Hold on tight fellow bike junkies, the weekend we have all been waiting for is rapidly approaching. In just about three months now, the finest in the bike industry will be congregating for what is known as the greatest handmade bike show in history. Builders, exhibitors, buyers and media are all getting ready for what is anticipated to be the best show yet! The NAHBS 2016 Show will be held at the Sacramento Convention Center the weekend of February 26th-28th, so keep your patience, this exciting event is right around the corner!
In this newsletter, you can get some insight on one of Sacramento’s most well known bike shop, The Bicycle Business. Furthermore, we will be spotlighting our a few of our exhibitors, including Rex Cycles, Steve Potts Bicycles and Desalvo Custom Cycles. Lastly, read up on a quick Q&A with one of last years awards winner, Groovy Cycleworks!
Q&A With 2015 Awards Winner Groovy Cycleworks
Rody Walter and his crew at Groovy Cycles were award winners from NAHBS Show in 2015! Rody is the owner/fabricator/toilet cleaner at Groovy Cycleworks LLC in Wooster, Ohio, laboring away since 1994. We took a second to sit down with Rody to get to know our previous award winner a little better!
What is it about Groovy Cycles that makes it so unique?
Rody: Lots of folks can build you a solid, good fitting bicycle. One of the elements that makes Groovy unique is that I endeavor to fabricate as much of the final product as possible, in house, with one set of hands. From design through machining, welding, paint, and component creation, I am delivering a product that is designed holistically, with each part adding to the collaborative vision shared with the customer. By completing it all in house, it allows me to control all aspects of the process and subsequently, the final product. It takes quite a bit longer and the rewards are worth it.
How long have you been building bikes/frames? How did you get your start in the industry?
Rody: I’ve been building for 21 years, parlaying a tandem project that brought me to a local builder, into an apprentice opportunity for myself. If you’d like to read the whole story, feel free to check out my Smoked Out page on Velocipede Salon, an excellent resource for getting to know the stories of many of those plying our industry today.
When you are not building bikes, what are you doing?
Rody: In addition to Groovy, I am also involved in a race promotions company, 331 racing, which spreads the gospel of dirt across our state. I am an active administrator in our state high school mountain bike league, sharing the opportunities of the sport of cycling and advocating on our kids behalf with collegiate programs for scholarships. I also try to dedicate as much time as I can to being a good husband to my wife Christi, and father to our kids, Kalten and Emily.
How long have you been attending NAHBS? Do you plan to attend/exhibit at NAHBS 2016?
Rody: I’ve attended Nahbs as an exhibitor for 10 years. I feel participation is an important part of promoting the work that is done each day by the men and women who ply this small niche of the bicycle fabrication industry. Nahbs is an excellent venue to share the opportunities of a truly custom designed and fabricated bicycle with potential customers, provide information sharing and mentorship with new builders, and to enjoy being surrounded by folks who appreciate the solitary toil that transpires daily in each of our shops. Phone calls and forums are nice, but it does not compare to the ability to smile and warmly shake a hand.
Are you planning to participate in the awards this year? If so, would you like to share a little about the bike/frame you plan to present? Any specific division/or award you have your sights on?
Rody: I am really conflicted about participating in the awards at Nahbs. I can see the perspective that participation brings value to the quality of work presented, showcasing to the viewing public what can be expected in a custom bike at the highest level of fabrication. However, I design and build bikes literally for an audience of one, my customer; it’s his/her admiration, appreciation, and satisfaction that I strive for. That said, I only bring customer work to shows, many of which are only “award worthy” in the eyes of the end user. When ancillary acknowledgement occurs, it is nice, but I don’t necessarily seek it.
Can you comment on the creativity, talent, and artisanal nature of the builders and bikes at NAHBS 2015? Do you expect to see even more ingenuity, skill, and craft this February?
Rody: The builders that impressed me the most at the Louisville Nahbs were the ones that have continued to provide clean, tight, accurate fabrication year after year. These are the builders who have an innate physical memory for fabrication, can feel when the fabrication is flowing well, and produce customer bikes one after another, rarely waning in the quality of the end product. The quality of the work is often found in details that are not recognized by the viewing public, but stand out to their peers, who grasp what makes a professional level bike stand apart. Often over shadowed by the “next great builder”, flashy paint, or super machined and curvy frame…these are the guys that have reached a level of success that most yearn to attain. To me, they are the epitome of talent.
NAHBS is more than just a bike show. It is a gathering, the largest and most widely accessible destination, for frame builders to share their passion with cycling enthusiasts and supporters. In your opinion, what is it about NAHBS that truly sets it apart from other bicycle shows?
Rody: All of the glitz and glamour aside, what separates Nahbs from other shows is the ability to stand side by side with your peers, unified for one weekend a year in a craft that celebrates the shared vision of fabricator and customer, producing something so simple, elegant and fun as a bicycle. It doesn’t matter if you are a 5 year old little girl or a stately gentleman in his autumn years, both can appreciate and relate to the joy that is riding a bike…that’s pretty damn special.
What about NAHBS 2015 did you enjoy the most? What are you looking forward to in Sacramento at NAHBS 2016?
Rody: I enjoyed being able to have my wife and daughter attend the show for the first time. For years I’ve traveled around our country with this show and they have had to watch from afar. Having them in the booth, meeting folks, and sharing their perspective was my favorite aspect of 2015.
Sacramento Local Bike Shops
The Bicycle Business
Our mission is simple: to work in an industry we love and help to enrich the experience of others so that they may enjoy cycling as much as we do. To that end, we treat folks the way we’d like to be treated and strive to deliver the best customer service at the most competitive price possible.Sales and service staff are comprised of experienced professionals who are passionate about bicycles. Away from work many of us race cyclocross, track or road bikes, and a couple even depend on bicycles as a sole means of transportation. We love to talk shop and will always give you an honest opinion, so don’t hesitate to call or stop
2016 EXHIBITOR SPOTLIGHT
At NAHBS we truly admire and appreciate all of our exhibitors. These artists have profound talent and skill, making their handmade bicycles the best in the business. Each newsletter we make sure to give each of our exhibitors the credit they deserve. Please enjoy your read on Rex Cycles, Steve Potts Bicycles and Desalvo Custom Cycles.
Steve Rex, Rex Cycles
Steve is a self-taught frame builder, having gained inspiration while studying abroad in Bristol, England. Upon finishing college he took machining and welding courses and began experimenting with frame building. He would fix bicycles for customers by day, and build frames at night. His business has grown steadily over the years, and he is now a highly regarded builder.Rex Cycles specializes in custom frames, mechanical and frame repairs, parts and our complete bikes. We specialize in road racing, touring, and tandem bicycles, and the unique S and S Bicycle Torque Coupling travel system.
Steve Potts, Steve Potts Bicycles
Steve Potts has been called one of the best bicycle frame builders of the past 35 years. In fact, Steve is the only one of the original mountain bike pioneering Repack group of the late 1970s who still builds his own framesets. His refinement of steel and titanium tubing is legendary. Steve himself is a product of Marin County, California, birthplace of the modern mountain bike and the epicenter for innovation for over 30 years. Today, Steve crafts his signature road, cyclocross and mountain frames from grade-select titanium in his meticulous shop in Petaluma, California.
Mike DeSalvo, Desalvo Custom Cycles
At DeSalvo Cycles we use only the finest materials to create bikes that are beautiful and fun to ride. Every DeSalvo Custom Cycles frame is handmade in our shop located in Ashland Oregon.When you are ready for a frame that will be built for you give us a call. The endless options include geometry, tubing, custom paint, and whatever else you may be able to dream up. We look forward to talk with you about creating your dream machine.
NAHBS 2016 HELD AT THE SACRAMENTO CONVENTION CENTER
We are pleased to announce NAHBS 2016 will be held at the Sacramento Convention Center in Sacramento, California. The Sacramento Convention Center is located across the street from the State Capitol and just 15 minutes from the the Sacramento International Airport.
SHERATON GRAND SACRAMENTO AS NAHBS 2016 HOST HOTEL
The Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel, a contemporary hotel in the heart of California’s capital city, welcomes NAHBS to Sacramento February 2016! Make sure to reserve a room early on. Group rates will be available until January 22, 2016.
Established in 2005, the North American Handmade Bicycle Show is the largest and most widely accessible destination for frame builders to share their passion with cycling enthusiasts and supporters. It aims to be a meeting point – both online and in person- for frame builders and consumers looking for custom-made bikes, for the sharing of ideas, and the promotion of a special industry with a rich history dating back to 1819. NAHBS moves from city to city each year. For more information on the 2016 show, please visit http://www.2016.handmadebicycleshow.com
Maria Hennessey, SMAK Strategies
We look forward to seeing you in February!
Don Walker, Founder and President