Stu and I arrived in the great little city of Austin last night, and woke up nice and ready for NAHBS – North American Handmade Bike Show. This was Stu’s second visit, my first, and our first show representing Commute by Bike.
We showed up a few minutes late but found Eric ready to talk.
Next we decided to take a lap of the show to capture some early shots to get the juices flowing for our posts to come.
Right away we ran into our old friend from Flagstaff, Wade aka the Vulture. It was great to see Wade and great to see that he was back at it full time as a custom builder. He had a couple of great “show” bikes including this beautiful commuting/hauling bike he built for his wife.
We wandered on to commuter and touring specialist Littleford Custom Touring Bicycles. On the lookout for interesting integrations of accessories into frames and racks, we were impressed by a handy u-lock holder built into the bike rack. The other side of the rack had a tube that nicely placed bike panniers off the derailleur area.
I'd be very interested to see what builders are making to work with Rohloff hubs (e.g., frames with sliding dropouts or eccentric bb's) plus support for disc brakes and racks and fenders. This combo is well suited for all season commuting, but the frame options right now seem smallish. Who do you see at the show that's playing in this space?
NAHBS certainly has plenty to offer in this realm. Speedhound Design Bureau was offering up this innovative solution for the vastly increasing requirements for the dropout area. This setup allow you to bolt on a variety of flavors of dropout depending on your drive train setup. The slit in the dropout allows for the installation of belt drive system. They are working on a version that includes disc tabs.
Great question, Bryan. Let us know what designs trend, builders and other insights from the show in which you are interested.
On another note, sitting here in the media room, I overheard that Bike Snob was due in. I’ll be fascinated to see how he holds up, and if he will finally come out of the closet in unabashed, public lug slobbering.
We are hoping to get an interview in with Stephen Bilenky when the bike is returned. He gave us a brief history of how he got into bike building starting with the Sterling Metro 5 in the mid 80’s. We’ll have to get back at this with some more in depth research. Perhaps the history of commuter bicycle design in the US.
It looks to be a great show and we’ve got a pile of t-shirts we’re ready to hand out to anyone who wants to wear them at the show.
And speaking of that, I think there might be a t-shirt sighting for all you Tweeters and Facebookers who are wanting to win a shirt of your own…