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From the NAHBS Award Winners – Part 1:

Photo: Matt Weil

Tim O’Donnell of  Shamrock Cycles – Best City Bike

It’s been a great show and the crowds and the volunteers have been great also.

I was pretty excited to get the news. I didn’t expect the ribbon.

I think it was the rack and fender combination that made the difference. I first built an integrated combo for a cyclcross racer who wanted only one bike, but to be able to mount fenders and racks quickly. I have some different ideas on this. There is a nice combination of form and function – and in this room you need both. I also wanted to build a belt drive bike and this show was the opportunity.


David Ellis Wages of  Ellis Cycles – Best Steel Construction

I would hope the award is for the attention to detail and their recognition of the amount of thought and planning involved in a design like this. The rear dropouts are my own design. This is unique as a breakdown bike as it uses internal cable routing with Shimano DI2 cable connections so it is ready to go when you bolt the derailleurs on. It is really simple to unplug and unbolt – reverse the process and you’re ready to go.

Based on the way it rides you’re never going to know this bike has couplers in it. This fits in a standard size case with no airline overage charge.

It is definitely a good show. I’ve done it the past four years and it has always been a positive for me.


Garret Clark and Connor Buesher of Vendetta Cycles – Best Finish

It went for best finish. It has excellent pinstriping and our painter custom mixed the color so it is unique and it is really well executed. The track bike is very clean and simple and it is an integrated visual piece that works together. All of the tubes are ovalized to provide stiffness in the direction of the most stress.

Q: How are you liking the show?

A: It’s been great. The people have been really friendly. The crowds have been large. As frame builders we spend a lot of time alone in the shop so we can’t have a bad time at a show where people come and smile at you and say nice things.


Photo: Troy McLaughlin

Rebolledo Cycles – Maurico Rebolledo – Best Track bike

Q: What made this bike the best track bike here?

A: It’s more the idea of the bike. I’m inspired by european bikes from the 30’s to the 60’s for their aesthetics, style and ride. I combine modern materials and components with the tradition of the past. I worry more about geometry and fit than a specific tube set.

Q: How do you like the show?  

A: I’ve been positively overwhelmed by all the people coming through and how into it and excited they are. We talked until we were exhausted. It is also nice to see what everyone else is doing. I’ve been very happy with the show.

Photo: Matt Weil

Steve Rex Rex Cycles  - Best Road Bike

Q: Why did your bike win the best road bike award?  

A: I think it was the general quality and the little details. The style of the joint is unique. The lug is a combination of handmade and fillet brazed in ‘bi-laminate’ style. I first saw this on ‘30’s and ‘40’s French constructuer bikes. It is simple and elegant with a spoon underneath and lots of hand filed taper to spread the load.

It’s a great, fantastic show. We’ve been super busy.


Ti Cycles’ Dave Levy –  Best Experimental Bike

For me, the show is about trying to get visibility in the national market and the national press. This is our second year. Last year the show got me in four print magazines and about a dozen blogs. There is not another show that gives the level of visibility that this show does. What this show is doing really well is raising the visibility of the hand built craft.

For consumers it’s a great opportunity to see the bikes and meet the makers. You would have to travel all over the country to see this variety.

My experimental bike was built for the Oregon Manifest design challenge to create the ultimate commuter bike. I wanted to not only include everything the challenge required, but also make a bike someone could truly live with. Most of my innovative decisions were a result of wanting the wheels bolted on, but still maintainable without tools and demounting.


Ira Ryan – Best City Bike

It is stylistically within a vein I’m comfortable with, but has innovations to meet the customer’s needs as a grocery getter for his restaurant, while still being an agile city bike without the trailer. I used large disk brakes ot handle the weight. The color scheme is classic French Bistro red and white.

The show has changed a lot. It has evolved in the five years I’ve attended. Part of me sees it as an opportunity to have face time with potential customers. I leave the show more inspired by the innovation and ingenuity. It is fantastic to be immersed in that for three days.


Naked Bicycles’ Sam Whittingham  (Interviewed Lyle Vallie)

This is the fifth NAHBS show for Naked. We come to see the creativity of the other builders. It gets out name out there. It is well worth the time and expense to come to a show.

Sam and Aran rode the show bikes down from Eureka on an unsupported 450 miles tour with everything for the show that we didn’t buy here. Both the bikes they rode and the ribbon winning mountain bike still have dirt on them.

We want to show that our bikes work in the real world and aren’t just show bikes. The poster size photos in the back of our booth are from the tour and were printed in Sacramento on Thursday.


Pereira Bicycles –  Best Mountain Bike

The story behind our prize winning mountain bicycle is interesting: My good friend Jeff Bates was the first person I built a frame for other than myself. He died from skin cancer last year, but every component on this frame was donated by the industry and the bike was sold as a fundraiser for his family before he died. The industry really came through to support his family.

29’er singlespeeds is what I do best. I’m impressed that the judges chose this bike, as it wasn’t built to be a show bike. It is pretty much the standard way I build mountain bikes for myself and customers. It is fillet brazed and has my pear tree logo on the lugs, but not a bunch of fancy add ons.

I think Sacramento was a great location for the show. It is close to Davis and the Bay Area, so a lot of people can attend. Ever since I did the Portland show I have had a waiting list over a year so I haven’t been doing the show every year.

People usually take a long time to make a decision about buying a hand built bike. So this show gets your bike in front of them, and they have an opportunity to talk to the builder,


Photo: Joe Bunik

Six-Eleven Bicycle Co. –  Aaron and Michelle Dykstra – Best Cyclocross Bike

The frame shows a lot of attention to details, bringing in all together where form actually does meet function. We are most specifically proud of the finish and brass detailing on the chainstay protector and other bits. I put a lot of thought into the overall aesthetic design of the bike. Normally I would use curved seat stays on a cyclocross frame, but these are straight to echo the straight fork.

This is our third year coming to the show and our third award. This show highlights what is becoming the pinnacle of the industry: Handbuilt custom bikes. Everyone is doing stuff at such creative levels that big companies can’t match.

This show is the only public advertising and exhibiting that we do. The first two years sales usually came after the show, but this year we are getting deposits right here at the show.


Retro Tec Bicycles’ Curtis Inglis –  Best Mountain Bike

It is an elegant, pretty looking bike with a curved cruiser look that gives a nice flow to the frame. We used a 44mm headtube and a 142 through axle in the back so it is also strong. It is an honor to be named, Best of, but we don’t want to just chase trends. We want to sort out what works well for our bikes.

Coming to the show is good for business. It is great to meet the buyers face to face.