North American Handmade Bicycle Show 2011

I briefly covered the 2011 North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS) at the beginning of the month. Now, it is here,.. well, in Austin, Texas. The show is being held from today, February 25, to Sunday. The folks over at BikeRadar are covering the show in-depth and I thought I’d share some tidbits from them.

Tech editor James Huang, who is in Austin, writes that NAHBS “has always been a showcase for the immense talent and creativity of small artisan builders but this year’s show is already feeling different than in years past.”

These artisan builders are getting more props from the cycling industry as a whole, which “recognizes that these builders are intimately connected with upcoming trends and fashions.” Basically, if it’s cool at NAHBS, it’ll be cool everywhere in one or two years.

For more the details on some key bikes at the show, head on over to BikeRadar: North American Handmade Bicycle Show 2011: Austin builders. Or, go straight to the source and visit NAHBS 2011 online.

In addition to a bunch of articles on specific bikes, there’s a series on buying a handmade bicycle that can get you started in this arena (I’m a total beginner, too, so no need to feel like you don’t belong :D), there’s a profile piece on the show’s only female custom-frame builder as well as profile pieces on other custome bike builders, and there’s plenty more info about the show and even staying and eating in Austin.

For a little history:

  1. The 1st annual NAHBS was in Houston, TX in 2005. It had 23 exhibitors and 700 attendees.
  2. The 2nd (in San Jose) included 71 exhibitors and 3,000 attendees (fast growth).
  3. The 3rd (also in San Jose) included 99 exhibitors and 3,000 attendees.
  4. The 4th (in Portland) was the world’s largest handmade bicycle show, growing considerably to 150 exhibitors and 7,200 attendees, including international visitors from Japan, Britain, Germany, Italy, and elsewhere.
  5. The 5th (in Indianapolis) had 111 exhibitors and 6,200 attendees (not exactly Portland, but kept pretty good pace with it).
  6. The 6th (in Richmond, Virginia) was the first on the east coast and included 126 exhibitors and 6,000 attendees.
  7. We’ll see how many ended up exhibiting and attending this year’s show, which is back near where it all started.

Related Story: Bicycling Boom in North America

Photo Credits: mikebairdhappy via; mathowie (Note: these are not from the 2011 show, but the latter two are from previous North American Handmade Bicycle Shows in Richmond and Portland, respectively.)