Fat Bikes, Gravel Bikes and More from the North American Handmade Bicycle Show 2014

Since the 2014 edition of the North American Handmade Bicycle Show was right down the road from our home office, as it was held only a few hours away in Charlotte, NC, we couldn’t miss out on the chance to see what this creative array of small and custom bike builders have been dreaming up. While many of their designs aren’t for everyone, that’s precisely the point! Having a small and nimble design and build team (of sometimes just one person) means that they can cater to niche markets and often anticipate new trends in the cycling industry.

So what did we notice while we perused the convention hall – well, quite a bit of creativity! But one of the big trends (pardon the pun) was the growing number of fat bikes on display, in a wide array of sizes, colors, suspension and utility:

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Gravel bikes were also on display from many builders, again in a variety of shapes and sizes. The line gets kind of fuzzy between gravel and cyclocross bikes, but the idea for a gravel bike is one that you can ride any where – on road, off road, and everything in between. Wide tires, lots of clearance, and disc brakes were common factors on these do-anything “road” bikes.

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But a lot of the fun of the Handmade Bicycle Show is just taking a look at the creative and sometimes wacky designs on display – all a direct reflection of the builder and the person that the bike was designed for.

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And finally, while we didn’t catch them all, we also loved checking out the headbadges that each bike builder used on their bikes – one last bit of personality to finish off a frame!

North American Handmade Bicycle Show

Welcome to our coverage of the North American Handmade Bicycle Show: the story of the Lugs. Hopefully by now you’ve checked out our facial hair coverage but don’t worry, facial hair wasn’t the only thing we snapped pictures of.  The above iconic lugs were from a bike by Independent Fabrications:

It’s refreshing to see racy high end bikes with clearance for fenders.  This trend toward practical, utilitarian bikes was prevalant throughout the entire show whether you were looking for a stylish commuter (here from Cielo Cycles):

. . . or were looking for a bike to carry all of your gear over snow (from Banjo Cycles):

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The facial hair of NAHBS

OK, so we’re still sorting through all of the pictures we took of the amazing craftsmanship on display at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show in Richmond.  We’ll post a recap of our day at the show, with details about the innovative designs and meticulous work, early next week.  Until then, we humbly present our portraits of the best facial hair we saw during our visit.  We enjoyed meeting both passionate builders and equally passionate show attendees, so we dedicate this post to the friendly faces and follicular style off the bike.

Jeff from Industry Nine

Bilenky Cycles

The smiling fellow in the middle, sporting a Martin Van Buren style ‘do, is our very own Chris Danz, in case you’re wondering. Read more of this post

NAHBS Preview

We are on our way back from the North American Handmade Bike Show and we’ll be working on a large blog post with loads of eye candy in a couple of days.  In the meantime, here are some teasers.

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