History of NAHBS:
1st Annual North American Handmade Bicycle Show – 2005
The first ever North American Handmade Bicycle Show was held the weekend of January 15th 2005 in the city of Houston, Texas, at the Sheraton Houston Brookhollow. There were 23 exhibitors and 700 attendees.
This was a milestone event that brought together some of North America’s finest handmade bicycle frame builders. Established names such as: Richard Sachs, Darren Crisp, Craig Calfee, Don Ferris of Anvil Bicycles exhibited, as did rising stars such as Sacha White of Vanilla, Nick Crumpton and Mike DeSalvo. Many others were on hand at the event to display their craft.
The mission of the 1st annual North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS) was a simple one: Showcase the talents and share ideas among the best builders of handmade bicycle frames in the world. The show was all about handmade bicycles and the people who make them.
The industry contains a wide variety of builders from all walks of life, but they all have one thing in common: they all make bicycle frames by hand. The event was not only intended to serve as a forum for builders to meet and share ideas, but also to showcase North America’s finest builders.
The gathering provided to potential customers the opportunity to speak with a wide array of the top bicycle frame builders in North America.
In addition, several of builders gave seminars about their methods and answered questions regarding their experiences in crafting a bicycle from scratch. The intention of these fun and enlightening seminars was for amateur and young professional bicycle frame builders to learn more about the craft of bicycle building so that they could reach higher levels of artistry and quality.
Seminars offered in 2005:
- Richard Sachs: Q/A session for amateur bicycle frame builders
- Don Ferris: “Tooling” and its importance in quality frame construction
- Brian Baylis: Lug Carving
- Corey Bush and Bert Hull: ultra-light, ultra-strong S3 tubeset manufactured by True Temper
- Bill Boston: design and design software, plus his building experience
Public Admission: Free
Seminars: $55 for pre-registered, $70 at the door
2nd Annual North American Handmade Bicycle Show – 2006
The 2006 North American Handmade Bicycle Show was almost four times larger than the first show in Houston Texas 2005. The show was hosted by San Jose March 3rd-5th at the South Hall of the San Jose Convention Center.
Why the change in location?
There are a few reasons why the show was moved from Houston, Texas. The foremost being an affordable expo hall that was capable of handling the four-fold increase in the number of exhibitors and attendees. The second reason was affordable lodging. The third and most important reason was the cycling community in the Bay Area was and still is very large and quality conscious.
The mission of the North American Handmade Bicycle Show remained largely the same as the previous year. A showcase of the best builders of handmade bicycle frames in the world.
NAHBS is a show all about the independent bicycle frame builder, and other small companies that make frames in-house without importing. Over 100 booths were filled with builders and other cycling related vendors, and with a longer list of available seminars for cyclists of all levels, the 2006 show organizers proved to be even more determined and dedicated to make it the best bicycle show on earth.
Seminars offered in 2006:
This years “All Star Team” of frame builders and industry insiders informed, educated and even entertained attendees in many aspects of cycling and construction of bicycles during the 2006 line-up of seminars.
- True Temper/Alpha Q: Discussion and demonstration of their line of components
- Bill Boson: 2-hour seminar/ Accufit Designer demonstration to discuss the intricacies of frame design and bicycle fit
- Craig Calfee: What Makes a Bike Handle Beautifully
- Tom Kellogg: What matters more and what matters less in choosing your next frame builder
- Brian Baylis: The re-birth of the classic steel lugged bicycle
- John Murphy: The art of lug carving
- Paul Sadoff: Performance bicycles, design and manufacture
- Fairing Industrial/ Reynolds Tubing: Reynolds new line of 953 tubing
- Richard Schwinn: Defining your dream bike, from fit to finish
- Henry Folson: Lug making
- Story time! Personal experiences exposed from the anecdotes of Americas finest frame builders
One-day Expo Pass March 3rd, 4th, and 5th: $12
Three day Expo Pass Friday-Sunday 3-5: $25
Full Pass with Seminars: $100
One day at door: $15
3-Days at door: $35
Seminar at door: $125
Additions to the show:
Custom frame builders are the core of the show. The frame builders come from all over America. These builders represent some of the best in the world, and in 2006 attendees were able to see up to 60 of them all in one place. This year, in addition to the 60+ frame builders that were showcased at the show, there were 20 cycling-related manufacturers and service providers too.
3rd Annual North American Handmade Bicycle Show – 2007
The 3rd annual North American Handmade Bicycle Show was once again held at the South Hall of San Jose Convention Center from March 2-4, 2007.
The North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS), this year, is about the beautiful bicycles made by people who dedicate countless hours poring over the details of every bike they put their name on. It’s about education, in the form of seminars geared towards both exhibitors and enthusiasts. It’s about frame builders gathering in one place from all over the world, sharing their work and their ideas. And its about giving the public a chance to see the kinds of handmade bicycles that are being made around the world.
Seminars offered in 2007:
NAHBS this year will provide seminars for anyone who wants to meet cycling and business all-stars and hear their words of wisdom and expertise.
- Paul Sadoff “Building frames for competition”
- Peter Mooney “Bicycle fitting overview”
- Ross Shafer “Inspiration, Motivation, Reality and Bidnez”
- Peter Enright, Doug White and Paul Price “What’s the hub-bub?”
- Brian Baylis “Lug Carving Explained”
- Mark Brandt “Powder Coating Technology”
- Carl Strong “The Business of Professional Custom Frame building”
- Doug Fattic “How to make paint choices to maximize your custom frame”
- Hank Folson a.k.a Henry James “Lugs… past, present and future”
- Bill Boston “Fit 101A”
- Tom Ritchey “Chickens and Fax Paper’
- Keith Noronha “Reynolds 953”
- Fabrizio Aghito “Columbus XCR”
- Nathan Schickel or Mark Van Gemert “The wheel deal”
- Steve Potts “Tig Welding bicycle frames”
- Ric Hjertberg “The wire spoked wheel”
- John Slawta “The joy of fillet brazing”
- Moderator: David Rowe and Expert Panel: Terry Zmrhal, Matt Bracken, Steve Rex, and Matt Eames or Daniel Limburg “Building the Long Distance Bicycle”
Day of event: $18
3-Day Ticket: $35
Seminar Tickets at Door: $125
4th Annual North American Handmade Bicycle Show – 2008
The 4th annual North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS), the world’s largest show for custom-built bicycles, was held at the Oregon Convention Center, Portland, February 8-10, 2008, and built considerably on the success of ’07.
“We have 60 registered exhibitors so far, which is where we were at in December last year, and international interest is running way ahead of last year too. Having had very good media exposure in Britain, Germany and Italy, there have been a lot more enquiries from those nations, and we’ve hadenquiries from Japan too,” said Don Walker the show’s founder and director.
The show facilitates and encourages personal conversations between builders and customers, rather than being a showy tradeshow with enormous booths and neon graphics.
“For us, it is much more about what we are capable of doing, rather than what we may think we will sell the most of,” says Joe Ingram of Independent Fabrication, which is making NAHBS its only public show in ’08. He added: “We love it at NAHBS, it’s not only a great place to talk to customers and take orders, but it’s a great opportunity to get inspired by what other frame builders are doing.”
Seminars offered in 2008:
The 2008 NAHBS is not all about the bikes. It’s about the people who build them too. That is why NAHBS 2008 offered an unrivalled seminar schedule. Over three days, NAHBS brought together expert speakers with a wealth of knowledge in a diverse range of subjects. Whether it’s tips on technique from experts on carbon frame construction, or an introduction to long distance cycling, you’ll find invaluable information. This year there was something for everyone; professional and hobbyist frame builders, bike fitters, shop owners, and shop staff, as well as discussion aimed at both recreational and sporting cyclists.
- Keith Noronha “Reynolds 953, Progress and Future”
- Paul Skilbeck “How to Work the Media”
- Paul Sadoff “Cross Bike Geometry”
- Richard Schwinn “Bike Fit for Framebuilders”
- Richard Schwinn “Bike fit for Bike Riders”
- Ric Hjertberg “Wood Rims- the lore, the artistry, the technology”
- Gary Prange “Decals and Graphic treatments for bicycles”
- Darrell Llewllyn McCulloch “My way of doing the ‘shiny stuff’”
- Carl Strong “The Business of Professional Framebuilding”
- Nick Crumpton “Carbon Tube-to-Tube Construction”
- Steve Potts “The Titanium Frame Builder; Working with Titanium”
- Brent Curry “BikeCAD”
- Mark Brandt “Powder vs. Liquid Paint”
- David Rowe “Long Distance Cycling Workshop” Panelists: Michelle Grainger, Chris Kostman, Jonathan Nicholas, George Thomas, David Rowe
- Mike Ahrens “Aluminum Frame Design Considerations”
- Lora Van Dixhorn “Insurance for Framebuilders”
Ages 12-60 in advance: $15
Ages 12-60: $18 at the door
2-Day Pass in advance: $28
2-Day Pass at door: $32
3-Day Pass- w/ seminar admission: $150
3-Day Pass- w/ preview: $90 at the door
Seminar Pass Sat/Sun (includes 2 day admission): $100
Children 0-5: free
Children 6-11: $5 at the door
Seniors/Students (w/ ID) in advance: $10
Seniors/Students (w/ ID) at the door: $15
Industry Day Pass (w/ proof of affiliation): $15
Industry Weekend Pass: $35
Industry Weekend Pass with Seminars: $115
5th Annual North American Handmade Bicycle Show – 2009
The 5th annual North American Handmade Bicycle Show was held in Indianapolis, Indiana, February 27-March 1, 2009.
This year, NAHBS restricted entry to builders with product liability insurance, who had completed at least 50 frames or been in business for two years. The introduction of this new policy raised the bar of the show by presenting only the best of the best in bicycling. That is why this year NAHBS allowed only the more accomplished frame builders to be there.
116 exhibitors and 6, 428 attendees attended a highly successful fifth annual North American Handmade Bicycle Show, and many exhibitors called it the best show to date. Media attendance at the show was approximately 100, the same number, as at Portland in 2008, and the overall attendance figure is almost 1,000 less, but still well above the San Jose figure of 4,000 in 2007. The growth trend for NAHBS has continued despite the economic woes.
“I am delighted with the way NAHBS went this year. When I first announced Indianapolis as the location, a lot of people were unhappy about it. But I have always been confident there is a good market here in the Midwest for handmade bicycles, it’s just under-served. I think 6, 428 people proved my hunch was good,” said the show’s founder and director, Don Walker.
NAHBS recognized the universal appeal of the handmade bicycle and this year took the show into an untraditional heartland location, far removed from the coastal fringes that had hitherto been the territory of the craft. After initial skepticism, many of the builders ended up calling this the best NAHBS to date.
Not only were the top frame builders in the world showing up among the 116 exhibitors at the 2009 NAHBS, but also the top component manufacturers, represent by names such as Zipp, Shimano, Campagnolo, SRAM, Cane Creek, Paul, White Industries, Chris King and HED.
One day Pass at door: $20
Children 0-5: free
Children 6-14/day: $8
Teenagers 15 and over: full adult price
6th Annual North American Handmade Bicycle Show – 2010
The 6th annual North American Handmade Bicycle Show was held for the first time on the east coast in Richmond, Virginia, February 26-28, 2010. The show was held at the Greater Richmond Convention Center.
After introducing minimum requirements for entry in 2009, this year NAHBS created a section of the show hall for new builders. 11 companies occupied these spaces.
With 126 exhibitors and around 6,000 attendees, this was the second largest edition of NAHBS yet.
The whole point of NAHBS in the beginning was to raise standards for Framebuilders and customers. This year NAHBS is stayed on point. By introducing the New Builder tables, NAHBS was able to continue raising standards and at the same time showcase new talent in the industry. What makes NAHBS special, and what keeps it fresh and interesting to the public is that it moves from one region to the next, year on year. The NAHBS plan is to move onto a fresh, excited market every year, thus maintaining an atmosphere of electric enthusiasm among the public and the large cadre of volunteers.
Seminars offered in 2010:
NAHBS now offers a “Seminar Series”—a chance for attendees to learn the art and secrets of framebuilding. Some of the world’s best-known builders covered all aspects of the process—from concept to delivery.
- Doriano DeRosa “My Life in the bicycle industry; Past, present, and future”
- Lora Van Dixhorn “Insurance tips and trade secrets”
- Gary Prange “So, you want to mount decals?”
- Tom Kellogg “Frame Finishing”
- Steve Garn “Tig Welding for fun and profit”
- Craig Calfee “The Calfee Sizer fitting method”
- Butch Boucher “All thing Titanium”
- Nick Crumpton “Carbon Fiber myths, facts and design”
- Dwan Shepard “Tandem Frame Design’
- Brent Curry “BikeCad; an in depth look”
- Carl Strong “The Business of Framebuilding”
- Peter Mooney “Lugs and what I know about them”
- Jeff Bucholz “So, you want to build bikes?”
1 day: $15 advance, $20 at the door
2 days: $28 advance, $36 at the door
3 days: $40 advance, $50 at the door
Children: $5: one-day admission for ages 6-13 (5 and under free)
After six successful years, it appears The North American Handmade Bicycle Show has become established as the world’s number one handmade bicycles show. In addition to many US frame builders, exhibitors from countries including Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, and The Netherlands have helped the show become what it is.
Since 2005, NAHBS has been consistently dedicated to showcasing the talents of individuals around the world whose art form is the bicycle. It continues to aim to be a meeting point-online and in person-for frame builders and cycling enthusiasts, for the sharing of ideas, and the promotion of a special industry with a rich history dating back to 1819.
Since its first year in 2005, NAHBS has grown from a show with 23 exhibitors and 700 attendees, to a high water mark of 150 exhibitors and 7,200 attendees in 2008. The overall trend from 2005-11 is one of steady growth at a rate of 8-10% a year.