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The 2010 Shimano North American Handmade Bicycle Show took place February 26-28 in Richmond, Virginia. The event shared the Greater Richmond Convention Center with the Virginia Wine Expo. At first glance, you may think it would be easy for volunteers greeting attendees to suss out the framebuilding groupies from the vintner groupies, but the array of NAHBS attendees, from beard-rocker to straight-laced professional, is a testament to the growing popularity of the show. Starting in 2005, the NAHBS has gone from 23 exhibitors and 700 attendees to 150 exhibitors and over 7000 attendees.
If you like the cyclocross, and you wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t, the show had plenty to offer. Venerable names such as Richard Sachs showed up with race-tested rigs still sporting a caked-on layer of Belgian toothpaste. Sacha White set up shop in pastoral environs that showcased his Vanilla and Speedvagen lines amongst barn stables and wooden slat crates, highlighted by a Speedvagen equipped with Shimano’s Di2 group. The crew from Bilenky literally brought their Philadelphia workshop, clutter and all. They also walked away with the jury award for best road bike, and it was a tandem. Cysco brought a unique ride to the show, featuring a twisted downtube based on a theory that the twist provides added lateral stiffness.
Along with the many shiny frames on display, NAHBS also featured a slew of new components and accessories for your cyclocross needs. Paul Components showed off an update to their popular chain keeper that replaced chain-guard setups on many CX rigs. The new offering attaches to the bottom-bracket rather than the seat-tube. FSA is reportedly adding a cross crank to their top line and Mad Alchemy has expanded their flavor palette, although I’m still not sure what you were supposed to do with the open sample bottles the Embrocation Journal boys had available at the show. A little behind the ears maybe?
Next year’s show will take place in Austin, Texas. Until then here are some images from the past weekend.
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Schieken writes for the ‘cross blog In The Crosshairs when not contributing to Cyclocross Magazine