Builders at the Handmade Bike Show

In our 3rd video from the Handmade Bike Show, we stop at the Dean booth, check a Roark S&S frame, see the JK special, and the BME C-Thru. We also talk with Bike Friday about the Tikit, custom carbon frames from RR Velo, and wondered what the robots were all about at the SRAM booth.

Notes



Impressions of NAHMBS

wood

I took the family on a quick trip down I-5 to see the show. My little guy made it a little “interesting” as he was on a mission to turn every crank and wheel he could reach. At most bike shops, this is cute and fun. At the show…not so much.

Pictures here

A couple impressions:

  1. Lots of people complaining that it’s $18 to get in the show, and yet they are oogling at $10k bike frames. The detail on these bikes is certainly amazing, but it seems that this doesn’t make sense as a business model. The pricing on even the lower-end frames at this show are well over $1k, but it’s not the doctor/lawyer set clamoring for these things. I hope there’s enough folks out there to pay for these amazing rigs.

  2. Bike parking was a mess. I was rather surprised to see this in Portland where all the locals rode there. There was even a sign saying that if you locked your bike to a tree or a handrail, that it would be “towed”. Ridiculous. My wife did mention that “man there are a lot of Surly’s”.

  3. Paint these days is truly incredible. Vanilla Cycles has a new group called “Coat” with some amazing work.

  4. Racks are big - I was surprised to see how many clever options were shown by the various builders. There were even a couple guys just pitching racks.

  5. The trend is City bikes, and not necessarily commuter bikes. I take a pretty common route that’s ~20mi each way. There is a large group of folks who follow the same route, and I can’t say that many of the bikes there met the needs of the longer-run commuter set. I mostly wanted to see comfortable road bikes with fatter tires, disk brakes, etc. I only saw 2.

  6. Somebody needs to invite Robin Williams or some other loaded bike nut to this thing to buy up all the stock to keep these guys in business. The creativity in the room came up with some really innovative work and hopefully there is enough dollars to keep it rolling.



Custom Fizik Saddles

arione%20bianchi%20wcs.jpeg I’ll admit it: I’m obsessive about colours on bikes. I know that black saddles are practical, but they so soboring. I love seeing someone with a white saddle on a black bike. To me, a new white saddle says, I’ll get dirty but I look good now.

But how about white with gold, or maybe metallic red? Fizik’s US distributor, Highway2, is offering a custom saddle program through selected bike shops. Expect a wait and an upcharge.

I’ve got a Bianchi bike on order…maybe I’ll get celeste with world champ stripes down the middle. But how will that look? No worries, the Fizik website has a nice little interactive that allows you to see your saddle before you order. Go there and play with the colours. Some saddles offer more options than others.

(added for Byron’s sake at 11:49AM): shopImg_Customizer.aspx.jpeg



More Video from the Handmade Bike Show

Bike Hugger visits the North American Handmade Bike Show and meets some attendees outside, spots the Kona Ute and its designer; checks a frame from Naked, wood frames from Renovo, and a bottom-bracket disc brake from Sycip.

Bikes shown:

Notes



At the Handbuilt Bike Show: Another Brake on a Fixie

sycip%20disc%20crank.jpg Here’s a brake configuration that I had never even thought of. Sycip Designs put a disc brake caliper on the down tube which grabs a rotor mounted to the left side of a special White Industries crank. Since the rear wheel is directly linked with no freewheel to the crank, stopping the crank stops the rear wheel. Kinda odd, but you would never have to worry about disc/caliper alignment while adjusting the chain tension and you would use a normal track hub. But I think you’d definitely want a real track hub with a reverse-thread lockring.

Update

We heard from Jay at Sycip and he said

This was just a one off attempt to see whether it would work or not. Its an idea we have had for a few years now and kept on shelving it due to the weak link a normal track hub and reverse thread cog w/ or w/o lock. The White Industries track hub with a spline cog is whats making it possible. We would never in a millions years try it with a threaded cog for obvious reasons.

The crank will never turn fast enough under braking to heat the rotor unlike a wheel and most important its serving as a assisted brake working in conjunction with the riders legs. Lets not forget the inertia or the wheels and riders legs which will continue to turn even under immediate braking.

Isn’t it a fun idea?

I will have to say it works well. Front brakes are the simple way to go and is for sure more effective since it does most of the braking.

I will have to say it works well. Front brakes are the simple way to go and is for sure more effective since it does most of the braking.



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