Montenegro Manufacturing NAHBS 2016

While going back through my pics from the show, I was trying to figure out who this was cause the logo on the downtube is not very clear. Luckily Bike Rumor published this excellent interview with Hernan Montenegro today so the mystery was solved. Hernan does these carbon frames in Los Angeles and you can learn more on his website.

Montenegro-Manufacturing-NAHBS-2016

Richard Sachs on New Framebuilders at NAHBS

I just read this opinion by Richard Sachs in Handbuilt Bicycle News twice and I’m still not sure what his point is. Toward the end he seems to conclude: “My observation is that the average person wants a fast(er) track to the workbench, one that bypasses a true learning and mentored experience.” This may be true. Seems like everything is speeding up these days. Just watch this 14 year old girl kick Eddy Van Halen’s ass on YouTube. So yes, the world is changing, things are different now, all kinds of information is more widely available, and people find different ways to learn a skill or trade. But I also wonder: is a “a true learning and mentored experience” available today in the way it once was? And if you go to UBI or similar, go slow, build 20 or so quality frames for friends and family, is there a reason you shouldn’t hang out your shingle and try to make a go of it? Also, it seems to me that the world of framebuilding has changed a lot less than many other areas–just ask a musician or a writer. Mostly his article reminds me of this scene from Gran Torino.

Victoria Cycles NAHBS 2016

I’m not super happy with the way my pics came out from the Victoria Cycles booth but this black and tan (yes, beer) 650b mtb was one of my favorite bikes at the show. In fact,  of all the bikes I saw at NAHBS, this is the one that most made me want to just get on and ride away. These frames are built by Dave Hill in Salida, Colorado and the company is named after Dave’s wife, who I talked to briefly while snapping these pics. You can see a few more after the jump.

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Thomson Elite Seatpost

The first bike part I ever broke was a seatpost. I was 15 and probably weighed 120 pounds. The post in question was an Ofmega on my Bianchi Nuovo Racing (this was probably around 1984). I replaced the Ofmega with a Campagnolo Record post. The Campy post was beautiful but it was a bit tricky to fine tune your position with the one-bolt design. A few years later I got a Suntour XC post with a great two-bolt design (and I still have it-great seatpost). A few years after that I got a Syncros post, with another two-bolt design. But the Syncos cracked, becoming only the second bike part I had ever broken.

Thomson entered the bike scene in the mid-90s, having already established themselves as a top notch machine shop back in the late 1960s. They produce everything in their facility in Macon, Georgia. The first time I tried a Thomson Elite I knew I had I winner. Super solid, super easy to adjust. And after many years and miles, I still haven’t managed to break one. I now have them on most of my bikes–I have them in 26.8 for the Bontragers and 28.6 for the Ibises and 27.2 for everyone else. I have them in straight and laid-back, silver and black. They somehow manage to look modern and classic at the same time.

Check out a silver setback Thomson Elite on my Soulcraft and a black zero setback on my Ibis Mojo after the jump!

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