort between Nelson and Don Walker Cycles on these Raleigh Team Tribute track bikes. Why this bike? Well, during the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, Nelson rode a Raleigh track just like this to a silver medal.
Raleigh and Don Walker made two of these models: the Cheetah, a modernized version of Vails’ 1984 race bike, and the Cheetah Race, a lighter, more aggressive and aerodynamic version.
It was great finally seeing this bike in person and once again, I’d like to give Raleigh a high-five for using a US builder on these replica models.
I don’t know what it is about this bike, but throughout the weekend, it just caught my eye every time I walked past the Enigma Cycles booth. Maybe it was the paint – duh – but it well… I mean just look at this thing! It’s got paint-matched Campagnolo Record, down to the hubs and all the polished stainless bits poking out from under that blood-red paint. I can’t help but think this bike is sopping wet with 80’s horror movie prop blood. Mind. Blown.
Whatever Enigma is drinking over there in the UK, I like it.
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.