2013 North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS)
Karen and I attended the NAHBS last month in Denver (it changes locations every year). It was our first time and we really enjoyed it. From what I hear, the show has really grown over the last few years. I think there were over 150 booths and there were a lot of mainstream vendors, like Shimano and Chris King, who participated. The highlight of course was all of the small custom framebuilders. Titanium was definitely the order of the day. While all impeccably made, the titanium bikes all started to look the same with their brushed or shot-peened titanium finishes. There was a lot more variety in the steel bikes.
In addition to the display boothes, NAHBS also offered a variety of educational seminars. Our favorite was the presentation by Ric Hjertberg, founder of Wheelsmith, Mad Fiber, and Wheel Fanatyk. He was a very entertaining speaker and his passion for bikes and wheels in particular was contagious. Another favorite presenter was Don Ferris, owner of Anvil Bikewerks. His discussion focused on the realities of fabrication, such as how accurately can most people really measure tolerances and that for a bike frame, tolerances generally are not as tight as most people think or claim them to be.
There was also a lot of great food in Denver and we stayed a a wonderful bed and breakfast named the Queen Anne Bed and Breakfast that was within walking distance of the Denver Convention Center where the show was held. All in all, a great time and I would highly recommend any cycling enthusiast to check out the NAHBS if they have the opportunity.