How many classes in college would you have voluntarily taken multiple times? For students at the University of Iowa, one class in on that list for sure – Steve McGuire’s bike building class. Blending students from engineering and art backgrounds, the class teaches individuals how to design, cut, miter, bend, weld, finish, and ultimately ride hand built bicycles using the latest technology along with classic frame building skills. In addition to Steve’s tutelage, class mentors include frame building greats like Tom Teesdale and James Bleakley (Black Sheep). Not your average lectures then. Together the class sent 9 students and 14 frames and bikes to NAHBS with some impressive builds in the mix like the 36er tandem above…
The pictures don’t do justice to how big this thing really is. Crafted by Josh Van Stippen and Bobby Tso, the monstrous Ti tandem was easily the biggest I’ve seen. Riding this through the woods would be awesome yet terrifying. You can definitely see the Black Sheep influence in truss fork and the swooping tubes. Not to mention the first time I ever saw a 36er was when someone from Black Sheep rolled up to New Belgium Brewery on his.
Fat bikes were a very popular choice among students with 5 of them on display. This particular bike had an awesome chainstay yoke with an Iowa farm scene cut into the metal.
The only trials bike we saw at the show belonged to Jim Busby – which was expertly crafted, mind you.