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Freak bikes, minis will take part in Oregon Handmade Bike Show

Posted by on September 27th, 2007 at 3:12 pm

Zoobomb Century

Tackling the hill on a freaky mini.
(Photo © Jonathan Maus)

Coming up in November is the first-ever Oregon Handmade Bicycle Show. Among the 25 vendors are some of Oregon’s most talented bicycle craftsmen.

Several well-known custom bike makers from Portland will be exhibiting. But in addition to the usual suspects, and in a nod to Portland’s distinct brand of bike building, the show will also feature builders known for a different kind of custom bike; minis and freak bikes.

Yes, alongside $3,000, meticulously crafted frames made to exacting tolerances will be bike creations culled from local dumpsters, then welded and bolted together by the DIY genius of Zoobombers and members of the Dropout Bike Club.

One such genius is Gabe Tiller. He says, “it’s quite fitting, really, if they are trying to represent Portland’s bike scene.”

Tour de Fat '06

A mini tall bike.
(Photo © Jonathan Maus)

So what type of bikes can you expect at the show? Gabe says, “So far I’ve heard rumors of fixed gear tall-bikes, custom recumbents, choppers, quadruple mini-stacks, mini-bikes, and of course pyle technology [I have no idea what that is].”

Gabe and his cohorts have planned a freak bike workshop this Sunday where they’ll take a truck load of junked out frames and see if they can, “come up with some last minute monstrosities.”

Sounds like an event not to be missed. Put it in your calendar now! Here are the details:

    Oregon Handmade Bicycle Show
    November 11, 2007
    World Forestry Center (in Washington Park)
    Admission is free $5

Stay tuned for profiles of builders and more coverage of the show.

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  • Tony Pereira September 27, 2007 at 6:58 pm

    The show is gonna be lots of fun. I\’m glad the freakbikes will be there. One correction: Admission will be $5. Hours will be 10am to 7pm.

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  • Jeff M. September 27, 2007 at 11:32 pm

    I\’m glad that Tony is so positive. He is one of my favorite builders. Personally I\’m not quite as excited about attending now.

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  • RyNO Dan September 28, 2007 at 9:20 am

    Unfortunately the \”Wooley Mammoth\” wont be
    able to make an appearance.
    And I wonder if he meant \”Stack Technology\”. Anyway, Happy Day !!

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  • Daniel Porter September 28, 2007 at 10:10 am

    I really wish that this event wasn\’t taking place the same day as the \’World Single Speed Championship\’ race (and Cross Crusade #6).

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  • Austin Ramsland September 28, 2007 at 11:51 am


    When we started organizing the show, everyone on the committee felt strongly that it should represent all that Oregon has to offer – including freakbikes. No other show to my knowledge has encompassed such a range of bikes, and that is something we are really proud of.

    We may use different methods, different tubes, and have different ideas of what makes a bike beautiful; but we all build bikes and we do it in Oregon – that is what the show is about. So even if freak bikes aren\’t your thing, I would ask that you still take time to join us in November. There should be plenty to look at, and we would love to have you come and bring 10 or 20 of your best friends.

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  • Austin Ramsland September 28, 2007 at 11:54 am

    Oh, and Daniel the show goes from 10 until 7, which we hope will give you a good window to make it to the World Forestry Center and have a look around after the WSSC.

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  • solid gold September 28, 2007 at 12:30 pm

    and after the event, there will be an Honorary ZooBomb, in which to ride all our fine Portland-based creations down a hill in pedal-powered fellowship.

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  • BURR September 28, 2007 at 5:04 pm

    I think Jeff is complaining about the boost in admission fees from free to $5, not that freakbikes will be on display.

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  • Jeff M. September 29, 2007 at 12:45 am

    Please, BURR. I\’d pay twenty dollars. I\’m simply not as excited as I was since freak bikes will be featured. I was envisioning something like the North American Handmade Bicycle Show, but scaled down to feature the best of the NW. I can see freak bikes, and have, on any Sunday Zoo Bomb. While I can appreciate the creativity and workmanship of freak bikes, I\’m not that into them being featured at the show. That said, I\’ll still be there. Just like at an art museum, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I probably just wont spend much time looking at the freak bikes. Thankfully the North American Handmade Bicycle show will be held in Portland next year. February 8-10, 2008. I\’m really looking forward to that, and hopefully it will be freak bike free.


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  • Jeff M. September 29, 2007 at 1:31 am

    Don\’t get me wrong though, freak bikes are cool. I\’m not looking to get slammed by the freakbike community.
    I really do appreciate the the goal of the show and their desire to \”represent all that Oregon has to offer\”. I just imagined something different.
    Stupid Interweb doesn\’t always let me say what I mean.

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  • SKiDmark September 29, 2007 at 11:46 am

    Jeff, they will not be \”featured\”. It WILL be like NAHBS. There will also be a builder of bamboo bikes there. Austin Ramsland approached me about getting some freakbikes there, and I told him Dropout Bike Club could do it and in the interest of not hogging the spotlight I suggested he talk to Gabe. So, that\’s 2 booths of freakbikes and about 20 \”traditional\” frame builders.

    My experience in talking with other traditional framebuilders has been that the can see the art and engineering that goes into solving the design problems of building a 5\’ tall bike, or a bike with a 6\’ long fork, and doing so within the constraint of using existing bike frames and parts. It may not appear so to the average Joe but there is actually a lot of engineering into a freakbike, as most of us use them them as primary transportation, so they have to be sturdy, reliable, and functional. And weird looking.

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