road riding in Penang | Malaysia

The North American Hand-Made Bicycle Show 2007, Part I
story and photos by Low Kwan Seng


This is truly a people's bike show. This is the show for the small guys, who are shut out by the mainstream bike industry, as they do not have the volume. Unlike the big shows such as Interbike and Eurobike, there is no impersonal big corporation with flashy million-dollar booths and scantily clad show girls [Ed: Is that bad?].

Any cyclist with a passion for custom bikes can walk up to the booth and talk to the builder(s). You get all your questions answered by the person who is actually holding the torch or epoxy, knowing that person will put his/her full attention to build a frame just for you and no one else.

We residents in San Jose have our fair share of problems of traffic congestion and over development. For some reason, we are also blessed with a major bike tour (the Tour of California), a bike show such as this, a dozen bike clubs/teams within 10 square miles and endless supply of local bike races and century rides. Less than 3 miles from where I live are some of the best climbs in the country.

Anyway, let's get on with the show… this year we've a new addition to the show: Pegoretti. Their booth is next to Richard Sachs'. However, Dario himself is nowhere to be seen, and I was told he was wondering somewhere in the hallway.

Dario's booth is colourful and full of pics.

The dramatic paint scheme of the Responsorium, Pegoretti's new steel model which replaces the Marcelo as Dario's flagship model. The Responsorium is made of Columbus' new stainless steel tubeset, reputed to be developed with input from Dario himself.

Another new graphics scheme for 2007.

Here is Richard Sachs, busy taking pictures with customers:

Moving on, we stop at a booth called Spectrum PowderWorks. These guys are professional bike painters. Just look at their works of art:

Classic WW II fighter plane paintjob, don't you think?

There is a German builder at the show, Marschall. They make full stainless steel framesets (lugs and tubing). And their prices are very reasonable compared to some U.S. builders.

Waterford this year displays some very impressive lugwork on their frames. A price of US$10,000 was asked for this frameset. Is it worth it? Only the buyer can decide! Just look at the ornate lugwork, imagine the labour and love put in to carving the lugs...

Thanks for reading, and we'll have more photos in Part II soon.

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