NAHBS 2012 – Vibe, Richard Sachs, Festka & Cleaver
One of the treats about NAHBS is that you’ll see things you’ve never seen before. Touches not found on your local IBD’s concept store floorplan. Case in point: Vibe Cycles showed off a bamboo fat bike that not only had curvy tubes, but plenty of other little touches that had a lot of builders swinging by.
More on that, plus the race-ready goods of Richard Sachs, some carbon-kevlar-carbon honeycombs from Festka and Cleaver’s super simple, somewhat rough cargo bike…
Internal cable routing and curved “tubes” aren’t things you find too often on bamboo bikes.
And while most bamboo builders leave their sticks in the open, Vibe painted theirs gloss black with snow flakes. Of course, you need something to keep your insides warm, hence the flask holder.
Between the seatstays was a cut out plate with a blinky light behind it, the shape mirroring the paint scheme…
…which was super trick, but the real killer app is that the on/off button was dangling from the stretch cord so you could easily use it with super thick winter gloves. All in all, a very nice bike.
Every year I try to talk to Richard Sachs, and every year he’s inundated with the crowds in his booth. This year, I at least got a head nod. Next year, a hand shake, perhaps. Despite that, here are photos of his race-bred road and cyclocross bikes.
Sachs’ bikes are purpose built, but that doesn’t mean they can’t have a few nice touches…like internal cable routing and detailed lug work (above, and below at the brake bridge).
Festka’s road bikes were quite lightweight, mostly carbon and hail from the Czech Republic. The MOPS, above, uses a tube-to-tube construction with specific tubes and thicknesses chosen based on rider profile and weight. They claim it’s one of the lightest frames in the world, using magnesium in the few places metal is required on the otherwise all carbon frame.
This one came in at 13lbs 7oz with Campagnolo SuperRecord.
Perhaps not the most aero detail, but the cable guides are pretty cool and keep the housing from rubbing on the frame.
The NUMBERS (F-One) bike uses a dual carbon fiber tube with kevlar honeycomb sandwiched between them.
Similar to the 3D tubes Crumpton was using, this allows both inner and outer carbon tubes to have thinner walls, so the net result is a tube with about the same weight, but they’re much, much stiffer. The top two tube pieces and the honeycomb one was remarkably stiffer, I could barely budge it. Despite the stiffness, Ondrej Novotny says they do a better job of damping vibration.
The XCR is, yep, XCr stainless steel.
The Royal Flush model uses aluminum lugs with carbon fiber tubes, and you can choose standard carbon tubes or their kevlar sandwiched ones.
Frames start at $2,500 for full custom.
Cleaver’s cargo bike was a bit rough around the edges, but seemed well thought out. Steering was cable driven, which kept weight down and reduced the mechanical complexity of running larger steering components under the box. Small 20″ and 16″ wheels make it easy to maneuver.
The frame had an elastomer supported bolt just behind the BB that could uncouple, letting the frame pivot vertically at the bottom just behind the box. This made the otherwise large frame easier to cram into a vehicle if necessary. Or, at least take up less real estate at your apartment’s bike parking or elevator. Wooden boxes are more likely to ship, this was a custom cut metal box just for the show. Claimed frame weight (without the box) is just 20lbs, pretty light for a full size cargo bike.