2010 NAHBS News

Henry James Bicycles Inc. – All in the Family

Posted on 26. Feb, 2010 by Paul Skilbeck in 2010 News

Henry JamesDoes Made in the USA mean consistency anymore? If you ask Henry James it does. In fact, having all products designed and built here in the U.S., is exactly what yields consistency year on year.

This one-stop-shop provides all the ingredients for frame building, and whether you are a first time frame builder or haggard old timer, Henry James aka Hank, will happily put the time into your frame project.

Based out of Redondo Beach California, Hank, his wife Monika, daughter Angie and her husband, Chris Merill, is a family based outfit whose primary clients are small scale builders. Up until last year, all matters of business were handled by Hank and Monika.  Chris married into the family and is now handling the modernization of the company so that Hank can put more time into the R&D.

One of the goals from Chris’ perspective is to try to serve the current mentality of consumers who are accustomed to immediate gratification when purchasing via the internet.

Henry James sells investment cast steel lugs, bottom bracket shells, crowns and dropouts, in addition to being a distributor of True Temper Tubing. If you are just getting started, they can provide ample equipment necessary for frame work such as jigs and fixtures which are geared towards full custom work. And on the subject of custom work, Henry James is also the publisher for the Paterek manual which some consider the frame builders “Bible”.

- Tim Richardson


Zanconato Tailored Steel Bicycles – What’s Old is New Again

Posted on 26. Feb, 2010 by Paul Skilbeck in 2010 News

ZanconatoZanconato Bicycles has joined the tight fraternity of New England framebuilders only recently, but its products reflect the same classic construction and attention to detail of both its New England brethren and Old World masters.

Owner Mike Zanconato was an apprentice to the craft and trade of framebuilding at his Massachusetts neighbor, Seven Cycles, and he comes from a family tradition of fabrication.

Passion and spirit buoy the classicaly-trained efforts of Zanconato, who notes a lifelong interest in cycling and a growing demand for his frames.

New England is the cradle of the U.S. and home to many classic icons of American culture: white-painted steepled churches, ivy-walled universities, red siloed barns and Yankee ingenuity. Add lugged steel bicycle frames to the list.

The Sutton, MA-based Zanconato builds exclusively in steel and with classic, lugged construction. “Its what the riders want – a bicycle that first and foremost rides great. I build mostly for racers, and many chased the sacred cow of lightness with aluminum bikes, but in the end what matters is how the bike feels. People are coming back to steel in a big way.”

Many in the New England framebuilder’s guild never abandoned steel, and they are welcoming their newest member to nurture the art of classic frame construction. “There’s been overwhelming support from (fellow framebuilder) Richard Sachs and tubing suppliers Dario Pegoretti and Columbus.”

But Zanconato wouldn’t build his beautifully-crafted, full-custom frames with steel if that wasn’t what the market demanded either. “We’re seeing an industry-wide rediscovery of some of the materials that were abandoned earlier in the decade. Even Columbus Max tubing – I remember all the top Classics riders using frames built from this back in the 1990s.”

But like any new member of a fraternity, a little bonding with the brothers – if not quite outright hazing – greeted Zanconato’s first visit to NAHBS on an all-nighter roll down the interstates with his staff and some fellow Massachusetts framebuilders.

“We got lucky dodging the snowstorm and driving all night to get here to Richmond, but we’re still giddy with excitement. It’s a great show and a great time.”

- Matt Butterman


Quiring Cycles – Rise of the Metals

Posted on 26. Feb, 2010 by Paul Skilbeck in 2010 News, Featured

QuiringAs with many framebuilders this year, Quiring is seeing a waxing of interest in both Ti and steel for frame materials, and a waning of enthusiasm for aluminum. Like the phases of the moon, material trends come and go.

“In the end,” says the first-year NAHBS exhibitor, “It’s best to build a quality product first and foremost, not become a specialist in any one material or a slave to fashion.”

For the record, Scott Quiring loves titanium and building his strong, durable bikes from this newly-rediscovered “wonder” material.

Mention titanium to many craftsman, indie framebuilders and they cower in fear. Even the venerable Eddy Merckx left the construction of his Ti frames to a certain American company in Tennessee that once held a virtual lock on the market.

Quiring Cycles may specialize in titanium, but like many full-custom framebuilders, they work with a wide-range of frame materials, including steel, stainless steel, aluminum and carbon.

“It requires a fair amount of special equipment”, explains Quiring. “Good welding skills and a very clean environment for TIG welding.”

Quiring has been honing his skills with Ti and other materials for over ten years from his shop near Lansing, MI.  His roots as a framebuilder are deep and his interest in building bikes has spanned a lifetime.

Visit Quiring at: www.quiringcycles.net

Pre-Show Records Tumble

Posted on 26. Feb, 2010 by Paul Skilbeck in 2010 News, Featured

With pre-show ticket sales of 2,000+ up more than 100% over the previous high, and the website so inundated with NAHBS traffic that the server was down for several hours on Thursday 25th, the Shimano NAHBS is enjoying record popularity in the final run-up to the show.

21 international exhibitors at the show represents an increase of 75% over the next best year, and journalists have come from all over the world too. A wide variety of unconnected cycling events, parties and fundraisers are taking over the weekend, and the energy surrounding the Shimano NAHBS is building to a fever pitch. Our pick of the parties is the COG Magazine Love Your Bike photo exhibition on Saturday night.

Show-goers are advised to consider attending on Friday and Sunday, rather than Saturday which is expected to fill the show hall to capacity.

We hope you can make it!

Support bike building in developing countries at Calfee’s Bamboosero booth

Posted on 04. Feb, 2010 by NAHBS News in 2010 News

AccraBambooseros“Give a man a fish, he eats for a day; teach a man to fish, he feeds his family for a lifetime; teach him make fishing gear, he creates jobs for his neighbors…”
So goes the slogan on the website for Craig Calfee’s newest business, bamboosero.com. It adds “Substitute bicycles for fish and you’ve got the idea behind Bamboosero.”

Bamboosero is a group of independent bamboo frame builders that is spread across the developing world. Craig Calfee taught his techniques for joining specially treated bamboo with epoxy soaked wraps of natural fiber to people from Ghana, Zambia, Uganda, The Philippines, and other countries. Each builder works with their own local bamboo and local fiber. They impart their own style to the frames and offer them for sale to the local market or through Bamboosero.com. Every frame is stress tested and all export frames are inspected by Craig Calfee or one of his specially trained representatives. The Bamboosero concept allows bamboo frames to be made available at more affordable prices, and creates jobs and the capacity for a fledgling bicycle industry in developing countries.

Bamboosero is using NAHBS to showcase the best of what each builder can produce. Visitors to the Bamboosero booth will have the opportunity to vote on the best of the group. This will motivate all the Bambooseros to refine their craft and stretch their boundaries of what is possible.

Shimano Signs as NAHBS Title Sponsor

Posted on 03. Feb, 2010 by NAHBS News in 2010 News, Featured

Leader bicycle components maker positions itself at forefront of Handmade Market

Summary: Shimano has signed a one-year title sponsorship deal with the North American Handmade Bicycle Show.

INDIANAPOLIS – The North American Handmade Bicycle Show Inc., owner of the world’s leading custom bicycles show, has signed a one-year title sponsorship deal with Shimano American Corporation., the world’s leading bicycle components manufacturer. The correct title of the event is now: Shimano North American Handmade Bicycle Show.

NAHBS founder and show director, Don Walker, said, “Shimano has long been an industry leader, and I am thrilled to have them come on board as the title sponsor of NAHBS! Shimano’s involvement with NAHBS started at our San Jose show in 2006, and they are one of two major players that have been with us consistently since then. Their dedication to innovation and their support of the independent framebuilder is second to none. I couldn’t be happier that they wanted to step up their involvement. I hope this relationship will continue to blossom for years to come!”

Having been involved either as an exhibitor and lower-level sponsor of NAHBS for many years, Shimano recognizes the value in supporting the steadily growing handmade community through this show. NAHBS has served as a contact point for input and feeback from the myriad framebuilders – both commercial and hobbyists – who attend the show. Shimano welcomed the opportunity to step up to the role of leading sponsor.

Shimano’s brand manager Dustin Brady, said, “We are excited to once again be a supporter of NAHBS and see what gems these talented framebuilders have created. The show provides a grand stage for some of the world’s greatest framebuilders to showcase their unique works of art, and our commitment to this event helps support our customers in their creative endeavors. NAHBS also allows us to interact with the public and demo our advanced component systems like Dura-Ace Di2 and Ultegra, which customers can of course equip on their bikes.”

The Shimano sponsorship includes the Shimano Bike of the Day story for the NAHBS blog during the show, which will put the spotlight on innovative or stylish use of Shimano products in show bicycles.

The North American Handmade Bicycle Show is the world’s number one custom bicycles show, and moves from city to city each year. It is scheduled for February 26 -28, 2010, at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. The show is dedicated to showcasing the talents of individuals around the world whose art form is the bicycle. It aims to be a meeting point-online and in person-for frame builders and consumers looking for custom-made bikes, for the sharing of ideas, and the promotion of a special industry with a rich history dating back to 1819. Since its first year in 2005, NAHBS has grown from a show with 23 exhibitors and 700 attendees, to 150 exhibitors and 7200 attendees. For more information, see www.handmadebicycleshow.com.

About Shimano
Headquartered in Irvine, California, Shimano American Corporation is a member of global Team Shimano and along with its world-renowned subsidiaries, offers the consumer outstanding sport-related products and apparel. Shimano is proud of its staff; diverse in talent, interests and backgrounds. Shimano is an ISO14001 certified business where environmental compliance and continual improvements are part of daily business philosophy and operations.

NAHBS Media Contact:

Paul Skilbeck
O2 Sports Media
Tel. 415.359.0730
Mob. 415.516.1444