Sunday, March 04, 2007

2007 Handmade Bicycle Show report

The 2007 North American Handbuilt Bicycle Show at the San Jose, CA Convention Center is now finished. Over 100 builders and other vendors exhibit their wares and services to thousands of attendees.

The materials varied, but the craftsmanship and artistry shined whether the bikes were built of steel, aluminum, titanium, carbon fiber, or even bamboo and hemp. I wish I had more time to talk to the artists who crafted the bikes at this show.

A good mix of all types of bikes were on display: high performance tri bikes shared the floor with touring road bikes and purely utilitarian commuter bikes. Road frames with track ends for fixed gear and singlespeed use seemed to dominate, however. Frames and built-up fixed gears of all materials covered the show floor. All of the designers and marketing people I spoke with fully expect the fixed gear trend to continue and even accelerate this year.

I had as much fun looking at the attendee's bikes in the parking area as I did at the exhibitor bikes on the show floor. The Driftwood Bike -- a recumbent made of a tree lumb and plywood -- drew quite a bit of attention. Many of the everyday riding bikes were works of art in themselves.

One of the popular new features of the show was the seminars offered to participants. These seminars offered a series of "how-to" lectures on framebuilding.

NAHBS was a great chance to meet the world's top framebuilders face-to-face. These folks are all ordinary people with a passion for their art that is evident. All of them were available to answer questions, and they love talking about the nerdy details of their bikes. They also had fun looking at the bikes from the 'competition' -- passing praises and compliments to the other designers as they examined and studied their bikes.

There were some people I missed, but I did finally meet up with BikePortland's Jonathan Maus. He's a great encouragement and a really nice guy.

Portlanders rejoiced at the news that NAHBS 2008 will be in Stumptown next year, March 7-10 at the Oregon Convention Center.

Thanks to Don Walker for putting this together, and thank you to all of the builders who participated for the bike geeks like me.

See my captioned photos from the 2007 NAHBS at my Flickr photostream.

More NAHBS reports at Babageik, BikePortland, Cyclofiend, Ride Lugged, Coconio Cycles, BikePortland again.

1 comment:

James said...

Sounds like a great show Fritz. I wish I could be out there.