Magical: The guys at Alchemy came up with the Oros, a beautifully sculpted hardtail that
looks to be as elegantly designed as it is functional.
The Shadow knows:
Dean’s curved titanium tubing accents
27.5-plus bike with its
27.5x3-inch tires and
into existence in the 1970s. Twenty-five
years ago, full-suspension was starting to
transform the industry. In the last 10 years,
wheel diameters and tire sizes have caused
the biggest shakeups to the mountain bike
What’s next? That’s the eternal question.
To find out, we traveled to this year’s North
American Handmade Bike Show to seek
out the signs of change in the bike industry
for the next few years.
The North American Handmade Bike
Show (aka NAHBS, pronounced “nabs”)
was the brainchild of Don Walker of
Buckner, Tennessee, a custom bike builder
who came up with the idea of gathering
his fellow frame builders some 20 years
ago to meet and share knowledge with one
another. Don’s first handmade bike show
was held in Houston in 2005; it attracted
23 exhibitors and drew 700 attendees.
Don’s event has been held every year
since then, moving around the country from
one year to the next. This year’s event drew
135 exhibitors from North America, Europe
and Japan, and attracted thousands of
attendees to the Convention Center in
downtown Louisville, Kentucky.
Here are some of the things that caught
Transmission system: The cutaway version of the Rohloff hub shows some of the
complexities of its 14-speed transmission.
While it looks heavy, its weight reportedly
came in close to that of an XTR setup
when it was first introduced.
Hybrid design: Neil Flock of Cycle Monkey
was showing off this Black Sheep titanium
full-suspension bike with a Gates carbon
belt drive system.
Mahoney’s dream machine: The colorful
graphics and swooping lines of this wooden hardtail were crafted by Mike Mahoney
of Savvy Cycles. Matched with a Lefty
fork and a dropper post, the bike screams
“custom” the moment you lay eyes on it.