Traditional road bikes dominate the floor at NAHBS

Steel, carbon and titanium road bikes galore in Charlotte

Fat bikes and gravel grinders may be the hot new categories at this year's North American Handmade Bicycle Show, but in terms of numbers, the show floor is still dominated by traditional road bikes. Check out the first round of some of the ones that caught our eye in the image gallery at right, plus details on a few select models below.

Alchemy Bicycle Company

Alchemy put its Helios model on a major diet to create the Helios SL. While it uses the same mold as the standard model, changes to the underlying materials and lay-up have brought the claimed weight down to just over 700g for a 54cm frame – a decrease of more than 25 percent from the original Helios.

Even more exciting, though, is the all-new Aiolos titanium road frame, which was designed for Alchemy by Ben Serotta. Alchemy builds the Aiolos with an oversized main frame for a responsive feel and tapered stays for a comfortable ride. Other features include a 44mm-diameter head tube, a PF86 or PF30 bottom bracket shell, custom titanium dropouts.

Alchemy's new aiolos titanium road frame was designed by ben serotta:
Alchemy's new aiolos titanium road frame was designed by ben serotta:

Calfee Design

Calfee's latest Manta Pro carbon road frame is easily the company's highest-performance model – and perhaps its most radical. While the main tubes' huge cross-sections and ovalized shapes scream stiffness, they're coupled with a suspended rear end that provides comfort and traction.

Calfee's manta pro uses enormous tube profiles for what we would expect to be an unyielding stiff chassis - except that it cleverly integrates a rear suspension design to take the edge off of the road:
Calfee's manta pro uses enormous tube profiles for what we would expect to be an unyielding stiff chassis - except that it cleverly integrates a rear suspension design to take the edge off of the road:

The system is similar to Moots' long-running YBB system with a small spring tucked inside a telescoping, tubular seatstay wishbone assembly. Down below, titanium struts are used beneath the chainstays to provide additional strength. Calfee offers five different spring rates to adjust for rider weight and ride preference, and the company can also build the Manta Pro with a fully rigid rear end for those that want a more traditional feel.

Calfee tucks a spring into the seat stay wishbone of its top-end manta pro. different springs are available to accommodate different rider weights and ride preferences:
Calfee tucks a spring into the seat stay wishbone of its top-end manta pro. different springs are available to accommodate different rider weights and ride preferences:

Rim brake and disc brake configurations are available, too, along with thru-axle dropouts and optional braze-ons for racks and fenders.

Craig Calfee also displayed his custom chops with a wild modular carbon fiber road tandem. A clever arrangement of bolt-on stays and S&S couplers allow the bike to quickly and easily convert to a single as needed. As for the price… don't ask.

Calfee also has a long history building innovative carbon fiber tandems. this one is actually a modular design that can be easily converted into a single bike:
Calfee also has a long history building innovative carbon fiber tandems. this one is actually a modular design that can be easily converted into a single bike:

Cielo

Cielo – the frame division of Chris King – launched a new Road Racer model built with oversized chromoly steel tubes, stainless steel accents, a PF30 bottom bracket shell, a 44mm-diameter head tube, and specific routing for mechanical or electronic drivetrains.

Cielo will offer the new road racer in either mechanical or electronic drivetrain-compatible configurations:
Cielo will offer the new road racer in either mechanical or electronic drivetrain-compatible configurations:

Buyers will also have the option of painted-to-match steel stems, too, which also feature aluminum faceplates that are color anodized to perfectly coordinate the company's headsets and hubs.

Cielo's sparse badging actually seems to make a bigger impact as compared to some production machines that are plastered with manufacturer logos:
Cielo's sparse badging actually seems to make a bigger impact as compared to some production machines that are plastered with manufacturer logos:

Crumpton Cycles

Nick Crumpton says his latest Type 5 road frame represents the pinnacle of everything he's learned about building carbon fiber frames. Whereas other models use tubing produced by other companies, the Type 5 features bi-ovalized tubes that are now molded in-house and joined using Crumpton's exquisite tube-to-tube wrapping process.

Crumpton cycles' newest and most advanced carbon chassis is the type 5, built completely in-house including the molded carbon fiber tubes and the hand-wrapped joints :
Crumpton cycles' newest and most advanced carbon chassis is the type 5, built completely in-house including the molded carbon fiber tubes and the hand-wrapped joints :

Pricing starts at US$6,500 with an Enve Composites 1.0 fork.

Holland Cycles

Best known for his titanium and ExoGrid frames, Bill Holland is now branching into full-carbon road frames with the new flagship HC, designed in cooperation with composites guru Mike Lopez. The HC will be built with custom carbon fiber lugs and gorgeous shaped carbon tubes that will be molded in-house.

Holland cycles' latest creation is this all-carbon masterpiece called the hc. tubes and lugs are custom molded in california by renowned carbon master mike lopez, formerly of serotta:
Holland cycles' latest creation is this all-carbon masterpiece called the hc. tubes and lugs are custom molded in california by renowned carbon master mike lopez, formerly of serotta:

Lopez designed the HC's modular construction with multiple lug configurations that can each be machined to allow for custom geometry, too. Tubes will also feature custom lay-ups so that each frame can truly be built to order. Complete frames will weigh right around 1kg.

Gorgeous titanium dropouts on the holland cycles hc:
Gorgeous titanium dropouts on the holland cycles hc:

Standard frames will start at US$6,400 and limited-edition anniversary models – to celebrate Holland's 42nd anniversary – will run US$7,700 with special graphics and a numbered plate. Keep in mind that neither of those prices include a fork.

Holland cycles manages to neatly integrate its logo into the seat stay wishbone. note the weave pattern on the logo as compared to the unidirectional surface of the surrounding material:
Holland cycles manages to neatly integrate its logo into the seat stay wishbone. note the weave pattern on the logo as compared to the unidirectional surface of the surrounding material:

Razik Bicycles

Remember Delta 7's wild IsoTruss carbon fiber 'tubes'? The technology is back, only now the patents have been purchased by Utah-based Razik Bicycles. Razik says it has refined and greatly improved Delta 7's original concept to produce a new road frame called the Vortex that's far more reliable than before – not to mention much better looking with far better cable routing and finish work. Rear ends are molded in-house, too.

Remember delta 7's outrageous isotruss carbon fiber 'tubes'? the concept is back, only this time the patents have been purchased from the now-defunct company by utah-based company razik. the new vortex uses the same technology but in a package that looks far better finished and more complete than the delta 7 ever did:
Remember delta 7's outrageous isotruss carbon fiber 'tubes'? the concept is back, only this time the patents have been purchased from the now-defunct company by utah-based company razik. the new vortex uses the same technology but in a package that looks far better finished and more complete than the delta 7 ever did:

Claimed frame weight is around 850g and yet Razik says the Vortex is "stronger, more rigid and more compliant" than any frame built with traditional carbon tubes. We hope to find out for ourselves soon.

Razik says its refined isotruss process yields far better reliability than before. cable routing is much more cleanly executed now, too:
Razik says its refined isotruss process yields far better reliability than before. cable routing is much more cleanly executed now, too:

Ritchey Design

Ritchey unveiled at this year's NAHBS a new carbon fiber version of its popular Break-Away travel road bike. The new carbon chassis is, as expected, lighter and stiffer than the current titanium and steel versions. However, Ritchey has also opted for slightly smaller-diameter tubing and thicker tube walls so that the bike can still be easily packed – and survive the journey.

Ritchey will soon make available a new carbon fiber break-away travel bike frame. retail price will be us$3,199 for the frameset when it goes on sale in august:
Ritchey will soon make available a new carbon fiber break-away travel bike frame. retail price will be us$3,199 for the frameset when it goes on sale in august:

Retail price will be US$3,199 for the frame, fork, headset, and soft-sided travel case when it goes on sale in August.

Ritchey has modified its long-running break-away design for the new carbon model. interestingly, the seatpost will only be clamped using one half of the frame:
Ritchey has modified its long-running break-away design for the new carbon model. interestingly, the seatpost will only be clamped using one half of the frame:

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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