Ah, the 2013 North American Handmade Bicycle Show… the best thing to happen in American cycling since I don’t know when. Best of all, next year it will be in Charlotte, North Carolina! You can bet your boots that we’ll be there since it’s finally in our backyard!!!
Anyway, as a follow-on to my entry from this past weekend where I highlighted Calfee’s stunning Time Trial Dragonfly & 29er off-road custom builds, I thought I share out some other bits of information and photos of tandems on display and that caught my interest based on photographs taken by the folks who attended the show. There’s some serious eye-candy here, not to mention some pretty nice engineering.
To start off with I’ll cut to the chase since I already let the cat out of the bag in the aforementioned Calfee @ NAHBS entry, Calfee’s custom Dragonfly Time Trial Tandem / Travel Tandem with Di2 & HED wheels walked away with Best Tandem at the show. But Wait! It turns out there was some sort of tie, as Black Sheep’s one-off 29″ Jack’s Tandem also garnered recognition as Best Tandem.
- PAKETA MAGNESIUM BIKES: Paketa D2r Magnesium Tandem with S and S couplings
- DA VINCI DESIGNS: da Vinci Designs Hand Built Carbon Fiber Tandem.
- CO-MOTION CYCLES: Java Rohloff
- CALFEE DESIGN: Calfee Dragonfly Time Trial Tandem with Couplers, Di2 and Aero BarStems
- BLACK SHEEP: Jack’s Tandem
- Alchemy Bicycle Co. — Best carbon construction
- No Award given — Best steel construction
- Bishop Bikes — Best road bike
- Bilenky Cycles — Best lugged frame
- No Award given — Best experimental design
- Steve Potts Cycles — Best TIG frame
- Kent Eriksen & Black Sheep Fabrication — Best titanium construction
- Boo Bicycles — Best alternative material
- Cherubim by Shin-Ichi Konno — Best city bike
- Retro-Inglis Cycles — Best mountain bike
- Mosaic Cycles — Best cyclocross bike
- Black Sheep Fabrication & Calfee Design — Best tandem
- No Award given — Best utility bicycle
- Matsuda Cycle Factory — Best track bicycle
- Winter Bicycles — Best finish
- Moots — Best Theme Bike and People’s Choice
- Avery County Cycles — Best new builder
- Level — President’s Choice
- English Cycles — Best of Show
Now, to the bikes. Again, the first up is Calfee, so this is something of a double-dip for our friends from Santa Cruz. Under the heading of full disclosure, perhaps there’s some subtle bias here since we happen to ride a Calfee tandem.
Here are photos of the two tandems that garnered the most attention at Calfee’s NAHBS display. For complete details, just jump back to my blog entry from this past weekend. Very cool machines, to be sure!
I’ve admired the Black Sheep bikes since seeing my first one a few years back. Just amazing designs and flawless execution; they always knock it out of the park.
I had to look hard for a good photo of a Bilenky tandem at the 2013 show. There appeared to be only one and it was tucked away on a three bike stand next to their eye-popping “Wonder Woman” single. I’d gotten spoiled by their run of lugged, custom & retro tandems over the past few years. So, this was the best show photo I could find of what appeared to be the tandem that Stephen built as a wedding gift for his daughter Bina Bilenky Trahan. We captured Bina’s thoughts on becoming a stoker in a recent blog entry that you can find HERE, which basically takes you to her blog entry HERE.
Here’s a better photo of the tandem in all of it’s hand-crafted glory taken back in Philly:
Co-Motion featured the limited edition Macchiato tandem with its special paint scheme that purportedly pays homage a Vought F4U Corsair in celebration of Co-Motion Cycles’ 25th anniversary.
Ok, in addition to being a tandem geek, I’m also something of a military airplane buff. So, for those who don’t know what a Vought F4U Corsair looks like, below left is a pretty good representation of a U.S. version. Frankly, I don’t know that our friends at Co-Mo got the blue body quite right for a U.S. version and the yellow fork seems to take its cue from a Royal Navy F4U that is maintained as part of the UK’s Fighter Collection with the Imperial War Museum’s airfield at Duxford, Cambridgeshire with it’s unusual yellow engine cowl (at right).
They also brought along a special NAHBS edition of a Java touring model that caught my eye. It’s built around a Rohloff Speedhub 14-speed internally geared hub, dual Co-Motion self-locking eccentrics and Gates CenterTrack timing belt and drive belt with polished stainless steel S&S couplers to compliment the 17-4 stainless Rohloff-specific dropouts. It also has a new Co-Motion 14-speed machined drop-bar shifter, Son Schmidt dynamo front hub, Schmidt Edelux headlight and USB powered stem top-cap. Everything you need for self-contained adventures off the grid.
Note: We’ve updated this entry with corrections provide by Andy White.
Paketa featured a D2r, right side drive tandem that tips the scales at 22.46 lbs. It it fitted with American Classic Argent rims, SRAM Red with 2×10 gearing, including a proprietary adaptor allowing a 53-34 D2r compact crank 110 BCD adaptor bcd to mate with the 130mm new gates sprocket that shares the right side cranks, and EE brakes. The “deep” compact 34-53 is possible in part because the right side belt inboard of the chain prohibits the chain from falling below the inner chainring. Among the year-over-year innovations, the 2-coupling tandem fits in a single bike case and the ceramic nano finish saves about half a pound and is perfect for a travel tandem given its inherent durability.
Engin’s Drew Guldalian who builds behind a small bike shop in Philly was recently featured along side Bilenky Cycle Works (also out of Philly) in a very nice piece in the Winter 2012 issue of Jan Heine’s Bicycle Quarterly. Drew brought along this pretty gnarly fat tire tandem that he built for Mark Norstad, owner of Paragon Machine Works. You can read more about Drew and see additional photos of his bikes, including detailed photos of this amazing tandem HERE. The tandem photos are at the bottom of the article, but well-worth the look.
I don’t know a lot about Andy Peirce, but he sure knew how to get attention at a bike show where it’s hard to stand out from all of the mind-numbing eye candy. You can find some really nice, detailed photos of this fat tire tandem that he built for his own use at the bottom of this page on BikeRumor.com’s website. This 42lb rig can be fitted as shown with the rigid fork, or be fitted with a Maverick DUC32 suspension fork for more aggressive technical riding. Oh, and lest you think this bike is destined to be a garage queen, Andy & Tammy have already had it out in the mud now that the show is over: More HERE.
Brian Baylis is an icon in the hand-built bicycle business and this insane track tandem is destined to be a collector’s item. Brian will be retiring this year, with his last frame (already spoken for) going out the door in November of this year.
Tom Ritchey once again brought his personal 29er “Double Switchback” BREAK-AWAY travel tandem to NAHBS. We made mention of this cool rig in last year’s update on NAHBS that you can find HERE. I’m still not sure if this frame has made it to market, but it’s a neat concept.