SACRAMENTO, CA (BRAIN) Mar 5 2012—Not only shop employees, but Ikon Cycles’ owner Adrian Moore, Beth Annon-Lovering, the owner of B&L Bike Shop and her daughter Christy, and no doubt other shop owners, visited the North American Handmade Bicycle Show during its 9 to 11 a.m. “industry only” opening hours on the first day.
Since the show is about beautiful bikes here is a little peek at what is on display, starting with Cherubin's eye-catching track bike:
Cherubim by Shin-ichi Konno had this track bike on display. A custom project for art design collective Tomato, it’s unclear if the $10,000 bike would be ridden on the track. But according to Konno there is already talk about doing a small production run of the bikes. It’s hard to see in the photo, but the clearance allowing the rear stem extension to swing past the top-tube is incredibly tight.
Ira Ryan’s Ned Luddite market bike packs a lot of storage space with its front rack and huge rear trailer built by Ben Leonard of Trucker Racks.
There is a left chainstay “downtube” shifter that applies and holds the trailer wheel disc brakes for parking. The Ryan prices a frame and fork a $5,700 with an additional $3,500 for the wood-floored trailer.
Renold Yip calls his banana-seated creation a cafe racer. When his wife is within earshot he says designed the bike for trips to Fort Collin’s Old Town. When he is not overheard, he points out the 180mm front disc rotor is sized for fast mountain descents.
English Cycles’ Right is a mono-stay custom bike for Fairwheel Cycles. Both front and rear hubs are only attached to the frame on the right side. And like single swing-arm motorcycles, the rear cog is outside the frame.
Weighing in at around 16 pounds, the bike if built again would sell for about $11,000.
Bamboosero bikes is showing a new $1,500 fat-tired cargo bike incorporating bark-cloth from Uganda. Bamboosero’s founder Craig Calfee says the bark is harvested sustainably from trees and then boiled in water and beaten out and stretched to dry. The cloth was traded down the Nile to wrap corpses, still its use now. “If you hold the cloth up to the light you can see how long the grain is, it’s actually quite strong,” he said. All the bikes lugs are wrapped in bark-cloth impregnated with a soy and pine tar epoxy.
Paul Brodie teaches Frame Building 101 at University of the Fraser Valley. Knowing his long history building mountain bikes hardly prepares one for seeing his $30,000 version of a 1888 Whippet. Brodie machined the bronze hubs and cranks in his back shop. Actually pretty much everything was made in his shop, including the headset and suspension pieces. The spokes thread into the hubs and the spoon-brake lever is machined out of a solid piece of steel, as are all its component pieces.
It’s not the sort of project a first time frame builder can create in Frame Building 101, but it does let future students know just how far Brodie can push their talents. To put Brodie’s skills into perspective, he also turns out $100,000-plus hand-recreated Excelsior Motorcycles of 100 years ago without using any new-old-stock-parts.
Ali Bekes is a finish carpenter by trade who built his wife a bike out of layers of 1/4-inch Luan plywood. The bike has created such a stir wherever it has been that Bekes was talked into showing it. A carbon layer below the seat area wraps around the inside of the chain stays and around the bottom of the bottom bracket for strength. He expects he could create another one in six to eight weeks of focused effort. This bike is insured for $26,000, and he has another one he is building for himself. Even though the bike looks like stunning wall art, it’s fully ridable and has competed in cruiser races.
Jeremy Sycip did a little automotive engineering to fine tune the linkages of his cargo forward bike. Having just the wheels turn keeps the load centered between the three wheels. The full-zoot version with hydraulic brakes and high spec’ parts sells for $8,500, and a more modest spec’ version for $6,500.
“Getting those linkages right was a lot harder than I thought,” he said. He added a beefy U-lock font piece spanning the basket for an easy-access locking point.
Russ Denny started his frame-building apprenticeship under Dave Moulton at Fuso in 1986. And he built alongside Moulton until Moulton left frame building in 1993, leaving Denny with the brand.
During the ‘90s Denny was more interested in making his custom aluminum frames but still did the occasional Fuso.
“But the name recognition of Fuso is so great, and I’ve wanted to do a more accessible frame, so I’m relaunching the brand here. Dave is supposed to show up at the booth, which is great because I haven’t seen him in about 20 years,” Denny said.
Denny is pricing the “original” Fuso at $1,525, with an oversized steel version coming in at $1,650. He is hoping to turn around an order in a month or so.