HALF MOON BAY, Calif., March 4, 2013 — It’s been a week since the 2013 North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS) packed up in Denver, but in the three days that it occupied the Colorado Convention Center, the show drew gawkers from around the country — eager to get a look at a wealth of innovative custom bikes and components.
I’ll admit, while I was mesmerized by the beautiful bicycles as I walked the showroom floor, I also felt like I was in a little over my head. I love riding my new 29er, but I know little about the details of how I’d assemble my dream bike if I’d been able to pick pieces from bikes at the show. That’s why I’m thankful for the few guides who walked me through the aisles and talked with me at length in display booths. I didn’t need to be a gear head to truly geek out.
A few of the standouts won show awards this year, ranging from Best Road Bike to Best Theme Bike. Some of the 2013 NAHBS award winners were:
Best Carbon Construction: Alchemy Bicycle Company
Best Road Bike: Bishop Bikes
Best Lugged Frame: Bilenky Cycle Works
Best Alternative Material: Boo Bicycles (bamboo!)
Best City Bike: Cherubim by Shin-ichi Konno
Best Mountain Bike: Retrotec-Inglis Cycles
Best Cyclocross Bike: Mosaic Cycles
Best Tandem Bike: Calfee Design and Black Sheep Fabrication
Best Tig Frame: Steve Potts Bicycles
Best Theme Bike: Moots
Best Track Bike: Matsuda Cycle Factory
Best of Show: English Cycles
Best Finish: Winter Bicycles
Additional awards were given by Gates Carbon Drive, in association with Shimano and Primal Wear, to bicycles best utilizing the Gates Carbon Drive system in a number of categories. After seeing a handful of bikes with the quiet, clean (no grease!) belt drive, I’m looking forward to testing out one this spring. Take a look at these award winners and see if you can resist wanting to take a few for a spin.
If the North American Handmade Bicycle Show sounds like the ideal event for you, watch the NAHBS website for 2014 show dates in Charlotte, North Carolina. By then, I guarantee I’ll have tried out a few sweet rides that are closer to my dream bike status.
Jill K. Robinson is an award-winning journalist and adventure seeker. Follow her adventures on dangerjillrobinson.com and Twitter @dangerjr. Jill is an avid kayaker and owner of Half Moon Bay Kayak Company.
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