PezCycling News - What's Cool In Pro Cycling : NAHBS 2010: More Cool Stuff!

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NAHBS 2010: More Cool Stuff!
Here’s our second look at what’s cool from NAHBS… Another round of Richmond riches and sweet stuff from CYFAC, Dromarti, and a guy named Herbie…


This year’s North American Hand Made Bicycle Show featured a cast of usual suspects and a sprinkle of new talent that was very frankly needed. This round starts with some of the best from over the Ocean.

Cyfac were NAHBS House of color.



My favorite “insult” at this year’s show was easily “Cyfac are too refined”.

That just takes the cake as a more than a couple of the builders at the show use a few of the same finishing companies in order to get the more refined and perfected finish that Cyfac outperform in house to the level that they’re actually too good at it… They do have a load of color combinations (thousands of colors and patterns)…



And some of the nicest work around come covered tip to toe.



But the press and Cyfac’s owners tend to rave about what lies beneath more so than what goes on top.



It tends to slip people’s minds that while they are very good at full custom carbon, Cyfac also do the Rando.



And that they put torch to metal for use from touring to race with equal pleasure… They’ll build you something with a more singular purpose as well if you like.



But yes it’s all horribly “refined”… But if it’s more exposure you want, to show off a some of the carbon or metal work underneath, Cyfac are not at all looking to hide the craft. They also had a nice piece of semi naked work, striped down to show a little more of the “skin” that NAHBS tends to like.



This one rolling a set of prototype cranks from EE Cycle works, as well as a hand built set of sub 900 gram wheels from Fairwheel Bikes and LOOK’s new Blade pedals…



And SRAM RED matte finish levers, ZIPP’s Matte stem and San Marco’s salute to the Grand Canyon of comfort, the Mantra Saddle…



Full apologies from Cyfac for not having wavy sections in the tubes or joints of their carbon or tape lines from the paint… But this year we got to see more of what’s under the paint on Cyfac’s carbon and they were comfortable with their flesh exposed, for pretty much the same reason as Laetitia Casta is…


Speaking of nice skin…
Dromarti brought what I think were the single most popular items at the show. Some fantastic looking kicks that anyone riding most of the NAHBS bikes pretty much MUST HAVE.



No pleather / naugahide / whatever else now gets passed off as leather here… These were well burnished kicks ready for mountain…



Or road…



Sure they come with a race pedal and strap pinch. Adjustable and replaceable mid you…



And these are leather lined with light pad, along with reasonable looking ventilation…



The other piece of kit that I tried on and removed only after polite, English-accented threat were the gloves…



It’s as if Buffalo Bill (from the Hannibal Lecter film, not from the western frontier) made these from flesh that was a bit more “special” and hard to come by…



They feel like they should cost more than a hundred bucks… And they do.

What doesn’t seem right at all is that the bike shoes are less than 200! I’m going to beg, pester and pry till I have a set here for test, and if they don’t fall apart after the first ride, they’re a steal.


Last but further from least than 90+% of the show
I made the last story about my choice for best rookie of the show (though the award went to a REALLY great bike that deserved it too).

Tucked away on a table pushed back out of the way so much that there was no using the chair that came with it was this fantastic bike from someone nobody but Mrs. Helm has heard of more than twice.



Herbie, I didn’t grab a card so don’t know if I’m supposed to link a site, but your bike kicked major ass. Frankly this year’s NAHBS didn’t have the same amount of eye candy as last year and I think a lot of people could have stepped it up. Especially a few well known names that brought the same damn thing from last (or even 2 years) show. But seeing something with a twist from nose to twisted seat stays, from a new builder who has far less experience and access made me happy.



And the closer you looked you noted more than just a nice name on the head badge that some felt was enough… You also noted cleanly executed things like stand-off cable stops…



And a tail that blended lug work that brought a warm old school artisan touch, along with modern twist on mount and cable detail….



I know the time restricts some folks from pulling off show stoppers but here’s a guy who’s taken his own time to learn frame building and even gone overseas to use the base skills building no frills transportation frames in the Ukraine Bike project. And he’s got the passion to pull something like this out…

It’ll be nice to see more things like this from people we expect to do special things next year, but well done Herbie for bringing this out of left field and making the show better this time round.


More will be up shortly…

Have Fun,
Charles Manantan




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