The 2017 North American Handmade Bike Show (NAHBS) just wrapped up in Salt Lake City, UT and surprisingly this was our first year ever going to the show. Unlike Interbike, NAHBS is a roaming show and is in a different city every year. We've always wanted to attend but never really pulled the trigger for one reason or another. This year was different however because part of the Fyxation crew is located about 20 minutes from the show venue so we had a home base and a place to crash and thus we decided to become an exhibitor for the first time.
Our NAHBS Booth
If you've never heard of NAHBS, it's a smaller show that focuses on handmade bikes, their builders and the industry that supports it. It's really a great event to attend because you get to see remarkable hand crafted bikes up close and get to meet the builders that make them a reality. There are all types of builders on hand from first time exhibitors with a simple table with a frame on it, to larger companies like Moots and Co-Motion that produce thousands of bikes a year.
Even though it's the North American Handmade bike show, this event draws attendees from all over the world and this year's show featured a few international builders from countries ranging from Singapore to Russia.
In addition to bike builders, there are plenty of suppliers on hand showing off their products. Companies ranging from yours truly to SRAM were on hand showing off their latest gear. While there are some really large bike and parts companies in the bike world, most companies have a small crew and when you go to any bike show you'll soon find that out. When you walk up the Paul Components booth, don't be surprised when the guy with Paul on his name badge is actually the owner.
While we do all our design, custom builds and leather production here in Milwaukee, our frames and bikes are made overseas. Because of that we wanted to honor the hand built nature of the show and we just brought our parts to display. That left us in need of a bike for our booth that we could feature some of our parts and our new Sparta Carbon Adventure Fork. We reached out to local Fyxation dealer, Saturday Cycles, who has the most unique assortment bikes in Utah to see if he had any handmade bikes we could bring to our booth. Mark at Saturday Cycles immediately put us in touch with local builder Matt Nelson from Saltair Cycles and Matt told us to ship him the gear we wanted on his frame.
When we finally got our booth set up, a volunteer named Tony rolled up to the booth with a sweet handmade steel cross bike from Saltair. It turns out that this bike was for one of Matt's customers and even though it would delay the delivery of his new ride, he was more than happy to have his bike on display in our booth for a few days. We thought it be cool to feature a local builder and help him get his name out there, but it turns out in the end he wouldn't need our help (more on that later).
Best Road Bike - David Kirk
If you've ever been an exhibitor at a trade show you know that there's inevitably some downtime and you get the chance to get to know the exhibitors around you. We were surrounded by the guys from White Industries, German carbon wheel manufacturer Lightweight, guru frame builder and fillet braze wizard David Kirk from Kirk Frameworks and carbon fiber tubing specialists Rock West Composites. Little did we know when were making chit chat with our neighbors for the next few days that we were in the middle of victory row.
Best Fillet Brazed Frame - David Kirk
David Kirk had a 10x20 booth and brought 2 bikes and a frame to show, a cool stand, some lights and a few signs. It was a very simple booth. Turns out he knew that it wasn't about the booth and was all about the bikes as he took Best Road Bike and Best Fillet Brazed Frame. Across the aisle, our new friends at Rock West ended up winning Best Experimental Bike with their carbon fiber Bullit-esque front loading cargo bike. And finally, our new friend Matt at Saltair Cycles, who's bike was in our booth, ended up winning Best New Builder.
Best Experimental Bike - Rock West Composites
We ended up getting to meet a lot of great people at the show and were really pumped on the whole experience. While a Sunday show in pious Salt Lake City is a bit questionable, and the nearly 70 degree weather sent the rest of the local population to the church of the mountains, the show was very well attended. Because it's a roaming show it is probably hit or miss when it comes to turnout but the combination of enthusiasts from around the world and the local Utah cycling fans kept traffic very steady. Overall we're stoked to have been a part of NAHBS and will definitely be back in 2018.
We got a chance to walk the show floor on Sunday with our camera and we've loaded a bunch of photos below. Enjoy the gallery. We were especially stoked to get to meet the guys at Low Bicycles (winner of Best Track Bike) and the guys from Breadwinner. Breadwinner makes beautiful bikes and we highly recommend you check them out.
Best Track Bike - Low Bicycles
Breadwinner Cycles - Portland, OR
Argonaut Cycles - Bend, OR
North Street Bags - Portland, OR
Connor Wood Bicycles - Denver, CO
Peacock Groove - MSP, MN
Mosaic Bespoke Bicycles - Boulder, CO
No 22 Cycles - Canada
Stinner Frameworks - Santa Barbara, CA
Maxwell Cycles - Petaluma, CA
Wolftooth Components - MSP, MN
Steve Potts - Marin County, CA
Chris King - Portland, OR
Paul Components - Chico, CA
Portus Cycles - Pforzheim, Germany