Trina Ortega is an editor at Mountainflyer magazine
Two guys saunter down a row at NAHBS, chatting about all of the great things they’ve seen so far, when one questions the other: “What would it take to come up with all this stuff, man?”
It made me think about the creative talent packed into the convention hall this weekend, which is by far the coolest “thing” I saw at NAHBS. There are the aesthetically edgy concepts (sexy curves of steel snugged around rear wheels; twisted top tubes and head tubes that look like old-fashioned candy sticks) and there are classic, clean lines). There is the experimentation with different materials (mixing and matching steel alloys; carbon fiber and titanium; composite woods and bamboo). There are exquisite lugs, sophisticated welds, and colorful components. Even the tools that framebuilders use are cool.
The engineers/designers in this industry have invested a huge amount of creative capital in their work. The payback is a new customer and sometimes even better, accolades from a fellow framebuilder.
Whether the designer is more into the artsy side or utilitarian end or combines the two, the heart of the hand-built industry is within the answer to that original question: What would it take to come up with all this stuff? And it still comes back to a simple answer: A love of bicycles.
The Cool Pool of Creative Talent,