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NAHBS 2014: Ritchey Builds His First Fat Bike & First Carbon Breakaway Road Bike! (UPDATED)


It’s not often we want to see someone get fat and go commando, but we’ll give Tom Ritchey a pass.

The new Ritchey Commando fat bike prototype is headed for production, likely coming out this winter. Price is TBD (likely around $1,100), as is some of the final spec. It’s a 170mm rear end for now, but they’re still playing with it and may go to 190mm.

The tubing is their triple butted, heat treated Logic tubing. This one’s a one-off fillet brazed prototype, but production frames will be TIG welded. The 1-1/8″ head tube will stay, and the fork will likely remain QR. Rear also uses a quick release skewer rather than a thru axle. It’ll handle up to a 3.8” tire.

UPDATE 1: Weight corrected for carbon road bike.

UPDATE 2: Price on Carbon Breakaway officially lowered to $2,999.95.

Streak through for more pics and a look at the insanely lightweight Carbon Breakaway road bike…


NAHBS 2014: Argonaut’s Award Winning Gravel Racer & Updated, Lighter Carbon Frames


Argonaut founder Ben Farver sent some fantastic photos of his new Gravel Racer for our pre-show interview, but seeing it in real life was even better.

He built it to handle competitive events like the Oregon Stampede, which is about 70% gravel. It’s not a a gravel grinder, and not meant to add rack or panniers. It’s a race ready bike that just happens to be designed for rough surfaces.

To do that, he takes your ideal road race bike and makes it a bit more stable. For Ben’s own bike, that meant about 5mm longer chainstay length, 3mm more BB drop and half a degree slacker head angle. It’s all custom though, so your version will be right for you.

“The idea is to expand your range,” he said. “To let you get further on more roads.”


NAHBS 2014: Independent Fabrication Gets a Chubby Deluxe & New Stainless Steel Mountain Bikes


Independent Fabrication rolled out a prototype Chubby Deluxe fat bike, literally bringing the proof of concept as the show bike.

This one’s a tooling prototype frame so it’s made without their trademark IF dropouts. But Gary still machined their crown into the solid dropouts, living up to their reputation for attention to detail.

It’ll be a mix of Reynolds (front) and True Temper (rear) tubing. Rear spacing is 170mm, but they’re custom so you could rider it with 190mm of axle space if you like. You could also get it with a 44mm headtube if a tapered fork’s in your plans.

What makes it unique is that it’s basically a big mountain bike, not an excessively long fat bike. That means it’s of the newer generation of sharper handling, faster fat bikes, not the touring style geometry of yore…


NAHBS 2014: Cielo Adds Road Racer Bike, Plus New Stems & Colors


They hinted at it in our pre-show interview but were careful not to give up too much. Now, we’ve got eyes on the new Cielo Road Racer, built with custom drawn ovalized steel tubing. And built for speed.

They use the now common 44mm head tube to fit a tapered fork, a PressFit BB30 bottom bracket for bigger surface area to maximize stiffness and a fairly light frame. The bike shown here came in at a claimed 15.9 pounds. For a steel bike with deep rims.

The frame can be made for mechanical or electronic groups, the latter specifically designed for hidden seatpost batteries. More detail pics below, followed by all their other new goodies…


NAHBS 2014: Calfee Updates Manta Pro, Adds Cyclocross Prototype & Builds a Tandem for One


Calfee has updated their Manta Pro endurance road bike with new options, including a “lockout” block to convert the soft tail design into a hardtail, thru axle options and further refinements to the design.

There was also a prototype Manta Pro Cyclocross bike in the booth, plus a new version of their famous tandems that lets you convert the front and rear sections into a fairly normal one-person road bike for those days when you’re stoker’s a slacker.


NAHBS 2014: Alchemy Gets on the Gravel w/ New Bike & Fork, Plus 700g Helios SL & Serotta Designed Titanium

Alchemy Helios SL ultralight custom carbon fiber road bike at NAHBS 2014

We just toured Alchemy’s Denver, CO, factory last summer, and thought we saw a lot. They must’ve been keeping several projects hidden, though, as there were quite a few surprises at NAHBS!

Shown above, the Helios SL takes their very good looking road bike and drops a whopping 25% off the frame weight! By using a large proportion of lighter, military-grade hi-mod carbon fibers, designer Matt Maczuzak was able to shed considerable grams without having to change the molds. But the result is something he says is one of the very lightest “production” frames available today. As in, it comes in as light as 700g for a 54cm equivalent frame.

Of course, there are tradeoffs to making such a light frame. Read on to see what they are, and see what’s arguably even more exciting than a 700g frame…


NAHBS 2014: Harvey Cycle Works’ Awesome Connector-Less Gravel Grinder Dyanamo Light Rig

Harvey Cycle works connector less dynamo gravel lights bike (7)

In addition to the beautiful gravel bike the lights were hung from, Harvey Cycle Works also makes some trick components like this impressive dynamo set up. While a dynamo set up might not sound like the most exciting thing at first, once you see the genius at work behind the connector-less design, it’s hard not to appreciate.

The beauty of a dynamo hub and light is that there is always power – power that you create. However, dynamos mean somehow transmitting that power from the generator hub to the light itself. This usually means wires, and at least one connector. Kevin Harvey not only figured out how to hide the wires, but also how to allow for installation and removal of the lights, completely trouble free.

Plug in after the break.


NAHBS 2014: Abbey Bike Tools Continues to Impress with new HAG, Pedal Wrench, Crombie Team Issue, Prototypes and more!

Abbey Bike Tools Hag crombie team issue sl prototype (6)

So far, every tool that has come out of Abbey Bike Tool’s Bend, OR production facility has left us impressed, and the latest round of tools looks just as good. At the heart of development would have to be the new HAG derailleur hanger alignment gauge which has been in the works for some time, but definitely worth the wait. In typical Abbey Bike Tools fashion, the HAG is built to meet the exacting needs and precision of pro race mechanics, but includes clever features that any shop mechanic will appreciate.

Align yourself with the new HAG plus check out one of the best pedal wrenches we’ve seen after the break!


NAHBS 2014: Appleman’s Rock Solid 29er Mountain Bike & More

Appleman 29er mountain bike custom carbon fiber bicycle nabs 2014

Appleman gave us a teaser in our Road to NAHBS preview, but his custom 29er still had a few surprises. For starters, it was sitting atop the prototype ENVE carbon rigid fork.

The frame itself was made for a 250lb, 6’4″ guy, so it comes in around three pounds and is the strongest tube set builder Matt Appleman offers. He uses a custom tube maker in Minnesota, which lets him get a specific diameter, wall thicknesse, layer count and layup for each bike and it’s rider.

But the tube set wasn’t the only thing making this bike tough…