On a beautiful March weekend, the North American Handmade Bicycle Show visited Salt Lake City for their annual craft exhibit. The show travels to different cities every year, being hosted in SLC for the first time. It brings together a community of new and experienced frame builders to celebrate and promote their creative work. The inventiveness and artistry of the international frame builders culminates in this show; gathering from countries like Russia and Japan, inventors from all around the world joined together in Salt Lake. The members of this community from Portland and Denver were well represented by companies like Circa Cycles and Connor Wood Bicycles.
One of my favorites was from San Francisco, Low Bicycles, a group dedicated to the art of racing bikes and welding frames with their lightweight aluminum composition. Another wonderful company was B3 founded by a solo artist, Max Burson, who mixes engineering, design, and craft to create one-of-a-kind, handcrafted wood frames. One of the more automated bikes, by Risse Racing, was a heavy 76-pound frame powered by a raspberry pi. The small computer device senses how much pressure is being applied to the foot pedal and provides a power boost to help with the work. One of the local companies, Salt Air Cycles, located across the way from Liberty Park, chatted with me about his previous SLUG article in the May 2016 Bike Issue and his bright purple bike with an electronic gear changer. Later the next day, Matt Nelson, the creator of this bike, would win Best New Builder
There were three different award divisions: Riding, Construction and Overall Design. Each division had its own set of categories like Best Road bike in Riding, Best Fillet Frame in Construction, and Best of Show in Overall Design. The winner of the show was Peacock Groove from Minneapolis, Minnesota. To catch the next set of amazing handmade bikes, be sure to check out the show in Hartford, Connecticut, Feb. 16–18, 2018.