So many amazing craftsmen attend and show at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show that giving them all due credit is nearly impossible. After the first day of the show, however, we have found four bikes that stood out for their creativity and execution. Here they are.
Igleheart’s Trail Poacher
Chris Igleheart, of Wenham, Massachusetts, builds some impressive steel frames and forks. His unassuming, quiet nature belies incredible skill in fashioning bicycles that are beautiful as well as functional. At this year’s show, Igleheart displayed his latest model: The Trail Poacher.
It’s essentially a cyclocross bike designed around disc brakes and larger than normal tires. Igleheart installed a White Industries two-speed crank and double-freewheel. A Schmidt generator front hub powers a light for after dark trail poaches (not something Igleheart or we here at VeloNews.com explicitly endorse). Igleheart also made a clever headset cap switch for the light.
A hydraulic disc brake adapter lets drop bar riders take advantage of the Formula brakes’ increased power. Swinging dropouts make chain tensioning and gear changing easier. Igleheart has also toyed with the idea of installing a Rohloff 14-speed rear hub on the bike.
The crowning detail of the bike though would have to be the Chimay beer bottle caps used as bar end plugs. Clearly Igleheart has his priorities in order.
Cherumbim’s Silver Flyer
Last year Japanese builder, Shin-ichi Konno, of Cherubim, displayed a ravishing red pursuit-style fixed gear. This year, the color is silver and the handlebars are a drop model, but it is no less beautiful. The finish work is exemplary and the concept is high art. Part hot rod, part spacecraft, the Cherubim shows what happens when a builder thinks outside the double diamond box.
English Cycles Project Right
Bright green and missing half the tubes of a normal frameset, English Cycles’ Project Right is striking to say the least. A uniblade fork and the missing left chainstay and seatstay meant that English had to get creative when it came time to propel this machine. In collaboration with Fair Wheel Bikes, a solution was found; a belt-driven outboard driver that powers the rear wheel, much like the Mike Burrows-designed Lotus bike that Chris Boardman used to win the 1992 Olympic pursuit.
Other features include an integrated seat mast, an eccentric bottom bracket and custom hubs laced to Enve carbon rims.
Moots Prototype mountain frame
Moots displayed a new titanium hardtail frame with a 142 x 12mm rear Thru Axle and post mount rear brake attachment. With mountain bikes, Thru Axles are the direction many are headed, but there are several small builders on the road and cyclocross side of things who are going there with them. The post mount rear brake eliminates the need for adapters, thus saving weight and reducing flex.