Birth of a show bike, part one: Mosaic Bespoke Bicycles

Five weeks until the North American Handmade Bicycle Show

The 10th annual North American Handmade Bicycle Show is fast approaching and with it comes the usual frenzy for builders to complete their display bikes in time for opening day. Boulder-based Mosaic Bespoke Bicycles, however, will arrive fresh and rested thanks to some careful planning. Here's a look behind the curtain at what you'll see next month.

Mosaic decided six months ago to partner with its dealers for this year's NAHBS and highlight each type of bike it makes: a Campagnolo-equipped steel road bike for Above Category in Mill Valley, California; a hydraulic disc brake-equipped cyclocross titanium rig for Pro Peloton in Boulder, Colorado; a titanium gravel grinder with Shimano Di2 and hydraulic disc brakes for Blacksmith Cycle in Toronto, Canada; a disc-equipped titanium road bike for Velosmith in Chicago, Illinois; a conventional titanium road racer with Shimano Dura-Ace 9000 for Crankstar in Brisbane, Australia; and a steel road bike with Shimano Di2 for Prestige Cycles in the UK.

There will even be a steel 650b hardtail as a co-branding project with fi'zi:k.

As Mosaic only builds fully custom machines, each bike began with a back-and-forth conversation between builder and rider for critical decisions like geometry but also for smaller features such as braze-ons, axle fitments, and paint.

Mosaic will bring a wide range of machines to the show this year in an effort to showcase each of the company's most common builds in both steel and titanium:

Rather than cram those builds on top of an already busy production schedule, Mosaic had the foresight to instead work them into the usual production schedule. Impressively, all of the steel bikes were welded and already en route to be painted at Spectrum Powderworks in Colorado Springs, Colorado, more than a month before the show. Titanium orders were already well underway, too.

A section of thick-walled titanium stock on its way to transforming into a 44mm head tube:

We dropped in to Mosaic's shop last week to see how things were going – and they were clearly going well. Flip through the gallery to see the progress for yourself, then check back in a few days to see the painted steel frames and the titanium frames being finished up.

A trio of freshly welded steel frames waiting for their braze-ons and bridges:

This year's North American Handmade Bicycle Show will take place March 14-16 at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. Tickets are available for US$8-18 per day or $50 for a three-day pass. Attendees can register on the official show website.

James Huang

Technical Editor, US
James started as a roadie in 1990 with his high school team but switched to dirt in 1994 and has enjoyed both ever since. Anything that comes through his hands is bound to be taken apart, and those hands still sometimes smell like fork oil even though he retired from shop life in 2007. He prefers manual over automatic, fizzy over still, and the right way over the easy way.
  • Discipline: Mountain, road, cyclocross
  • Preferred Terrain: Up in the Colorado high-country where the singletrack is still single, the dirt is still brown, and the aspens are in full bloom. Also, those perfect stretches of pavement where the road snakes across the mountainside like an artist's paintbrush.
  • Beer of Choice: Mexican Coke
  • Location: Boulder, Colorado, USA

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