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NAHBS 2011 Website

NAHBS 2010 Website

2012 Exhibitor List
2012 Media Partners
2011 Show News:
2012 NAHBS Awards Winners:

BY CATEGORY (scroll down for list by builder name below)

BEST CARBON FIBER FRAME Alchemy Bicycle Company
BEST CITY BIKE Ira Ryan Cycles
BEST CITY BIKE Shamrock Cycles
BEST FINISH Vendetta Cycles
BEST MOUNTAIN BIKE Retrotec-Inglis Cycles
BEST ROAD BIKE Demon Frameworks
BEST STEEL FRAME Ellis Cycles Inc.
BEST TANDEM BIKE Kent Eriksen Cycles
BEST TITANIUM FRAME Steve Potts Bicycles
BEST TRACK BIKE Rebolledo Cycles
PEOPLES’ CHOICE University of the Fraser Valley
PRESIDENT’S CHOICE Cherubim by Shin-Ichi Konno
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR Stinner Frameworks
BEST OF SHOW Cherubim by Shin-Ichi Konno


BEST CARBON FRAME Alchemy Bicycle Company
BEST OF SHOW Cherubim by Shin-Ichi Konno
PRESIDENT’S CHOICE Cherubim by Shin-Ichi Konno
BEST ROAD BIKE Demon Frameworks
BEST STEEL FRAME Ellis Cycles Inc.
BEST CITY BIKE Ira Ryan Cycles
BEST TANDEM BIKE Kent Eriksen Cycles
BEST TRACK BIKE Rebolledo Cycles
BEST MOUNTAIN BIKE Retrotec-Inglis Cycles
BEST CITY BIKE Shamrock Cycles
BEST TITANIUM FRAME Steve Potts Bicycles
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR Stinner Frameworks
PEOPLES’ CHOICE University of the Fraser Valley – Paul Brodie
BEST FINISH Vendetta Cycles


2012 NAHBS Award Winners – Steve Potts:

Best Titanium Frame – Steve Potts Cycles

Steve Potts is a legendary Bay Area builder, having founded Wilderness Trail Bikes, and has been building for 32 years. His NAHBS Award-winning bike was a 29er:

It’s a smaller frame size, which made designing it a bit more challenging. Complete Ti construction, with custom bars and stem, also crafted from Ti.  The Type II Fork is a steel fork I have been making for about 30 years. It is a Charlie Cunningham design, also one of my close friends and my original partner in WTB.  Charlie and I have been working on great bike ideas for about 32 years and still having fun! 

This year’s NAHBS was by far the best and biggest. I’d been to Portland and San Jose in the past, but what was gratifying was to see the balance that the show retains between an informal gathering of like-minded friends and a way to increase a builder’s image and sales.

I think NAHBS still has it right: it’s a fun way to get to know your potential customers and talk with them without pressure or expectation. Certainly after the show our website counter goes through the roof! But it’s not too corporate, and I hope it won’t ever go down that road.

From the NAHBS Award Winners, Part 2:

Black Sheep Bikes’ Todd Heath –  Best TIG Welded and Best Experimental Bike

This is the first year that a Titanium frame has won the Best Tig Welded award. Titanium is a little bit more challenging to weld than steel or aluminum.

Our innovative bike is based on 36 inch diameter wheels with rims and tires from unicycles. The rims are made by Nimbus and are 787 by 42mm. The Tires are by Coker. It is a single speed cruiser and with the large diameter tires rolls over everything really smooth.

There has ben a really good turnout for this show. There is lots of potential for follow up sales for us.


Paketa Magnesium Bikes ‘JP Burow –  Best Alternative Material

The bike wearing the ribbon was a TIG welded magnesium tandem weighing only 23 pounds. Burow asked all visitors to“Please pick it up.” Everyone who did said “Wow!” as it came off the floor much faster than they expected.

The frame is extremely stiff, but with exceptional vibration dampening for excellent ride quality. Magnesium has the best strength- to-weight ratio of any metal. This bike uses Shimano Ultegra DI2 electronic shifting internally wired. It also has same side gearing which allows use of standard cranksets on a tandem.

I can’t remember when I’ve had this much fun and still been sober. This is our first NAHBS show. The response has been great.


Photo: Doug Hack

Demon Frameworks’ Tom Warmerdam –  Best Road Bike

Tom came all the way from Southhampton, United Kingdom for the show.

I got to the point where I didn’t want to use off the peg lugs. I want my bikes recognizable without a badge. I want to move lug design to the 21st century. To do that I want to design stainless steel lugs that are clearly modern, but with classic influence. The lugs on this bike are my “Manhattan” lug, based off the Chrysler Building. This is a blend of Art Deco and architectural brutalism. My other lug design is the “Hermes” lug. 

This show is the Mecca for frame builders. Part of the reason I’m here is to be measured alongside the best. What gives me the biggest buzz is when the people I look up to, come up and appreciate my work.


Photo: Matt Weil

Muse Cycles’ Lyle Harlow –  Best City Bike

One of the judges came by and told me what made my bike the ribbon winner. The key factor was the very functional city design with fenders, chainguard, matching custom front and rear racks, hub powered lights, internal hub and carbon drive. This is all low-maintenance, easy to ride and enjoy. It also has a good paint job. The design aesthetically flows together well with the curved tubes of the frame and the racks. There are also nice details on the lugs and the head badge.

This is my first NAHBS. I’m getting lots of interest and going through a lot of business cards. This is outstanding! I’ve been to three other bike shows. People here are really interested. Usually at other shows, by Sunday afternoon we’re ready for someone to come shoot us as there is nobody there. The media coverage here is great.


Photo: Doug Hack

Alchemy Bicycles –  Best Carbon Construction
Interview with Dave Ryther, National Sales Manager

Our forms and shapes are unique. We made an extra effort to aesthetically integrate the frame design with the components selection. Other builders tend to use off the shelf tubes. We have ENVE produce our tubes from our proprietary molds.

This year the show has been fantastic. Northern California has a population of cyclists who know what they are talking about. It’s great to be appreciated by knowledgable people.

The order numbers aren’t in yet byt we have a lot of interest and our Sausalito dealer has sent a number of potential customers to the show to check out our bikes.


Moots’ Jon Carveau –  Best Cyclocross Bike

The reason we received the ribbon is the overall build quality of the frame, tube shapes, weld quality and overall finish of the titanium. It is a straight-forward design without complicating things. We focus on working solely in titanium. This frame also has a 44mm headtube and press fit 33mm press fit bottom bracket techonology.

The beauty of the hand built show is that it’s moving every year to different audiences. The audience is really well educated – real riders.


Photo: Troy McLaughlin

Eriksen Cycles’ Kent Eriksen – Best Tandem and Best Titanium Construction

Our titanium single speed is one made for and ridden by a pro gal racer in Colorado. It is nicknamed the Pumpkin because it has orange accents. We call it a 27 and a halfer because it has 650B wheels. The custom head badge is a characature of the owner, Karen Tremaine with her pigtail braids. I had to make special roller adapters to make the smoothly curved titanium top tube she wanted for the vintage look. It is a real simple looking bike.

We get a lot of press over the year that pops up as a result of being at the show. It seems to get us a lot of sales, particularly when we get awards. We usually just bring bikes we’ve made for customers rather than special show bikes. We did make the tandem for the show, but I wanted a road tandem and this is my personal bike, finished just before the show. We will ride it for the first real ride in Santa Cruz after the show. It uses electronic shift DI2 and has dual control front and back so my stoker with RAAM experience can shift and brake also.


Cielo Cycles’ Nick Sande –  Best Mountain Bike

Cielo frames are made by Chris King using the manufacturing capabilities built up with the component business. We have made a lot of our own frame jigs and tooling to ensure perfect alignment before, during and after brazing. We have also invested in our own paint facility to get the quality of finish we feel the frames deserve. We use water based paint for environmental concerns.

Our name is similar to a Swiss manufacturer, Cilo, but we are not associated with them.


Bishop Bikes – Best Steel Construction

Bishop was displaying a very clean, classic track bike.

This is my 1970s California framebuilder’s style with fillet brazing on the lugs and and lots of handfiling to taper the classic Prugnat lugs. The stem is a Nitto but it looks like a classic Cinelli 1A. With the vintage Shimano Dura-Ace track crank and high flange hubs, the look is all vintage Japanese components. This was inspired by builders like Peter Johnson and Albert Eisentraut. It looks like classic frame tubes but if you look closely it has custom Reynolds tapered main tubes to stiffen the bottom bracket. Bruce Gordon came by and said,”It’s a very pretty bike.”

People come from around the World with an interest in buying custom made bikes. It generates sales. I might get only one or two sales at the show, then the blogs and print media follow ups help. People can look around and see the bikes and decide what builders they want to work with.

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.


2012 NAHBS Award Winners – Overall Division:
Show-winners-2012 (3 of 16)


While the Category award winners were announced on Saturday this year, Sunday afternoon saw the announcement of the Overall Division winners. Here they are:


Overall Division

Best new builder – Stinner Frameworks

Best finish – Vendetta Cycles

People’s choice – University of Fraser Valley

President’s choice – Cherubim by Shin-ichi Konno

Best of show – Cherubim by Shin-ichi Konno

Stay tuned for quotes and short profiles of all the 2012 NAHBS Award winners, and congratulations to all!

Wheel Fanatyk:
IMG_6461 (4)

Crazy ’bout Wood

The Hjertberg brothers, Ric and Jon, like to roll in many circles.

You may remember them as the men behind Wheelsmith. Ric later worked for FSA, and in 2009 launched Mad Fiber wheels.

Wheel Fanatyk began in 2007 to “celebrate fine wheel building,” as their website claims. It’s a store and a resource for wooden rims, handmade hubs, spoke machines and wheel technology.

With a background using stalwart aluminum rims, and developing cutting-edge carbon fiber wheelsets, why would Hjertberg choose to spend time on something so seemingly anachronistic as wooden rims?

“Wood rims have a timeless quality,” Ric Hjertberg says. “They’re comfortable and durable, and have the same appeal that steel or titanium do for the building of framesets.”

Photo: Matt Weil

Hjertberg actually sees wood rims as part of a new era of wheel technology: “For the first 70 years of bike history, wood rims were used. Then, for approximately the next 70 years, aluminum took over the industry. Now, were seeing a new focus on ride quality, and carbon fiber and wood are leading this new wave.”

Wheel Fanatyk imports Ghisallo Wood Rims from Italy. According to Hjertberg, they’re made by a father/son team using tooling that goes back five generations. He said that while the Italian rims use a type of wood ideally suited to rim construction, and that many types of American wood are unsuitable for rims, the increasing use of bamboo for frame construction may lead to its development as a rim material.

As you might imagine, vintage and art bikes are applications for many of the wood rims that Wheel Fanatyk sells. But recent road tests by the tech editors of Velo and Road Bike Action magazines have opened cyclists’ minds to the many virtues of wheels built up with wood rims, and created demand far beyond just the vintage bike arena.

“Wood rims are stronger than aluminum, and have a shock absorbent feature that’s absent from harsh-riding alumnium rims,” says Hjertberg.

“Most importantly, they’re just fun to ride.”



Simple and Exclusive

Cykelmageren, Rasmus Gjesing’s Copenhagen-based company, would not only win for Most Complicated Name To Say, but also for Most Consistent Innovation should the two awards exist at NAHBS. As stated in his company’s product catalogue, two words describe his philosophy when looking at bicycles: Simplicity and Exclusivity.

Entering his intense black and wood-themed booth, one is met with a variety of products that back up this description. Everything found in Cykelmageren’s booth, be it sexy minimalist brakes, pivotless bedazzled brake levers, or architecturally inspired pedals, is both sourced and manufactured entirely in-house. This complete control allows for a variety of interchangeable options on several different signature styles.

First and foremost, there is the commuter bike. “In my opinion, this is the bike that everyone should ride,” states Gjesing. “It is comfortable, available in a step-through option, and timeless.”

Photo: Sophie Ballo

And those interchangeable options? Gjsesing’s innovative touches allow for different types of wood grain or alloy handlebar ends, simply by screwing and unscrewing one for the other. The same can be said of his in-house hubs; both front and rear (which can be either a fixed or a flip flop) come in luxurious boxes and can be wood one day and alloy the next.

For those evening rides, holes in both fork crown and the handlebars house simple cylindrical lights, which are both held in place and activated with hidden magnets. Need a rear light? The same thing can be placed in an elegant leather strap, and placed in a variety of positions.

Built-in locks go one step further in Gjesing’s catalogue of accessories: “I was in the shower one day, and looked at the cable that held the showerhead and thought, ‘That is a beautiful design.’ I then placed a Stainless Steel cord through a section of cable, and tied off the ends with my light housing with the lights removed.” The end result? A one-of-a-kind cable lock that pulls double duty as art piece and practical tool.

Speaking of tools, Gjesing also offers in-house constructed wrench sets (both hex and star) held in a leather case for $65.00, and a multi tool for $85.00.

When asked what his goal was at this year’s NAHBS, Gjesing was quick to answer.

“We try to create themes with our booths. This year, it was with our wood and simple black designs.”

The constant crowd around their work speaks to a successful game plan, as they prove that Simplicity and Exclusivity make a winning combination.

Steve Rex Cycles:

Local Favorite

This year marks the 25th anniversary of local Sacramento builder Steve Rex Cycles.

Steve is a self-taught frame builder, having gained inspiration while studying abroad in Bristol, England. Upon finishing college he took machining and welding courses and began experimenting with frame building. He would fix bicycles for customers by day, and build frames at night. His business has grown steadily over the years, and he is now a highly regarded builder.

Steve custom-builds each bike for every customer, and makes a full range of styles from road and track to touring, mountain and tandem. He also repairs frames and installs frame couplers for easy bicycle transport. Many of Rex Cycles customers are local to the San Francisco Bay Area, but Steve has sold bikes to customers across the country.

For the 2012 NAHBS, Steve is showcasing a couple of very special bikes.

The first is a full stainless steel lugged road bike with polished lugs and logo, and bead-blasted tubes. The headbadge is also stainless and features a 25th anniversary logo.

The second is a randonneuring-style road bike with integrated rack, lighting system and fenders.

Photo: Joe Bunik

Rex Cycles is known for simple and elegant brazed frames that have a quiet, understated quality. They aren’t loud and flashy, but draw the eye to the thoughtful attention to detail in the lug work, dropouts and clean construction.

Hunter Bicycles:
Photo: Ryan Miller

An Exchange of Cultures

Each builder comes to the show with a certain point of view in mind, and as with many builders at 2012 NAHBS, Hunter Bicycles chose to display bikes that are rideable, functional, and indicative of their base business.

“We wanted to represent our strongest genres, and also included some newer innovations and show touches to separate them from the rest of what people might see here,” explains Rick Hunter, the man behind the company. “We also wanted to build bikes that were already pre-sold for customers, both for time and for practicalit

One such example is a fire engine red Hardtail Race 29er. Though the craftsmanship alone is enough to turn heads, this bike includes Hunter touches that set it apart. An unpainted stem shows his brazing technique while also lending a raw, aggressive feel to the cockpit.

The 29er also features a new yoke style chainstay system, which according to Hunter, “provides increased tire clearance, reduces chain suck, and allows for more flexible tubing choices.”

Also a part of this bike is his new 3 month old disc brake drop out design, which allows for the brake to mount between the seat and chainstay as opposed to on the outside, and will be featured on most of his mountain and cyclocross builds. Hunter proprietary dropouts are also a mainstay of the business, as “it lets me to be more unique.”

Another striking feature on his bikes are the handlebars and tape, which he sources exclusively from his good friend Shinya Tanaka (who in turn has a bike shop in Nagaya City, Japan, and distributes many high end frames for the US market). These bars, branded under Sim Works, are built on Nitto foundations with Tanaka’s special touches and details.

Photo: Ryan Miller

Tanaka organized a tour group of Japanese merchants and consumers interested in custom bicycles made in North America to come over to this year’s NAHBS. In an exchange of cultures fostered by the common language of the bicycle, the source of Hunter’s special components is now a destination for the finished product.

In a show filled with standouts, all of the above combines to set Hunter Bicycles at a level few can match.

Bishop Bikes:

Nice Lugs!

Chris Bishop starts Sunday at NAHBS with three well-deserved award ribbons decorating his booth.

Indeed, his orange randonneur bike, which won Best Lugged Steel Frame, stands out from the sea of steel with its gorgeous craftsmanship and attention to detail. Closer inspection, though, reveals an entirely new level of wow.

The bike was built for a customer who demanded all the bells and whistles of a rando bike such as fenders, hand-soldered racks, and built-in lights, but at a minimal weight toll. This challenge made Bishop source a variety of vintage and new parts alike to find the right mix of light and functional.

TA Cranks (classic in their French design, and also the lightest touring cranks available) are paired with a titanium bottom bracket and a Suntour front derailleur. In back is a Suzue high flange hub chosen for its quality and its gram count, and an 8-speed rear cassette with a silver disk where another cog should fit.

Photo: Sophie Ballo

The answer to this mystery cassette?

“It’s a Porta Catena chain holder system,” Bishop explains. “When you have to change your tire and remove your rear wheel, pushing the right shifter all the way forward drops your chain onto the disk rest, which both protects the stay and keeps your hands clean.”

Retrofitting this piece to be compatible with a modern cassette system also required a Dura Ace rear derailleur with a custom long cage hanger.

All of the above, paired with minute gold accented lugs, handcrafted fenders, and color matched orange shellacked handlebar tape create a package that any customer would crave.

Thanks to Bishop’s dedication to detail and design, this particular customer also gets to go home with a NAHBS award winner.