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Commuter bikes at Handmade Bicycle Show

by Richard Masoner

I’m at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS) in Portland, Oregon this weekend. This fourth annual show is by far the best so far. A record number of exhibitors are here and the show has become a real media event with coverage in local and national mainstream media.

Almost every imaginable variety of bike made from various materials are on display at the show, including, of course, commuter or utility bikes. Here are some of the bikes that caught my eye during the show.

Moots Ti Comooter commuter bike.

Moots in Steamboat Springs, Colorado showed off this titanium “Comooter.” This frame will be available in the Moots catalog in 2009, though you can order this as a custom frame now. This built features Honjo fenders, Rohloff 14 speed hub, Schmidt front hub with dynamo, and Busch and Muller lights.


Beautiful long tail bicycle.

I took several photos of this long tail bicycle built by James Bleakley (Black Sheep Custom Bicycles) of Fort Collins, Colorado. The wheelset on this bike with a Rohloff 14 speed hub on the rear and Schmidt dynamo hub on the front runs $3000; the total bike is $5000. Brooks leather grips and saddle round out the features on this cargo bike made with CroMoly steel.

The front basket is currently integrated into the frame, but James is considering a way to make the basket detachable so the bike can be boxed and shipped more easily.

That big black bag in the middle of the bike is mine — the frame was designed so attaches or bags can be stored there; that space even has hooks to hang grocery bags from.

James says he can cut the price about in half if he uses straight (instead of curved) tubing and much less expensive hubs.


Engin commuter

Here’s Drew Guldahalian’s (Engin Cycles) unique take on the commuter bike. A wooden plank is held to the top of the rear rack with hemp ties. Drew wrapped hemp fibers around the shifter levers, lacquered the cork handgrips, and used a front fork crown on the seat stays.

There’s plenty more at the show — I’ll try to have more photos and details on Sunday afternoon.

 
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13 Responses to “Commuter bikes at Handmade Bicycle Show”

  1. jim says:

    The event was surprisingly crowded Saturday. It’s very cool seeing so many beautiful bikes, especially offerings for more than just the racing community. Short of winning the lottery, I don’t think I could justify $5k for the beautiful city bike. ;-p

    The belt-driven bike with the Rohloff hub was an interesting option; they said the belt had an estimated life of 10k miles.

  2. McAngryPants says:

    Ahem…”Portland” (first sentence)

  3. jim says:

    p.s. that’s “Engin Cycles” (just looked it up)

  4. Fritz says:

    Thanks for the proofreading help :-) I’ve made the corrections.

    I have a lot more to report on but it’s late, I’m home, and I’m tired. I’ll try to have something up by tomorrow evening.

  5. joel says:

    Not in any way to take away from the quality and beauty of the bikes, but a Ti commuter? I just don’t see it happening for me, probably ever. I don’t deal with the super high theft that a lot of commuters post about, but I still wouldn’t commute on something I couldn’t replace easily (price-wise, if not function). I love the longtail, and as a car replacement it would be great, but it’s out of my price range for adding a cargo bike to my stable to reduce vehicle miles.

    I can still look and drool though. Thanks for the pics.

  6. Quinn says:

    I agree with Joel about the Ti, A Ti daily rider is like parking a Ferrari in the Ghetto.

    Anyway, I saw photos on MTBR, the koolest bike I saw was the one with the disc brake crankset.

  7. Fritz says:

    i got that brake on crank one too, just not too relevant for CBB :-)

  8. Jimmy Livengood says:

    I park my bike indoors at work, so theft really isn’t an issue. I completely understand a Ti commuter, especially if most of your saddle time is commuting. Why not have your nice bike be the one you ride most? I recently skipped making my “road and century charity ride” bike my nice bike and instead put the money into my commuter, best decision I’ve made in a while.

  9. K says:

    I have never seen bikes at NAHMBS as realistic options for the most part…rather inspiration, and examples of what can be done.

  10. Philip Williamson says:

    Did you look at the Frances Cycles bikes?
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/philipwilliamson/2257151306/in/photostream/
    I thought his bikes were very approachable.

    I agree with Jimmy Livengood up there – put your money into the bike you ride the most! But then, Ti makes perfect sense to me for a bike that will see all kinds of weather, and the only ultra-premium bike items I’m attracted to are the ones that cut down on my maintenance time.

  11. Fritz says:

    Hi Philip, I’m working on planning on a visit with Josh (Frances Cycles) within the next few weeks, though he doesn’t know it yet :-)

  12. Philip Williamson says:

    He does now! :^)

  13. john t says:

    I actually live in Portland, and was crushed to learn that I missed this event. Too bad. JT

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