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Monday, February 7, 2011

Bikes I Like: Here Comes NAHBS

Lynskey Titanium CX Disc poses in Taiwan

The design of the bicycle has remained pretty much set for over 100 years as basically two triangles, two wheels, a crank and chain drive, a seat and handlebars. Regardless, one of the highlights of the cycling calendar year is the North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS). This year NAHBS will be held between Feb. 25-27 in Austin Texas.

Although these handmade bicycles are often not the big names in the pro ranks, they remain a major force in technological innovation, material selection, and artistic expression focused around the love for the simple concept of the bicycle.

Many of the bikes that make it to the showroom floor at NAHBS are examples of experimental and functional art, while others can be purchased and pedaled to the starting line of any race. Master builders like Richard Sachs, Zanconato, Sacha White at Vanilla and the folks at Seven Cycles among other makers, have their creations regularly pushed to the limits at both the amateur and professional level of racing.

A few of these masterpieces make it to Taiwan, but not many.

In thinking about the upcoming NAHBS, I thought I would list just a few of the bikes that make me look twice in admiration.

Waterford from the Schwinn boys.

Van Dessel Got Something Right with the colors and a name like Gin And Trombones

The Soma Smootie is cheap and classy

The De Rosa Primato is a Classic of Classics

Felt put the right colors together to say "speed" in every possible way.

Strong knows how to build 'em

Eddy Merckx Team SC is a rare gem of alloy goodness

If you want custom Japanese steel... look no further than Kavalinka. You'll have to visit in person to be sized and measured by the master builder himself.

The Look 585 lugged carbon frame is one of the most balanced bikes... ever!

Although Cervelo is not uncommon, the oversized logos say it all.

A Molteni Orange Merckx is a thing of beauty

The De Rosa Neo Primato is one of my first loves.

Crumpton custom CF is unmatched. The question becomes if you want to risk riding it.

Cinelli came out with the XCR stainless steel frame. Different.

Black Sheep challenges design

Celeste is such a gorgeous color. It always turns my head.

Colnago is the King of Classy

Speedvagen is innovative, progressive and steel.

Independent Fabrications makes them smooth.

I admire Craig Calfee for his innovation in materials as well as his craft with CF.

The old Lemond Poprad Disc... we hardly knew 'ye!

Gios has changed a bit as of late, but that blue is shocking every time.

Seven Axiom SL is a race machine that should be in a museum... an art museum. Actually, it has been displayed as functional art.

Pegoretti Lugs

In the more conservative frame building shops of Italy, Dario Pegoretti challenges aesthetic tastes with his avante garde style.

Moots Titanium is exquisitely finished. Fast, light and smooth.

The Salsa Pistola is an essay in balance.

Richard Sachs is an expert builder and an obvious perfectionist

Kish Titanium is beautiful and shows how great painted titanium can be.

More Waterford Love

Zank is a modern master. His CX bikes are legendary and his road bikes are droolworthy.