San Francisco Custom Builder Show

By Chantal Jolagh in San Francisco, California | Monday, October 22, 2012 2.29pm

The Sandbox Warehouse and RideSFO's bike shop in San Francisco's Potrero Hill district opened its doors this weekend, hosting the first annual Local Custom Frame Builder Show. Popular, local bicycle builders made an appearance, such as Bruce Gordon, Brent Steelman and Hank Matheson, to display their products.

The highlight of the event might have been Bicycle Fabrications' newest 2-D suspension design on a downhill mountain bike, designed and welded by Hank Matheson, and engineered by Jon Heim.  

The Bicycle Fabrication “Candyman” downhill prototype featured a 2-D design that Matheson says will improve mountain bike suspension. The Cannondale Gemini DH prototype for the 2-D suspension originated Matheson's interest.

“I've been spending years trying to develop something that was similar [to the Cannondale 2-D]. The 2-D suspension never made it past the prototype,” Matheson told BikeRadar. “No one else is doing it right now. It's the pinnacle of suspension technology—it's better than everything else.”

Bicycle fabrications engineer jon heim with his vw, his inspiration for the suspension design: bicycle fabrications engineer jon heim with his vw, his inspiration for the suspension designThe inspiration for the 2-D design came from in here - Jon Heim's VW

“People love it,” Matheson said. “They either love it, or they're very confused.”

The suspension better handles large square-edge impacts, Matheson says, because it has two degrees of freedom (2-D), or axes of movement, which are independent. The bicycle has an eccentric disc link connected to a polyurethane elastomer spring and the main swing arm, so once it experiences an impact, “the elastomer allows for a controlled rearward movement of the rear wheel; the eccentric pivot allows the swingarm to rotate backwards and slightly upwards, away from the impact, while the main shock controls the suspensions vertical movement,” Matheson told DirtRagMag.com.

Other bike builders at the show included Cameron Falconer of Falconer Cycles, Dan Nelson of NTP Custom Bikes, Brad Hodges of Nemesis Project, Destroy Bikes and Peter Verdone Designs. The builders brought in their custom-made and designed frames, forks, clips, stems, handle bars, seat posts and more.

Bicycle fabrications bikes and dj set-up : bicycle fabrications bikes and dj set-up Part art show, part bike fest: The first annual San Francisco Custom Builder Show

“We wanted to have a custom frame builder show for local builders to show off American-made frames,” Philipp Segura, of Ride SFO, who helped organize the event. “It's a prequel to the SF Bike Expo in November. We want to help everyone get their names out there.”

Nemesis project duel-disc fixed gear: nemesis project duel-disc fixed gearA fixie with discs by Nemesis Project

Veteran frame builder Bruce Gordon was among those on hand, showing off frames, tires and even toe clips.

Bruce gordon cycles road bike crank set: bruce gordon cycles road bike crank setBruce Gordon toe clips on one of his bikes

“I enjoy making stuff. My approach is aesthetics,” Bruce Gordon said. “[With the toe clips], I made something minimalist and that worked really good.”

Bamboo Bike Studio showcased their natural-fiber frames, including some made with Mexican bamboo.

Bamboo bike head tube: bamboo bike head tubeThe Holy Mother on bamboo

“We want a design that is established globally, but pulled from local resources,” Bamboo Bike Studio's Justin Aguinaldo said of his product.

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