The North American Handmade Bike Show
When modern-day mountain bikes were
first being developed in Marin County,
California, in the 1970s, they weren’t even
called mountain bikes yet. Back then they
were called “klunkers.” Pioneering riders
such as Joe Breeze, Gary Fisher, Charlie
Kelly and Tom Ritchey started out making
bikes for themselves, but their friends
wanted them, too, and so the mountain
bike business began.
Now, roughly 40 years since those original pioneers started racing down Mount
Tamalpais, the bigger bike companies rule
the market, making up the majority of the
mountain bikes sold in America today.
Nevertheless, small custom bike-makers
To find out what’s happening with mountain bikes at the grassroots level, our staff
headed to Sacramento, California, to the
12th annual North American Handmade
Bike Show (aka NAHBS) to see what trends
might be shaping the mountain bike world
in the days ahead.
Top mountain bike: Matt Maczuzak’s
Alchemy Arktos is a thing of beauty. It won
an award as the Best Mountain Bike of the
show. We’re planning on testing one in an
Good turnout: Bike lovers came out in force to the annual show, which was held this
year at the Sacramento Convention Center.
Out of the ordinary: The
Wittson titanium bike boasted a SRAM XX1 drivetrain,
29-inch Andre Dugast tires
and one of the most distinctive forks at the show.
Pioneer: Don Koski and his
family were early-day mountain
bike pioneers in the 1970s, thanks
in part to the family’s legendary Cove Bike Shop in Marin
County, California. Don’s modern, 27.5-inch frame blends
old and new ideas together in a beautiful package.
True innovation: Our friend Brent Foes had one of the busier booths at
the show. His new Mixer, with its 29-inch front wheel and 27.5-inch back
wheel, debuted a few months ago at Interbike and continues to intrigue