Esplanade closure begins February 1st

NAHBS open thread: Your thoughts about the show

Posted by on February 9th, 2008 at 11:37 am

Thick crowds this morning.
(Photo © J. Maus)

The North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS) is going full steam right now at the Oregon Convention Center. This is the first day open to the general public, and despite the warmest, sunniest day in recent memory, the crowds are thick.

I’d love to know your thoughts about the show.

    Are you planning on checking it out?

    What did you think about it?

    What was your favorite bike?

    Don’t want to come? Why not?

[Or, if you could care less about handmade bikes…feel free to derail this thread with with tales of your weekend bike adventures.]

…stay tuned for more coverage…

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NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

  • Michael M. February 9, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    No, not planning on checking it out. I\’m having trouble coming up with reasons to pay $18 to gaze at bicycles I can\’t afford anyway. But good luck to all the Portland builders!

    I am, however, planning on checking out the free \”Bike Mechanics for Sissies\” class at CityBikes on Sunday evening! That\’s more my speed.

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  • JH February 9, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    Good to see that the bicycle frame building, cncing, and component designing community have a place to come together.
    Being one of the only art mediums i can be familiar with, I have no interest in paying money to see the bicycle show of bicycles i won\’t be purchasing.
    Its nicce when there is a show at city hall, or to run into nice things around town or on the internet.
    one mistake i made recently was going to interbike. if you\’ve been there you know whati\’m sayin…
    i\’ll just check all the great pics on the internet.
    dang, i sound burned out!

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  • michael downes February 9, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    For my money (or lack thereof) the most beautiful bikes hands down were Jeff Jones\’ titanium masterworks. For a techno-grouch like me who only recently started riding front suspension the idea of a rigid bike with all the plush of a suspension bike at a fraction of the weight……..sublime. A close second would be Ken Wheeler\’s hardwood monocoque frames (Renovo Hardwood Bicycles). Although I wasn\’t so impressed with the styling the potential of his concept is huge. Possibly one of the most significant developments in cycling technology since composites.

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  • Chris February 9, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    I so wish I was living back in Portland this weekend! This show looks great, and so many builders in PDX, making just amazing bicycles. I hope the show gets down closer to Los Angeles some year!

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  • Bigfoot Cascadia February 9, 2008 at 12:57 pm

    The $18 Admission keeps me away too! Nevertheless thanks to Jonathan and Alex of the BOB/Kogswell groups, I have been able to drool over many still photos of the bikes in the show. I truly think that PDX has such a strong collection of builder talents. I have, for several years, dreamed of owning one of Sacha\’s Vanilla machines. It is likely to always remain a dream, and I still am glad that Sacha is making both his bikes and a good living at what he does! The ride he built for his daughter is truly brilliant!

    Tony P\’s work with the 29 inch wheelset is inspiring too. Being of the large, economy size, I\’d like to see a 29\’er General Purpose/Commuter bike with the fatties and fenders.

    I was amazed at the Hemp/Bone frame. while the specific appearance of the bike is not my style preference, the aesthetic\’s of the concept blows my mind!

    I was sick this week so haven\’t gotten to push pedals in days. I think I\’m gonna go remedy that in the sunshine while it\’s available.

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  • dingo dizmal February 9, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    I only ride hand built bikes, it\’s the way to go for this clown

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  • Steve (not steve) February 9, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    Other than the ridiculously long wait to register (if you go, cash only!) the exhibit itself is great. It\’s awesome to see all the talent of Oregon\’s frame builders in one place. I don\’t think 90% of the vistors there ride custom frames but I\’d bet 100% wish they did.

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  • Dirt Monkey February 9, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    I\’m planning on going sunday. Today I went to the Firelane 5 workparty. It was a great day to help the tiny amount of singletrack in the city limits.

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  • K-Man February 9, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    Man, glad I made it yesterday. Good to see ya there Jonathan! If only I had been patient and stuck around to see Lance. Oh… Candi\’s custom Nike carbon shoes are done and it looks like Sascha is going to start on her bike this month.

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  • Metal Cowboy February 9, 2008 at 6:29 pm

    I got in before the fire marshall went apoplectic and the lnes outside the doors resembled a Springsteen concert. Some very sweet bikes, Great folks on both sides of the tables, caught up with old friends, made some new ones. Stumbled into my editor, Bill Stickland, from Bicycling. It was really great to see so many people drooling over, considering and perhaps one day purchasing one of these bikes. It\’s definitely art in motion and something to see in a factory line based world.

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  • hanmade February 9, 2008 at 6:57 pm

    I loved the show, but other than the $15 admission (early on line), I will probably never own such a bike as those I saw. Let\’s keep Portland weird and hold a home built bike show this summer in a park with all of us garage builders (chunk, clown house et al) showing off our blue collar bikes. Maybe tag it on the tour deFat? That was fun…

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    • twistyaction February 26, 2011 at 1:13 pm

      There will be no Tour de Fat in Portland this year. Otherwise a solid idea…

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  • Ed February 9, 2008 at 7:26 pm

    It was a nice showing of talent… naked,tony p. baylis,wingle,vanila, blinkey almost too much to absorb. Registration was a fu@king joke and the nazi security cable cutters, cash only and massive crowds detered the upbeat crowd. The movie about atmo was nice.

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  • Tasha February 10, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    My plans to go today and also to check out the Bike Maintenance for Pansies (of which I am one, when it comes to maintenance) were derailed by me fracturing my leg yesterday. So, it\’s cabin fever and looking at the pictures online for me instead. And of dreaming of the day (6 weeks? 8 weeks?) when I can get back on my own cheap, non hand built, but functional bike. Wah!

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  • 2ndaveflyer February 10, 2008 at 10:32 pm

    I went to the show here and several years ago in San Jose. It\’s great to see what\’s going on at the grassroots of cycling. The artistry, inventiveness, and technical prowess of the majority of the builders is a wonder to behold.

    I do wonder at times about how some of these bikes perform. If you\’re not looking primarely for a performance bicycle this may not be a consideration. There is a history and tradition in the frame geometry of performance bikes. They are shaped the way they are for a reason, and have had to prove themselves to the hardest riding cyclists throughout the world. I\’m not sure to what extent some of the builders appreciate, understand, or study some of this heritage. It is difficult for the buyer to know how some of these bikes will perform.

    I love looking at the bikes, their lovely details, innovative materials, and deluxe paint treatments. Do they, at perhaps $5,000 per bike, outperform a $2,500 Bianchi, DeRosa, Cinelli, Pennarello, Specialized, Trek? I\’m not so sure they would. I encountered little performance data or performance claims from any of the builders.

    There certainly were enough people to believe the show might return to Portland again soon. Great show I\’ll look forward to going to again. Two years ago my wife purchased a custom CoMotion as a result of conversations at the show. They were very specific about what performance and handling elements she could expect from a new bike. These expectations were happily realized in the new bike.

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  • dhormann February 13, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    Other than the sticker shock of $30.00 for me and my kid to enter, the show was outrageous! I\’m probably going to be talking to Spectrum about coating my old Rhygin and I got Molly to autograph my copy of Embrocation, which will be taking and honored position atop my coffee table. The best was the builders who had a chance to shine for their adoring fans.

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