The 2005 North American Handmade Bicycle Show was the original event that brought together handmade bicycle frame builders.
Since that first show, NAHBS has unified and galvanized the handmade bicycle industry, and it remains the most widely accessible physical access point to the frame builders themselves.
The show began as, and remains, the largest and most important gathering of custom bicycle builders anywhere in the world. It features all conceivable types of bicycle: Some dazzlingly beautiful, some you thought might have been impossible to build, some very fuctional and utilitarian, and others that are simply classics of their genres.
Whatever types of bike they are, they’re all of the highest quality at NAHBS. All of our booth holders have completed at least 50 frames and spent at least two years as a professional builder. Each of them carries product liability insurance and is a highly reputable and respected member of the industry.
From 2005 to 2011 the show has been held in Houston, Tx; San Jose, Ca (twice); Portland, Or; Indianapolis, In; Richmond, Va; and Austin, Tx.
Why do we keep moving? First this keeps the show fresh, hitting a new city full of enthusiastic bicycle lovers each year. Second, it is only fair to bring the show closer to regional groups of attendees and exhibitors each year on a rotational basis to spread the financial load of attending the show. Third, we think this is the best way to keep bringing the show to the largest number of new and existing customers.
Although the bicycles on the convention room floor are the stars of the show, arguably the most valuable feature of NAHBS is the seminar series. The information in these sessions conveys the wisdom and knowledge of the most accomplished names in the industry of bicycle building. We believe there is no richer syllabus in all of cycling!
After six successful years, it appears The North American Handmade Bicycle Show has become established as the world’s number one handmade bicycles show. In addition to many US frame builders, exhibitors from countries including Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, and The Netherlands have helped the show become what it is.
Since 2005, NAHBS has been consistently dedicated to showcasing the talents of individuals around the world whose art form is the bicycle. It continues to aim to be a meeting point-online and in person-for frame builders and cycling enthusiasts, for the sharing of ideas, and the promotion of a special industry with a rich history dating back to 1819.
Since its first year in 2005, NAHBS has grown from a show with 23 exhibitors and 700 attendees, to a high water mark of 150 exhibitors and 7,200 attendees in 2008. The overall trend from 2005-11 is one of steady growth at a rate of 8-10% a year.
I got the chance to see the NAHBS when it was in Indianapolis a few years ago. Here are some pics from the trip. If you get a chance to go to the show do so.