Re: [CR]NAHBS pictures

(Example: Production Builders:Peugeot)

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Subject: Re: [CR]NAHBS pictures
Date: Mon, 11 Feb 2008 12:08:12 -0500
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From: "Dale Brown" <>

<<...although some of the ornate lugs people did really weren't even graceful shapes, which sort of defeats the whole point of making them fancy, IMHO. >>

I agree Emily, I wasn't crazy about some of the approaches I saw there but? then I remember, as it is with arts & crafts in general,? "graceful shapes" are not universally agreed upon...i.e. tastes vary, different strokes for different folks, and other cliches as appropriate!? :)

I am just so happy that bicycles received all this attention.

Dale Brown cycles de ORO Bike Shop 1410 Mill Street Greensboro, North Carolina 27408 USA 336-274-5959

-----Original Message----- From: Emily O'Brien <> To:; Sent: Mon, 11 Feb 2008 12:00 pm Subject: [CR]NAHBS pictures

Speaking of impressive wood bicycles, check this one out:

In looking at the pictures from NAHBS, I felt that there were a lot of bikes there where the builder was trying to sculpt an idea, a concept, rather than build a bike. They were building something that conjures an image and makes you feel a certain way to look at it, not something that's really going to be ridden. A good example was the white fixed gear with integrated handlebars/stem and an integrated brake lever. The way that lever is positioned, it would be practically unusable; the bar is rectangular, and if you were actually squeezing the lever, the corner would be digging into your hand, not to mention the weight you'd be putting on it if you were actually decelerating. The cable for the brake was routed through the bar and out through a tiny hole in the underside of the stem, where it comes out and goes straight down. Any tension in it at all, and you've got a 90-degree kink in the cable. It'll fray quickly and it won't return easily by the time you've used it a couple of times. But the overall effect of the bike was certainly a dramatic representation of fixed gear street culture, or something like that. There were others that seemed like similar "conceptual" designs of track/street fixie bikes, commuters/cruisers, cargo bikes, etc. Lots of neat looking features, but designed more as ridable sculpture to evoke an emotion or association than as a utilitarian vehicle built to a particular purpose but with a beautiful aesthetic. There seemed to be a lot of "problem solving" in the sense of looking too hard for problems to solve. There was also a lot of what I'd call excessive integration, where the builder is trying so hard for a completely integrated, unified bike that a rider would have no options if something broke, if their needs changed, or if they just wanted to try out a different rack/handlebar/lever/brake/crank/drivetrain/shifter/whatever.

But I don't mean mean to be completely curmudgeonly about it; there was a lot of really neat stuff, and a lot of really interesting ideas that have real potential. And even if it's not always my cup of tea, I applaud the principle of an extravagant paint job and excessive decoration (although some of the ornate lugs people did really weren't even graceful shapes, which sort of defeats the whole point of making them fancy, IMHO).

Thanks for the pictures, in any case!

Emily O'Brien
Medford, MA