Each year at NAHBS, a selection of builders at the show lament on how we should actually ride bikes together more, not just talk about them once a year at the show. I get it. Sitting in a convention center, under that horrible lighting, discussing how a bike rides is worlds apart from actually riding out on the trails. This year, Adam Sklar took the initiative to plan a weekend and then some of fun times in Bozeman and sent out an open invite to numerous builders. His idea was to expose people to the culture here, the town’s local builders, eats, drinks, and shops, in an event playfully dubbed the “Builder’s Camp.” Squid, Breadwinner, Retrotec, Falconer, Horse, Alliance, and Strong, along with a few other locals, all prepared for 5 days of non-stop riding and relaxing in this beautiful mountain town.
Alliance Titanium 29er
Erik from Alliance makes some damn fine bicycles, yet they have flown under the radar for me and I’m not sure why. Perhaps because I’m often overwhelmed at NAHBS and don’t spend enough time really vetting the display booth. Each year, when Erik has displayed, I’ve missed his booth. But what I will say is after shooting this bike and watching Erik shred it in Bozeman, those days are over. Alliance is perhaps one of the most underrated, or maybe “unknown” is the correct nomenclature, titanium frame builders in the US.
Look, this bike doesn’t use plus tires, or the latest fancy mountain bike group, or carbon wheels, and that’s why I like it so much, because all that flashy stuff isn’t there to distract from Erik’s impeccable craftsmanship. Also, how cool is that Fix It Stix holder?