Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few weeks, you are probably aware that the NAHBS was in Denver this past weekend. With the gathering being less than a few miles away from my place, I set aside Sunday as my day to check out the bikes. Let me take a minute to warn you that if you are looking for quality pictures, insight into the next trend/movement/direction the cycling industry is headed, or name drops, head somewhere else. All the major bike websites have plenty of great photos, interviews, and insights, I merely have a collection of iPhone photos, and my personal thoughts and opinions regarding what I saw.
Easily the favorite bike I saw at the show was Andy Hampsten’s 1988 Giro road bike. Hands down this is the most badass “Huffy” you will ever come across. As a fan of the history of cycling it was very cool to see a great bike that is a piece of that history. Even more impressive was the poster of the iconic image of Hampsten on the Gavia Pass in 1988 for sale for $20, which cost an additional $0 to be autographed Andy himself.
Heading into the show, it was an iron-clad lock that there would be plenty of fat bikes on display. It was nice to see a fair amount of fat bikes with front suspension, and even a few dual suspension fat bikes. While the full suspension fat bike Black Sheep brought had a seriously innovative (and eye catching) front shock, I really liked the look of the dual suspension fat bike on display at the Ti Cycles booth. And as far as suspension goes on fat bikes I’m guessing/hoping it will gain a strong footing. The fine folks at Form Cycles (friends of DC) had their fat bike with a Lefty fork on display, and it looked damn sexy.
Other thoughts that pass through my head as I wandered the floor, was seeing a fair amount of bamboo frames/bikes. Still not sure where my opinions land on this, but according to some guys I know that work for Boo Cycles, the material is legit. There were plenty of bikes that had the Surly Knard tire, which is on my list of “bike toys I want to play with” list. It was also great to spend some time chatting about exploring the woods of Montana on bike with Carl Strong. Halfway through the conversation I was already trying to figure out a way to explore the Pioneer Mountains of Montana this summer.
Even though the “BS” in NAHBS stands for “bike show” there were plenty of other booths that weren’t dedicated to frams and bikes. Easily my favorite non frame or complete bike item I saw was the King Cage bell, which not only alerts folks that you are coming up on them, but also doubles up as a shot glass. It was great to catch up with the guys from Club Ride, showing off their finest threads. The clothes may be expensive, but damn do they feel and look good (for both riding and living). I cant think of a better way to think of ways to blow your paycheck than by walking by a table full of Chris King components or Paul Components. Another highlight was hanging out with the always lovely Sarai from Girl Bike Love, who toils away fighting the good fight to promote women’s cycling. And that is my quick take on 2103 NAHBS (next year’s show will be in Charlotte I think), if you have the chance to attend a show in the future I would suggest to do so, just make sure you have been saving your pennies so you can afford a new fram/bike if you get the urge.by