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

Low Bicycles NAHBS 2016

I lived in San Francisco for most of the 90s and left when things starting getting kinda crazy with the first dot com thing. Well things have gotten A LOT more crazy there since, so I was very happy to discover that a framebuilder was making a go of it in my old home town. The other cool thing is that Andrew Low is focused on aluminum, a material that seems to have been largely forgotten. Finally, Low Bicycles are no-nonsense, purpose-built race machines. I talked to Andrew for a while and he is a super cool guy. He’s only been doing this since 2010! Anyway, more pics after the jump, plus a video of Andrew talking at Mission Workshop.

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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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