Handmade Bike Show Rocks Austin, Belt Drive Bikes Win Top Honors

The Violet Crown

Violet Crown "Randonneur" touring bike. Photo: Dirt Rag/Bicycle Times

The handmade bike industry is undergoing a Renaissance in the United States thanks to the popularity of cycling as both a sustainable and healthful form of transportation and also as a lifestyle. Bikes, in a word, have never been more fashionable. Witness the North American Handmade Bike Show, which just wrapped up in Austin. The annual show is a gathering of custom bike builders from across North America and the world, a place where artisans and welders show off their fashionable–and functional–beauties. NAHBS is where trends are born and prodigies identified.

With a Gates Carbon Drive, the Black Sheep won best off-road bike at the North American Handmade Bike Show.

Black Sheep won for best off-road bike. Photo: Dirt Rag/Bicycle Times

One trend from the 2011 show is the growing number of belt-drive bikes. At least 20 bikes with Carbon Drive were exhibited, a big jump from previous years, and two belt-drive models won top honors.  Black Sheep Bikes, based in Fort Collins, won for best off-road bike. This summer, Gates rider Jake Kirkpatrick plans to race the Tour of the Divide on this bike, carrying his gear, which is why it has integrated racks.

With a Gates Carbon Drive, a Rosene bike won rookie of the year honors at the North American Handmade Bike Show.

Rosene won rookie of the year honors. Photo: Dirt Rag/Bicycle Times

Rosene, based in Tuscon, won rookie of the year honors for a gorgeous stainless steel mountain bike with creme-colored highlights built for the founder’s brother. Please don’t scratch that bike out on the trail, Justin!

Rookie of the year winner at the North American Handmade Bike Show, the Rosene bike has a Gates Carbon Drive.

Rosene dropout and drivetrain. Photo: Dirt Rag/Bicycle Times

Other builders showing lovely Carbon Drive bikes include: Violet Crown Cycles, Krencker and Cyfac (both from France), Minneapolis-based SpeedHound (featuring a clever belt-compatible dropout system), Mosaic and Dean (both from Boulder), Six Eleven, Caletti in Santa Cruz, Ti Cycles in Portland, Vertigo (Portland), tandem experts Calfee and Co-Motion, Alchemy, Sotherland in Wisconsin, Boo (the bamboo bike experts). Cycle Monkey bike shop in the Bay Area also had two bikes in its booth: a belt drive touring rig with Carbon Drive and an Eriksen 29er. Independent Fabrications showed a speedy belt-drive cross bike.

A Six Eleven Cycles bike design with a Gates Carbon Drive at the North American Handmade Bike Show.

Six Eleven Cycles. Photo: Dirt Rag/Bicycle Times

A Six Eleven Cycles bike with a Gates Carbon belt drive at the North American Handmade Bike Show.

Six Eleven's belt drive. Photo: Dirt Rag/Bicycle Times

The Caletti red ripper with a Gates Carbon Drive system at the North American Handmade Bike Show.

A red ripper from Caletti. Photo: Dirt Rag/Bicycle Times

The Caletti red ripper with a Gates Carbon Drive belt at the North American Handmade Bike Show.

Caletti's sexy rear end

A Krencker design shows off its Gates Carbon Drive system at the North American Handmade Bike Show.

From France's Krencker. Photo: Dirt Rag/Bicycle Times

The ti 69er design by Ti Cycles with a Gates Carbon Drive at the North American Handmade Bike Show.

Ti Cycles' Dave Levy brought this gorgeous ti 69er to Austin. Photo: Dirt Rag/Bicycle Times

A Ti Cycles ti 69er with a Gates Carbon Drive at the North American Handmade Bike Show.

Ti Cycles drive. Photo: Dirt Rag/Bicycle Times

Click here to see all the award winners, including more photos of the Black Sheep and Rosene. Thanks to Dirtragmag.com for the gorgeous photos via Flickr.

Black Sheep's Jake Kirkpatrick with a Gates Carbon Drive bike at the North American Handmade Bike Show.

Black Sheep on the podium. Look for this bike in the Tour Divide this summer as Jake Kirkpatrick races from Canada to Mexico!

Rosene with a Gates Carbon Drive bike design at the North American Handmade Bike Show.

Rosene on the podium

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2 comments:

  1. [...] Carbon Drive Systems Blog → [...]

  2. [...] RT @violetcrownbike Nice article on all belt drive bikes @ #NAHBS w/ great opening pic of our belt drive rando bike http://bit.ly/fbm8gc [...]

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