Wednesday, March 14, 2012

NAHBS 2012 :: Follow-up

NAHBS 2012 is in the books.  Spring is teasing us with nice weather, and it seems like everyone in our corner of the world is waking up from hibernation and starting to think about getting back on their bikes.

Sacramento was a great host city, and the crowds were big and enthusiastic throughout the three day weekend.  For those of you who could not make it to the show, here are some shots of each of the bikes that we presented.

First up is the SSR MAX Special Edition.  This is a limited version of our race proven Stainless Steel Road (SSR) frame set, built with a Columbus XCR tube set drawn on their legendary MAX tooling.
The main difference is the bi-ovalized top and down tubes which increase the frames overall stiffness.
The shapes of the tubes are subtle, but if you look carefully, you can see it at the tube junctions. 
In a nod to the frames Italian tubing and racing purpose, we modified the paint scheme from the new Fiat 500 Abarth series.
Nick Legan from VeloNews called the SSR MAX one of his "Best of Show" here.  He rightfully points out that with all of the ornate bikes on display it was easy to walk by pure race bikes like this one.  That's OK by us.
Next up is something a little different; a single speed steel townie.
I like to show something each year that is not a designated model in our line up, and this one started out as an homage to early 20th century board track racers and morphed into a more practical run-about for around town errands.  Starting from this 1914 Indian board track racer you can see where our aesthetic inspiration came from.
Special thanks to Matt at Pass and Stow for the awesome rack.  We got this one naked and painted it to match.  You can't hide your quality when you ship something unfinished, and Matt's work is stellar.
I'm a bit of a parts pack rat, always acquiring and saving things for the right build.  A few years back Cane Creek did a limited run of titanium head sets with walnut inlays.  This bike seemed like the perfect place to use one.

I've also had this Rolls saddle in my stash for a few years now, and it was perfect for this project.
Another nice little accessory that I picked up at Frostbike from my pal Michael at Knog are these gem-like lights.  They are part of Knog's new Blinder series and they come in a range of anodized colors.  They are rechargeable through a pop out USB stick and use ultra bright LED's.
Rather than simply use gold paint for the logos, we had been experimenting with DIY gold leaf kits purchased from the craft store, with mixed results.  About a week before the show, I was chatting with a BaileyWorks customer at the bar while he was waiting for his bag to be customized and he mentioned that his studio was in the same building as the carpenter that built our bar, so I asked him what he did.

He said that he was a master gilder and did lots of work restoring old picture frames along with architectural gilding.  I think I surprised him when my eyes lit up and I asked him if he would take a walk out back to our bike factory and look at something.

We showed him the test piece that we had done with the home hobby kit, and he offered to come back the next day with the proper materials and tools to give us a seminar.  Talk about serendipity.

Ron Tuveson is a true master craftsman in the old school manner, and he was incredibly generous with his time and knowledge.
That's real 24 carat gold leaf.  Nothing shines on your coffee tumbler quite the same.
Keep your eyes out for this bike featured in an upcoming issue of Monocle Magazine.

Next up is another pure race machine, a disc brake equipped Ti Factory Lightweight cyclocross bike.  This was the only bike that we brought that wasn't built for a customer, so if you are a medium sized rider, give us a shout...
This bike is all business, featuring Shimano's new cross specific mini group, which includes a cross specific crank set, a top pull front der (eliminates the pulley on the back of the seat tube), and a set of canti's which we obviously did not use, instead going with Hayes new cross specific CX5 mechanical disc brakes.
Our Ti FLW series all feature an integrated carbon seat tube which passes through the seat tube cluster and forms the basis of our integrated seat post.  The ti topper that we fabricate allows for 2.5 centimeters of upward adjustment, and has proven to be very robust and features details like single bolt saddle adjustment and our crown machined into the clamp.
PRO's Vibe Series bar and stem keeps a firm grip on everything. Cyclocross Magazine's Andrew Yee did a video interview about this bike from the show floor.
Another off-road machine that we brought with us was the "fishing bike".  So named because the customer wanted an all-terrain machine that could take him to the deepest, most secret fishing holes.

This steel 29'r defies categorization.  All throughout the weekend folks kept asking what it was, so I just simply call it an adventure bike.
The drop bars and bar end shifters seem to throw most folks, not sure whether it is some sort of "monster cross" bike.  I like the notion of adventure bike.  A bike that takes you where you want to go with some measure of comfort.
A custom BaileyWorks front rack bag with a built in window for the customer's fishing license.  He'll add a rear rack and a possible cooler and fish creel, so we'll try to get photos and share them later.
The logos are ghosted into the frame, and are very subtle when not in direct sunlight. Given the amount of flake and the bass boat finish on the bottom half of the frame, this thing just explodes with color and brilliance in bright natural sun.
Shades of blue, green, and purple shift in and out of the bottom fade, not unlike the belly of a freshly caught trout.

Last but not least is a ti Deluxe 29'r built for a special lady friend.  The inspiration for this paint scheme came from a freshly cut cantaloup. I just love the way the bright green of the rind gives way to orange yellows and then that sort of pink color that is really hard to describe.
Everything on this bike, from the fork, to the wheels, to the bar, stem and post, was painstakingly finished to match the theme of moving through a garden of vines.
I can remember when mountain bikes were bright and bold colors. I still have a late 80's Marin with a purple to hot lime fade. It's so much fun just looking at them...you have to smile.  It was a blast to watch people's faces when they saw this bike on the floor. Everyone just smiled, and that's what it should be about.

So if you're on the trail and this pinkish/orangish blur passes you, don't be bummed, just smile!
We did have one other bike in our booth, and that was the ti Duluxe single speed of our local Grassroots Racing Team member Ron Shevock.  Unfortunately I don't have pictures to share, but it was draped with a number of medals that Ron has won this past season, and it showed what an IF looks like when subjected to its true calling.

A big shout out to Ron for taking so much of his weekend to help us out and speak to so many show goers.

We will be displaying a number of these bikes in our showroom, The Bike Factory NH, so swing by 55 Main Street in Newmarket for our own little mini NAHBS.

Cheers,

G


1 comment:

Steve H said...

Great report,Gary, and it sounded like another good Nahbs - sorry I missed it. Your bikes look amazing as always!

Next year in Denver - see you there.