NAHBS: Lugged Lovefest Invades Indy

WARNING! The following post contains questionable off topic material.  This post includes and is not limited to the following: non-old, non-crappy, non-10-speed.  Please proceed with caution.

Saturday morning, me and my Old Ten-Speed family put on our Sunday best, loaded up the Family Truckster and headed south on I-65 to Indianapolis for the 5th annual NAHBS (North American Handmade Bicycle Show).  As you all know by now I like my bikes old, crappy, and 10-speeded, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t see how the other half lives.

The venue, Indianapolis Convention Center, is a large convention center in the heart of downtown Indianapolis, Indiana (as the name cleverly implies).  However large the facility was, the NAHBS was relegated to a smallish hall and when we arrived at around 1 o’clock Saturday it was nearly shoulder to shoulder down every aisle.  As for the crowd, this was perhaps the most entertaining aspect of the entire event.  I’ll leave the task of skewering to BSNYC, but from my perspective the crowd consisted of 40/30/20/10 mix of “Quasi-Urban Squatter Types”, “Serotta Boomers”, “Premium Outdoor Sportswear’s Consumer Base”, and “Freds“.  The distribution of the aforementioned groups depends on which you’re a member.

Themes and Trends:

Brevet/Touring/quasi-Commuter bikes

Not having visited the NAHBS in the past, I really have nothing with which to compare. It did seem to me that the overriding theme of this year’s show was Brevet and Cyclocross. When you think of it, these are two cycling disciplines that still embrace steel as viable, if not preferred, material for construction.

velo Orange's Randonneur
More RandonneuringParlee trying to fit in with all these Hippies from Portland.More Fenders - MAP Bicycles

Cyclocross bikes

I’m currently in the market for a cyclocross frame, so I took a special interest in them at the show. Here are a few of my favorites in no particular order.

Sadilah's CX with a full Sampson Groupo

Shamrock Cycles CXCourage CXEngin's CX offeringBeautiful Kirk CX

Shamrock Cycles' SSCX with Non-Aero Brake LeversSerotta's best attempt to move beyond dentists with a Scooby Doo themed CX Bike.

Vintage Italian

Finally, some OTSG caliber material. There were a number of exhibitors with OTSish bikes on display but most were Italian collector pieces. I wonder if next year they’ll find their way to the UJBBTS*. The Zullo was by far my favorite of the vintage and vintagesque. Unfortunately, there wasn’t anything old AND crappy!

1951 Cinelli Restoration NAHBS 2009

1951 Cinelli Restoration NAHBS 20091951 Cinelli Restoration NAHBS 2009Vintage Italian ChromeZullo Vintage Road Racer

Campy D-TrainZullo Vintage Road RacerZullo Vintage Road Racer - I didn't know Italy was in North America!  Duh!

Lots of Fenders

Fenders of all shapes, sizes, and materials were represented at the show. When I was a kid, I went to great lengths to remove the fenders from my Sears 3-speed. Silly kid, fenders are cool!

Lots of Fenders

Lots of Wood Fenders

Fenders are cool, but wood fenders are really where it’s at. Or at least that’s what they would have you believe. Don’t be coming round here sporting your Freddy Fenders,or you’ll be shown the door. Unless you are Freddy Fender, in that case you’re cool.

Wood fenders were all the rage.

Retro Wire Bottle Cages

Nitto bottle cages were the cage of choice for most builders. I don’t blame them, these are great looking cages. But seriously, $60for a bottle cage! I’ll just keep making my mine out of coat hangers.

Nitto Wire Retro Bottle Cages were everywhere.

Paul Cantilevers

I have to admit, I don’t get out much, so Paul’s components are completely new to me. I’m only sorry I didn’t take more pictures of his work.

Paul Cantilevers

Other Notables

Vincent Dominguez Cycles from St. Paul, Minnesota, super nice fellow with great looking bikes. For some reason I failed to get a whole bike shot of his personal randonneur bike, but you can see his clever solution for routing his cyclometer wire.

Vincent Dominguez Cycles' clever cyclometer sensor braze-on and internal fork cable routing.Vincent Dominguez Cycles' clever cyclometer sensor braze-on and internal fork cable routing.

Cherubim bikes: creative, elegant, disturbingly phallic—a crowd favorite.

Cherubim - Winner of the why not put the brake caliper here Award.Phallic Cherubim

Ahearne Cycles from Portland had a clever flask cage, just in case your ride partners are growing dull.

Ahearne Flask Cage

Nobilette Cycles had some gorgeous paint and lug work. I wonder if he would build one with 120mm rear spacing for me?

Fancy Nobilette LugsFancy Nobilette Lugged Frame

Shamrock Cycles rock/run/rub non-aero brake levers! Let me be trend spotter extraordinaire, I say NABLs are the next big thing!

Non-Aero Brake Levers

Ellis Cycles from frame building mecca, Waterford, Wisconsin, won Best Lugged Bike. I love this frame.

Ellis Road Frame - Best Lugged Frame Winner

Single speeds and fixed gears were fairly prominent at the show, but I’ll leave that coverage to someone else. But if you insist, I’ll tide you over with this rig from Alchemy Cycles.

Alchemy's Single Speed with Mustache BarsAlchemy's Cool Headbadge

Talk about a sweet alternative to the tassel laden girls bikes out there! Get her racing career started early with this offering from Independent Fabrication!

My own little Ten Speed will have one of these!  Independent Fabrication's 20

Just a random picture of some lugs.

Lugs, Lugs and More Lugs