North American Handmade Bicycle Show brings innovation to Denver

Custom bike and component makers showcase creations for bicycle fans. Photo: Jill K. Robinson

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. 

Boo Bicycles builds bamboo-carbon bike frames by hand. (Photo: Jill K. Robinson)

Boo Bicycles builds bamboo-carbon bike frames by hand. (Photo: Jill K. Robinson)


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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


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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 Titanium Construction: Kent Eriksen Cycles and Black Sheep Fabrication

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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Jill K. Robinson

An award-winning journalist and adventure seeker, Jill K. Robinson has been a columnist with The Washington Times, Communities section since 2011.

Her work has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, American Way, Every Day With Rachael Ray, Robb Report, Westways, Journey, Let's Go with Ryanair, World Hum, Gadling, Lonely Planet and more. She lives in a small California beach town near the big wave surf spot, Mavericks, and divides her time between writing about travel, running a kayak business and trying to wring awe-inspiring adventure out of every day.

Always eager to take a leap into the unknown and experience new things, Jill shares adventure sport and travel highlights—even when the adventure isn’t adrenaline pumping or bone crushing. Adventure is sometimes only a state of mind.

Find Jill on dangerjillrobinson.com and Twitter @dangerjr 

Contact Jill K. Robinson

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