NAHBS Opens Again to New Builders


New entry route into show to stimulate local industry, promote fresh talent

Summary: A limited number of tables, not full booths, will be made available to new builders. Priority is given to those in the region of the current year’s show, but all new builders are invited to apply for a table.

INDIANAPOLIS–The North American Handmade Bicycle Show will offer a limited number of exhibitor tables to new builders, starting with the 2010 show, in Richmond, Virginia, February 26-28.

“This is not so much a policy shift as it is a tweak,” explained show founder and director, Don Walker. He added, “At the same time we seek to uphold the highest standards and the importance of experience in frame building, we believe that the rules at present do not do enough to recognize new talent and encourage new builders in the vicinity of the show. This tweak addresses that.”

At the 2009 show, in an effort to raise industry standards, a minimum standards policy was introduced which excluded the newest builders from exhibiting. At Richmond, a New Builders area will be created. This includes 15 tables, not full booths, offered to builders that have not met the minimum requirements of 50 frames and two years’ experience, and having product liability insurance. The minimum standards policy will remain in place for exhibitors seeking a full booth.

Don Walker said, “This provides customers, media, established builders and everybody else an opportunity to see some of the most exciting emerging builders and for these builders it’s an early appearance in an international forum and an opportunity to possibly make the leap between starving newby and established frame builder.”

The new builders will be permitted to display one bicycle or one frame only from a table, not a booth. Their exhibitor’s fee includes a pass to most of the renowned NAHBS seminars, where the industry’s leading lights pass on their knowledge.

Of the 15 tables available, five are reserved for builders in the region surrounding the show. The remainder will be selected in the order they come in. If too many potential table exhibitors all contact me the same day, we will resort to a lottery system for inclusion.

Builders who wish to display in the New Builders area should apply by email to Don Walker at

Aaron Hayes of Courage Bicycles in Portland won the Best New Builder award last time it was offered, in 2008. Photo: Brad Quartuccio/Urban Velo

The North American Handmade Bicycle Show 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

About the author: Thien Dinh

Thien Dinh gained most his cycling knowledge the old fashioned way, by immersing himself in the sport. From 2007 to early 2013, Thien served as RoadBikeReview Site Manager, riding daily while putting various cycling products through its paces. A native of California, Thien also enjoys tinkering with photography and discovering new music.

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