|All City fat tire roadie: A result of NAHBS?|
On Frostbike weekend, I went to The Cutters Ball III which was held in the building where Eric Noren of Peacock Groove does his frame building. He had his NAHBS show bike frames all displayed in his office. We got there early enough that Eric was able to spend some "quality time" with us. This opportunity was highlighted by about a half an hour discourse by Eric while we all stood slack-jawed in awe.
Let's just say Eric has a "certain way with words" and a presence that fills a room, not unlike a talented actor might have. He is a very charismatic person, no doubt. Well,anyway, he got on with a bit about NAHBS and how the "Industry" sends their minions to the show with cameras in hand to basically "rip off" ideas from the hand made bicycle builders which then appear on new bicycles the following year. Eric was pointing out how "fat road" was one of these ideas, (but certainly not the only one). Okay, while you can say what you will about Mr. Noren, I believe he has a point worth considering.
|Surprisingly, (or maybe not), there weren't too many of these at NAHBS|
The other thing, which was maybe obvious to predict, was the multitude of ways that builders were integrating Di2 into their designs. I suspect some tricks used at NAHBS will be showing up on mainstream bikes soon that reflect this.
My take on the show, (other than the fact that it is over the top), was that besides the fat road bikes, I saw touring, adventure, and off road bikes make a big impact this year. It wasn't the urban/fixie heavy show that it has been in the past, but those bikes were certainly well represented. That may be a trend, or it may be just a reflection of the locales of the attending builders, due to the far west location of the event this year. I can not say, but I do not recall so many 29"ers, as a for instance, being shown in quite a few years. Add to this the off road adventure bikes like the Hunter single speed drop bar bike, and the Ahearn fat bike and you can see a different flavor to the event than it had at Austin last year.
I liked the detail of Ira Ryan's city bike/trailer combination. The more I looked at the photos of it, the more impressed I was by it, (although the ax insignia on the top tube plate was a bit baffling for me), and this bike deservedly won an award at the show this year. I also liked the Gallus classic inspired 650B full rigid mountain bike. It was just really cool.
Rick Hunter of Hunter Cycles definitely was one of my favorites this year with his "Dirt Tour" bike and a killer orange 29"er. Great looking and practical bicycles. I also liked the Cielo Mountain Bike, which was a grey and black 29"er. very classy! Components were highlighted and Paul Components really opened up my eyes with a new 170OLD hub for fat bikes featuring Industry 9 guts. They also showed some trick looking "Mini-Moto" linear pull brakes to work with "fat road" bikes.
Okay, that's what I saw that was of interest. What did you like, or not?