AUSTIN, TX (BRAIN)—Don Walker’s latest North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS) was a huge success. Not only did exhibitors grow 28 percent to 174 this year, but also attendance eclipsed the 2008 Portland show with 7,316 people paying to get into Austin.
Mark DiNucci took best in show with his simple and elegant City bike, and the People's Choice award went to Naked for its Gentleman's recreational bike. At the close of the show Walker announced that next year NAHBS was traveling to Sacramento, California, for a March 3-5 show.
“I’ve always seen this as great time for builders to get together as a family and have some fun,” Walker said. “I was a little worried that we maybe grew too fast this year, but it ran smoothly and the turnout and support from exhibitors was great,” he added.
It was Megan Dean of Moth Attack Cycles first show, and while she was off on the edge of the floor with other first time builders at the show, she was more than pleased with the crowds and the number of people making their way to talk with her.
“There were serious buyers here, not like some other consumer shows I’ve been at. And there are two or three good contacts I’ll be following up in Los Angeles where I’m from after the show,” Dean said.
Dean also liked the numerous component suppliers, many of them showing for their first time at NAHBS as well. “It was nice taking with Paul’s Components, HED, Cane Creek and Shimano and feel that they were interested in my business,” she added.
Walker was a little nervous he couldn’t fill the larger Austin Convention center, so he added many new parts suppliers and created a NAHBS category for frame designers, people who designed but did not build their frames.
“People were flying in from Vegas, Vermont, Oregon and all across Texas to get here,” said Len Cabaltera, Hayes’ bicycle marketing manager. It was Hayes' first year at the show. “People are really knowledgeable about products and passionate about cycling. At other consumer shows you don’t have this kind of passion. I’m really glad we’re here."
(PHOTO by Scott Sing)