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Vintage, and ultra-mod bikes garner awards

A custom brake lever design featured on the Cherubim retro bike.

By Bruce Buckley

Classic styling and veteran builders rose to the top at the 2010 North American Handmade Bicycle Show in Richmond, Virginia., Feb. 26-28. Over three days, approximately 6,800 attendees scoured nearly 150 booths packed with frames and components that are equal parts artisanship and eye candy.

Although the offerings ran the gamut between cutting edge and throwback, NAHBS judges gave many of its highest honors to the tried and true. Ellis Cycles of Waterford, Wisconsin, took Best of Show with a bike that was big on polished bling, but at its core retained classic design and exectution.

Bilenky Cycle Works of Philadelphia wowed many attendees with its restoration work on vintage frames, but it was the shop’s French-style tandem that earned Best Road Frame. Tandems have been a big focus for Stephen Bilenky for nearly 30 years.

Richard Sachs showed the new builders how it’s done, garnering the Best Track Frame award in a crowded field.

Rear triangle of YiPsan Bicycles’ sunflower town bike design.

Among contemporary materials, Kent Ericksen won Best Titanium with his clean and elegant approach. Nick Crumpton of Crumpton Cycles earned Best Carbon Fiber frame with a design built on Edge Composites tubing and finished off with a decoupage of scrap carbon fiber pieces that gives the frame a one-of-a-kind look from any angle.
Cherubim won the President’s Choice award with a heavily-polished museum-quality piece that combined a narrow-tubed chromoly frame with a mix of vintage ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘80s components.

Renold Yip of Fort Collins, Colorado, garnered the People’s Choice award his “sunflower town bike” design, which includes a custom steel front rack with ribs that form the outline of a flower and stained wood to complete the look. Yip cleanly routed the cables into each of the two downtubes, which extend all the way to the rear dropouts.

2010 NAHBS Winners:

Ellis Cycles – Best of Show

Bilenky Cycle Works – Best Road Frame

Richard Sachs – Best Track Frame

Crumpton Cycles – Best Carbon Fiber

Kent Eriksen Cycles – Best Titanium

Kirk Frameworks – Best Fillet Brazing

YiPsan Bicycles – Best City Bike

Six-Eleven Bicycle Co. – Rookie of the Year

Engin Cycles – Best Off-Road

Calfee Design – Best Tandem

Spectrum Tandem – Best Steel Frame

Dinucci Cycles – Best Lugged Frame

DeSalvo Cycles – Best TIG welded Frame

Llewellyn Custom Bicycles – Best Paint

Cherubim by Konno – President’s Choice

YiPsan Bicycles  – Peoples Choice

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