CELEBRATING THE WORLD'S MOST EFFICIENT ENERGY CONVERTER
Top bicycle framebuilders gather at public show in San Jose, CA
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- The 3 rd Annual North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS), the world’s largest consumer show for custom-built bicycles, will run March 2-4, 2007, at the South Hall of the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.
On display will be the finest crafted and most beautifully painted bicycles by framebuilding artisans from all over the world.
“A handmade bicycle is a thing of beauty,” says Don Walker, of Don Walker Cycles. The creator of the show, Walker says a mixture of passion and determination are responsible for the event’s success. “NAHBS is a celebration not only of the world’s greatest invention, the bicycle, but also the masters who have dedicated their careers to the creation of ridable art forms.”
Started two years ago in Texas, the event answers the growing need of framebuilders to meet and share ideas, and provides a venue to display their masterpieces to a public whose interest in handmade bicycles has increased in step with the recent resurgence of excitement about bicycling in general.
On moving to San Jose in 2005, the number of exhibitors grew from 23 to 90, and the number of visitors to the show grew from 700 to 2700. In 2006, more than 150 exhibitors and 10,000 visitors are expected. Among these visitors will be aspiring framebuilders, students of design, people with a casual eye for some striking style, and many cyclists looking to fall in love again.
Apart from dazzling displays of lug filing, pin striping, and tube bending, the show buzzes with ideas and knowledge as hard-learned skills and techniques are traded among the veterans, while tidbits are thrown out to the fledgling builders. Members of the public can glean gems of knowledge if they ask the right questions of the enigmatic and often eccentric masters of this craft.
Helping visitors to frame ideas and form the right questions are informative seminars throughout the weekend, led by industry insiders and the most famous names in the framebuilding world. For some, these seminars are the highlight of the entire show. Think of it like an audience with the great architect Sir Richard Rogers.
Adding a competitive element to the show are15 categories of awards based on visitor votes of all the bikes on display.
In only three years the show has built an extensive list of fans and supporters. "The NAHBS separates itself from the typical bike expo schwagfest thanks not only to the valuable presentations, but to the general audience who shares a passion for the knowledge and science behind bicycle design and frame material," said Teddy Allen of Gu Sports, a company that manufactures popular nutritional products for cyclists.
Whether building frames or other high-end cycling products like components, clothing, and energy bars, NAHBS exhibitors are a special breed not only because of their outstanding level of workmanship but also because they handle all elements of production, from design to shipping, in their own factories, without outsourcing.
This cottage industry aspect gives a very diverse look to the show booths, making it extremely valuable to exhibitors who can easily differentiate themselves in a grid of rows and aisles, as well as to consumers who, not exposed to repetitive products in every booth, can to zero in on the design that pulls hardest on their heart. And since many cyclists will tell you their bike is their second great love, eye candy is a pretty big deal at an event like this. “ Being a small builder in a sea of big box manufacturers is a daunting task, but having an opportunity to teach people about hand crafted bicycles at an event like the North American Handmade Show was a real honor and privilege,“ says Matt Bracken of Independent Fabrication, one of the exhibitors at the 2006 show who has already signed up for ’07.
Each handmade bicycle is the carefully considered expression of a skilled artisan who has dedicated many years to honing craft and style. Steel is the material of choice for most of these frame builders, who select from an exotic range to match the mechanical properties of the material to the myriad intended uses and physiques of their customers, who range from heart surgeons to cycle messengers.
Tickets to NAHBS Seminars are limited and cost $125 in advance, $150 at the door, pending space availability. Entrance to Exhibits only is $12 in advance and $15 at the show. More information about exhibitors, seminars, awards and other details can be found at http://www.handmadebicycleshow.com
About The North American Handmade Bicycle Show
The North American Handmade Bicycle Show is dedicated to showcasing the talents of individuals around the world whose art form is the bicycle. It aims to be a gathering point – online and in person – for framebuilders and consumers looking for custom-made bikes, for the sharing of ideas and promotion of this special industry which has such a rich history. After two years of growing by leaps and bounds, NAHBS 2007 will feature still more exhibitors, consumers and a wealth of seminars. For more information, see http://www.handmadebicycleshow.com .
Exhibitors as of Sept. 6, 2006
Cloud Nine Design
Don Walker Cycles