2009 NAHBS Blog

Anderson’s Kool Kid’s Cruiser

Posted on 28. Feb, 2009 by NAHBS in 2009 News

Many here at NAHBS fondly remember their first bicycle. Imagine those memories if your first bike was the child-size cruiser displayed in Keith Anderson’s booth. A Lafayette, IN native now in Grant’s Pass, OR, Anderson describes himself as primarily a painter these days. He has painted at least eight bikes at the show, including the remarkable Candy Stripe bike for Peacock Groove, and is presenting a seminar on The Wonderful World of Color Graphics. Once it had come to him, the cruiser idea and grew to be nearly an obsession, something he said he just had to do.

The father of three young sons, Anderson said the bike contains elements inspired by each of his boys. The seat tube is a piece of steel aircraft foil, cut out to accommodate a rear wheel tucked in “aero” style. The bike sports disc brakes and painted-to-match rims laced to Phil Woods hubs. The metallic red spoke nipples match the disc brake mechanism, brake lever brackets and headset.

The bike’s most distinctive element is the fantastic pair of wooden fenders Anderson created. Made of padouk and wenge wood and inlayed with paua shell abalone, the curved fenders are fully functional, says Anderson … “I hate flat wooden fenders, they just don’t work.”

No kid’s cruiser is complete without a spoke card to make a little noise, and Anderson’s is one of a kind. Actually it’s three of a kind; three playing card sized sheets of carbon fiber are permanently mounted under the left chainstay. “They’re tuned for sound,” Anderson said.

In order to keep the peace at home, Anderson hopes to sell the bicycle at the show so the boys won’t have a chance to fight over it. Some lucky kid is going to have fond memories of this bike for many years after he outgrows it.

Mike Marley

A Healthy Mix

Posted on 28. Feb, 2009 by NAHBS in 2009 News

To anyone who has ridden in Indianapolis before NAHBS rolled into town, it’s obvious that thousands of people who love bikes have converged on the city. They are everywhere, small packs of cyclists passing through the Indy traffic. And, they are from everywhere.

Indianapolis has long been known as the crossroads of the United States, and if evidence is needed, a cross-section of this year’s NAHBS attendees should do the trick. Cyclists have come in from cities all across the United States, even all across the globe. There are people in town from Lansing, Nashville, Chicago, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Detroit, San Francisco, and the list stretches beyond to Toronto, Vancouver, and even Tokyo.

“It was a simple drive,” says one show-goer. “Indy is simple to access by car, and those who would have flown to Portland have still flown to Indy.”

With two-thirds of the United States within one day’s drive, attendance has been record-setting, and positively eclectic. There are cyclists from across the spectrums, from urban single-speeders to pannier-laden commuters to carbon-gazing roadies. And Indy has presented something for all of them, whether the shenanigans of the ArtBike! party, or the simple nightlife and restaurants of downtown. NAHBS this year has truly been all things to all people, and Indy hasn’t just simply welcomed NAHBS, but facilitated it to the point of embracing it.

Christopher Newgent

Picture This …

Posted on 28. Feb, 2009 by NAHBS in 2009 News

The Show image library is ever expanding, and as well as new albums of components, apparel and … bikes, there is much more added by our show bloggers and photographers here.

Speeds Leads to Organic Design

Posted on 28. Feb, 2009 by NAHBS in 2009 News

What do Naked Bikes and RR Cycles have in common?

They’re run by three world record cyclists for human powered speed.

Sam Whittingham of Naked Bikes holds the current overall HPV speed record of 82 mph. And he’s this month’s cover-person of “Reader’s Digest,” Canada.

“Fast” Freddy Markham of RR Cycles has held many world speed records—recently, the Hour at 54 miles—and now owns the Masters record of 77 mph.

Andrea Blasekie, Whittingham’s partner at Naked Bikes, held the women’s overall world speed record of 65 mph until this autumn.

Their streamlined record HPV bikes were designed by Georgi Georgiev, who forewent computers in favor of shapes from nature, such as fish.

Whittingham’s handbuilt bikes on display at NAHBS extend this metaphor further, with the bends, curves, branches and leaves of trees—including extensive use of wood.

Markham’s “out of the box” take on road bike design results in “un-lugs” for his carbon frames. He carves lug shapes out of the thick tube wrappings, to create what he says are frames that can take far more abuse than typical carbon frames (and he’s crashed a lot of carbon at extra high speeds).

Jeff Potter

Carl Strong

Posted on 28. Feb, 2009 by NAHBS in 2009 News

How many people does it take to build 100 custom bicycles in a year? Well, apparently, just two. With the help of just his wife and the occasional apprentice, Carl Strong annually builds about 100 bikes in his Bozeman, Montana shop. Minus a slight dip in sales around the holiday, Strong is happy to report that the troubled economy has not affected his business.

As he explains, if cycling is your sport, then it takes on added importance in times of stress. He’s also happy to report that there seems to be both new and renewed interest in custom bikes, evidenced in part by an influx of new builders.

While that may mean extra competition in what is already a niche market, he feels that it is ultimately great for the industry and his own business. In many way though, he feels that the industry hasn’t changed much over in the 16 years he’s been in business.

In his words, “Bikes are still built to be ridden and enjoyed.”

When asked how he guides his customers through what may seem like intimidating process, Strong explained that over a series of phone calls, be breaks the process down into “manageable” bits.

By the time the bike is complete, the customer feels completely comfortable with the decisions Strong has made. No matter the rider’s experience or technical knowledge, Strong stated that he’s able to help the customer understand, find and prioritize their needs and then translate those needs into the bike’s design.

Strong’s work is divided evenly between titanium and steel – including the relatively new Reynolds 953 stainless steel – and between road and mountain.

Strong also has something new up his sleeve, but he’s unfortunately keeping it a secret for the time being. We’ll all just have to stay tuned.

Kate Wicker

Ergon Grips

Posted on 28. Feb, 2009 by NAHBS in 2009 News

Endurance mountain bikers were the first to realize the benefits of riding with ergonomically profiled handgrips. The wing extension on the Ergon grips provides additional support for the carpal tunnel area of the wrist, and it doesn’t take long for this to start feeling a lot more comfortable.

Weekend recreational mountain bikers and now road riders with flat handlebars are discovering the benefits of these elegant shaped handgrips. Not only are they a lot more comfortable, but they also offer additional control for the exacting demands of the strenuous city rider, for example.

NAHBS Award winner, Drew Guldanian of Engin Cycles, ran Ergon grips on the award-winning bike in 2008. He says, “I am a huge supporter of the product and feel it is a true product and is not a gimmick. Most everyone who gets them loves them, myself included.”

Paul Skilbeck