The North American Handmade Bicycle Show served up another fierce competition for the Best Road Bike award this year. As usual, expectations ran high. Each bike is a reflection of its builder, with themes and details that varied considerably from bike to bike. From intensely detailed and intricate designs to beautifully constructed and more conservative builds, NAHBS had a little something for everyone.
REPETE Cycles won the competition this year, taking home Best Road Bike with the beautifully crafted “REborn” road frame. REPETE’s Czech frame builders Mikolas Voverka and Robin Fišer established the company just one year ago. However the frame building duo’s craftsmanship is a testament to their individual years of experience designing and building handmade bikes.
More info: www.repetecycles.com
Availability: 2-3 months
Another foreign frame builder showed up to NAHBS ready to blow the competition away. Cykelmageren’s artistic details and ingenious designs were the hit of the show with every tiny detail meticulously planned out and executed for aesthetics. Cykelmageren developed this bike specifically for the NAHBS Artisan Award category and it handily won the competition.
Each component on the Cykelmageren road frame was hand crafted by builder Rasmus Gjesing. The brakes were built using a bandsaw rather than the more typical CNC machine process.
The shifting and brake systems were the most interesting aspect of the Cykelmageren design. A small click of the shift knob sets in motion a visible mechanism of chains and gears working together on the underside of the handlebars.
The Cykelmageren brakes work simply by squeezing and pulling back the cables for a simple yet elegant stopping system. The brake cables are strung with small nuts for added industrial character.
More info: www.cykelmageren.dk
Price: Estimated $200,000 – yes, seriously
DiNucci’s award winning lugged frame captivated fans and attendees thanks to the frame’s bare-metal state. While paint and finish work can hide imperfections, Mark DiNucci shared his flawless craftsmanship at NAHBS with several lugged varieties.
When building, DiNucci starts with nuanced lugs that he designed himself, then thins them further for an understated elegance.
For added texture and design flair, DiNucci used fillet-brazing techniques on top of the lugs creating ridges and small artistic touches that elevate his work to an unparalleled level.
More info: www.dinuccicycles.com
Price: $5300 frame and fork
Availability: 8 months
Calfee Design’s creations have long been the standard for innovative custom carbon bikes and components. At NAHBS this year, Calfee introduced an integrated bar/stem that hides both wires electronic junction boxes internally. The result is one of the cleanest road cockpits ever.
The Calfee stem doesn’t just route Di2 cables through the stem. It also hides the Di2 junction box so no electronic components are visible on the handlebar. With all this internal integration, it is still possible to check battery levels with a small light that can be seen through the top cap screw.
More info: www.calfeedesign.com
Steve Potts Bicycles
Steve Potts displayed a modern take on the classic titanium touring bike. The burnt red and dark green frame features Paragon Machine Works dropouts and incredible attention to detail. The painted frame, fork, stem, headset spacers, and pump were applied by the legendary Joe Bell.
The Potts touring bike includes a Type II fork that was originally designed by Charlie Cunningham. Potts and Cunningham have worked together for many years and beyond that, are lifelong friends.
More info: www.stevepottsbicycles.com
Price: $3400 frame and fork
Availability: 4-6 months
New to NAHBS, Altruiste Bikes presented some basic but interesting designs after a long journey to the show from the eastern Canadian province of New Brunswick. Builder Gabriel Lang first started building bicycle frames in 2006 but recently started Altruiste Bikes in 2014.
Altruiste builder Gabriel Lang wants his bikes to be fun and make people smile. To accomplish this, Lang machine fluted the bike’s head tube for some unusual looking lines and textures.
More info: www.altruistebikes.com
Availability: 1 month