Second look: Portland Handmade Show

Lugs, crowns, exotic gear systems and more…

Describing the bikes on display at the 4th Annual North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHMBS) presented by Don Walker as rideable art is a gross understatement. One couldn’t walk three paces without nearly tripping over the feast of road, ‘cross, randonneuring, transportation, 29er, 650Ber, and delivery bikes dotting the Portland Convention Center Saturday.


Complete bikes are attention grabbers at shows like these, but a bike has many parts, and we thought it would be cool to highlight some of the many pieces that make up the complete bike puzzle.

White industries stainless and titanium bottom bracket spindles.: white industries stainless and titanium bottom bracket spindles.
Gary Boulanger/BikeRadar

White Industries is a small manufacturer in Petaluma, CA. Their stainless steel and titanium bottom brackets are strong, light and a perfect compliment to the…

White industries adjustable bcd crank.: white industries adjustable bcd crank.
Gary Boulanger/BikeRadar

…White Industries adjustable bolt circle diameter crankset.

With the current randonneuring movement, White Industries is enjoying the same attention given to TA Specialties, a French component maker. Owner Doug White is tickled with the demand. Marin County neighbour Steve Potts, founder of WTB now building titanium and steel frames, can barely keep up with the demand for his Type II steel forks, developed by former WTB partner and longtime collaborator Charlie Cunningham.

Potts type iii steel fork.: potts type iii steel fork.
Gary Boulanger/BikeRadar

Potts Type II steel fork, developed by Charlie Cunningham in the early 1980s and refined by Steve Potts.

White leather brooks saddle.: white leather brooks saddle.
Gary Boulanger/BikeRadar

Brooks leather saddle, now in creamy white.

In addition to Chris King headsets, Brooks saddles are probably the most noticeable accoutrement adorning 95 percent of the bikes at the Portland Convention Center. Wisconsin-made Selle An-Atomica leather saddles add a nice flavour to any custom bike.

Selle unatomica leather saddles – made in wisconsin.: selle unatomica leather saddles – made in wisconsin.
Gary Boulanger/BikeRadar

Gotta wonder about that long slot, eh? I’ve ridden them on bike camping trips on Mount Diablo with the Rivendell gang, and they’re pretty amazing saddles.

Wheels are an important part of any bicycle, and the hub and rims choices are staggering. The Show had a few novelties, plus a handfull of recognizable brands like Zipp, Shimano and Cane Creek.

Italian wooden rims – new, not old stock.: italian wooden rims – new, not old stock.
Gary Boulanger/BikeRadar

Wheel Fanatyk Ric Hjertberg (FSA’s new technology director by day) is the US importer of these tubular and clincher Ghisallo wood rims from Italy.

Zipp wheels look good on any bike.: zipp wheels look good on any bike.
Gary Boulanger/BikeRadar

Flash-Point and Zipp carbon wheels have their place at a Handmade Bicycle Show.

Send in the crowns

The old-school way of making forks includes a steer tube, fork crown, fork blades and fork tips. Pacenti, Henry James and Richard Sachs all provide these to the tight circle of handmade fork makers, most of whom were showing off their stuff in Portland.

Pacenti fork crowns were found on bikes throughout the show.: pacenti fork crowns were found on bikes throughout the show.
Gary Boulanger/BikeRadar

Pacenti fork crowns and bottom bracket shells.

American-made henry james fork crown.: american-made henry james fork crown.
Gary Boulanger/BikeRadar

Henry James fork crowns, used on many Waterford steel bikes.

Richard sachs lugs and crowns.: richard sachs lugs and crowns.
Gary Boulanger/BikeRadar

Richard Sachs crowns and shells.


Check back on for more thrilling reports and detailed photos in the coming days!