Follow Bicycle Retailer

You are here

Handmade Has Helped the Small Guy

Published January 24, 2008

PORTLAND, ORE (BRAIN)—The North American Handmade Bicycle Show has been a main reason for the flourishing high-end niche market for handmade bicycles in North America.

Richard Sachs, who is widely regarded as the one of the leading frame builders in the world, said: "Not since the 1970s has there been such an interest in the handmade bicycle frame. There was a time that framebuilders were at the vanguard, and industry often looked to them as the trendsetters and laboratories for all things innovative. The NAHBS weekend is a way for consumers, media and framebuilders too, to judge for themselves whether the 21st century iteration of this segment is about ye old, or quaint, or, as I suspect, more innovative and technologically relevant than ever. This industry has never been more viable than it is today, and the show in Portland shines a bright light on all the pioneers as well as the Next Wave of framebuilders who will set trends and make markets for generations to come."

Another big name in handmade frames is Independent Fabrication. Spokesman Matt Bracken said, "I am 100 percent sure that the NAHBS has helped bring the focus back to handcrafted, made in America framesets. Looking at the growth of the show from 2004 to the present is miraculous to say the least. In 2004, 23 builders held the first NAHBS in Houston, and this year alone we will see 100-plus builders from all over this great country descending on Portland to show off the love, sweat and passion for making rideable art. Independent Fabrication is proud to be standing tall with our fellow builders showcasing what is new, what is fun, what is colorful and what can be ridden at the upcoming show in Portland. Spending time with all of these multi-talented builders is a real honor and we hope to make the most of it with swapping ideas, sharing stories, and kicking back meeting all of the enthusiastic cyclists who will be travelling from all over the country to attend this event."

And Jan Heine, publisher of the magazine "Bicycle Quartely," which regularly reports on the handmade bicycle industry, commented that "in the past four or five years, the handmade bicycle scene in the U.S. has grown tremendously. The NAHBS show has given builders a unified voice and provided exposure. Before that, every builder seemed to toil alone in relative obscurity. Thanks in no small part due to the NAHBS show, the media has given more of a voice to custom builders."

Topics associated with this article: Tradeshows and conferences

Join the Conversation