The best handmade bikes: NAHBS 2016 award winners

A judge from the California handmade show reveals the winners

At the North American Handmade Bicycle Show, a convention hall is filled with bikes that represent the pinnacle of cycling ingenuity and craft. Here, the job of picking award winners is not an easy task. But each of the past four years I’ve had the honor and the chore of doing just that, helping to judge the beautiful bikes on display at NAHBS. This year several categories were especially tough, in which case the judges’ panel decided to include Honorable Mentions. 


With any further ado, here are 2016’s standouts.

Best in Show: Black Cat (27.5+ bikepacking bike)

Best in show went to black cat’s todd ingermanson for his exceptional 27.5+ bikepacking bike. it was built for velorution cycles owner joey ernst. the shop in durango recently partered with bedrock bags and they made special, bolt-on frame and top tube bags for the bike:

Best New Builder: Cryptic

Best new builder went to cryptic cycles for its carbon road bike. the orange county based maker lays up his own carbon tubes based on rider needs and uses boron fibers to keep this frame’s weight below 700g:

President’s Award and Best Campagnolo Bike: Bixxis

Bixxis won both best campagnolo bike and president’s choice for his doriano de rosa’s beautiful red and white road bike. valentino campagnolo won on hand for the award, his first time to nahbs:

People’s Choice: Alchemy

People’s choice winner was alchemy cycles for its arktos full-suspension bike:

Best Road: English (Honorable Mention: Demon)

Rob english’s bikes always impress. this year his personal pink machine delivered like no other in the road category. disc brakes, three bottle mounts, room for 700x35mm tires and sram etap made for an exceptional package that was expertly executed:

Best Mountain Bike: Alchemy Arktos (Honorable Mention: Foes and Moots)

Alchemy launched its arktos dual suspension bike at interbike last fall. the 27.5

Best Cyclocross/Gravel: Eriksen

Best cyclocross/gravel went to eriksen. brad bingham is the company’s head welder and his personal gravel machine featured a custom 12mm rear axle, flat mount rear brake and a custom crank spider for optimal road gearing chainline on the 142x12mm rear spacing:

Best City/Utility: Breadwinner (Honorable Mention: English)

Best city/utility went to breadwinner for its stunning mixte bike:

Best Track Bike: Sarto

Best track went to sarto for its carbon wonder bike. the campagnolo chainring is 1 of 2 in the world. the other was used by alex dowsett in his hour record ride:

Best Artisan Bike: Dekerf (Honorable Mention: English Obree homage)

Best artisan bike went to dekerf for his mind-boggling road bike. all the tubes began as straight, round titanium and were formed by dekert in his vancouver shop:

Best Tandem: Co-Motion

Co-Motion brought home best tandem for its bright white and purple road bike. with di2 shifting, hydraulic brakes and low weight, it was built for fast two-up riding:

Best Lugged: Mark Dinucci

Mark dinucci once again won best lugged bike. dinucci designed the steel tubeset and lugs before brazing them together for one of the world’s most elegant bike framesets:

Best Fillet: Steve Rex

Good fillets will give a monocoque look to steel, blending tubes into one another in beautiful arcs. the rex certainly accomplishes this:

Best TIG: Eriksen (Honorable Mention: Triple 3 Fab)

The complex shapes of the eriksen full suspension frame presents welding problems but the resulting stack of dimes look is a testament to the extreme skill at eriksen’s shop:

Best Carbon Layup: Argonaut (Honorable Mention: Holland)

Argonaut won best layup for its disc brake, integrated seat mast road bike:

Best Finish: Caletti

Star fish, crabs, an ocotopus and other naval items covered the santa cruz inspired finish: star fish, crabs, an ocotopus and other naval items covered the santa cruz inspired finish