DENVER, Colo. -- The ninth annual North American Handmade Bicycle Show, Presented by Shimano, ended in its traditional way with the second group of NAHBS Awards and the announcement of next year's show venue, which in 2014 will be Charlotte, NC, most likely in early March.
The season's heaviest snow in Denver resulted in a slightly smaller crowd this year.
Around 6200 attendees over the three days of the show saw products from 200 exhibitors. Organizers had been expecting around 7000.
Show founder and president Don Walker said, "I'd call it a very solid show this year. We set a new exhibitor record, and although our attendee numbers were hit by the snow, Coloradans clearly weren't going to miss this opportunity so we still ended up with a good crowd. Looking ahead to next year, I am excited to go to Charlotte, North Carolina, which has a very good cycling culture and a broad interest in things handmade."
As to themes at this year's NAHBS, wider tires proliferated. The fast-emerging category variously known as all-road, gravel-road, or adventure-road - all bikes with wider tires, from about 30mm up to 48mm were seen in dozens of booths.
At least three BMX bikes were on the show floor this year, which NAHBS veterans though a record, and snow-tired 'fat bikes' were present in more than a dozen booths.
On the subject of materials. "If there was any movement at all it looked like a slight shift toward steel, with a wide array of steel tubing brands and much creativity in the ways that it was used," said Matt Butterman, show week editor of NAHBS News.