CXM correspondent Brooke Hoyer combed the 5th annual North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS) in Portland Oregon to find the latest ‘cross offerings from our continent’s best builders. His initial report is below. We’ll have expanded coverage in our print mag.

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I spent a good chunk of the day on Friday ogling the eye candy and the 2008 North American Handbuilt Bicycle Show at the Portland Oregon Convention Center. In it’s fifth year, the show hosts a who’s who of custom bicycle builders. As a dedicated bike geek, I was overwhelmed but the sheer volume of beautiful bicycles. Since I was visiting the show on the press and industry day as a representative of Cyclocross Magazine, I did my best to stick to the script — check out the cross bikes.

Cyclocross’ growing popularity is evident in the show offerings with more than twenty builders bringing a cross bike to the show. The show didn’t offer anything as exciting as Vanilla’s Speedvagen from last year’s event in San Jose, but there were some very interesting new entries to the custom market. The two that stuck out were Courage Cycles based in Portland, OR and Triple-3 Fab from Seattle, WA. Courage offers well thought out steel bikes with very cool custom made dropouts and Triple-3 Fab combines high-end steel or titanium with carbon rears to deliver light and responsive bikes.

Speedvagen was back at the show this year. Sacha White of Vanilla and Mike DeSalvo are again combining their talents to deliver 30 cyclocross Speedvagens to excited buyers for 2008. The big news is that Speedvagen will also deliver 15 road bikes as well. Richard Sachs had a huge booth that featured one of his Sachs team cross bikes as well as a host of Sachs lugs, clothing, and merchandise. Oh yeah, and a bunch of totally free “atmo” (according to my opinion) buttons. I snagged a handful. Paul Sadoff of Rock Lobster was under the weather but still in good spirits and talked enthusiatically about his history with cross.

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