Strap in an hold onto your butts, it’s about to get lug-tastic in Utah. The 13th edition of the North American Handmade Bicycle Show is going to be in Salt Lake City for 2017. For the past 12 years, this has been the bicycle equivalent of Fashion Week. A place where framebuilders from the United States and 10 countries from around the world showcase their hard work. As with the past show, we’re sure to see some amazing frame builds and artisnally-crafted lugs and brazing techniques. Carbon? Maybe. Titanium? For sure. Steel? Like you need to ask. One thing is for sure, there will be plus tires. Tickets are on sale now so get ’em while they’re hot.
Moots bicycles are not super popular in Santa Barbara. I expect this is because, even though these things have a significant dollar value attached to them, many Santa Barbarians would rather stick to the bigger name brands. When most people of my economic status think of this bike, I think of a Fred who forks out a huge wad of cabbage for something he really doesn’t need. He would then get kitted out in his finest spandex emblazoned with the latest team to achieve a victory in the most recent big race (Omega Pharma Quick Step from Paris-Roubaix). Setting out to do a hard 20 miles of flat, sun-drenched coastline ride, he makes sure to choose a good route where he is sure to attract the attention of other Freds and hopefully, the Lycra Mafia with his expensive steed and brilliant team (which has no idea who he is) colors. But this is not the case with Stephen. Stephen is from Portland, Oregon. Portland, or PDX if you’re cool, is where riders are made of tougher stuff than us California folk. Most of us tend to be fair-weather riders only. It rains nine months out of the year in Portland. The weather sucks yet it is home to a huge cycling culture. Even Chris King, who used to have his workshop right below our little bike shop here in SB, moved there and now employs something like 80 people. People in Portland tend to know their bikes…well.
The bike that Stephen rides is a Moots Vamoots CR. For those of you who don’t know, Moots is all about handmade titanium frames. This being the first time (right?) that I have seen a Campagnolo Super Record 11 gruppo on a bike, I grabbed my camera so fast I almost broke the lens from the sheer G-forces I placed on it moving it up to my eye. This bike is pretty cool, and you can tell Stephen rides the shit out of this thing. It is not sparkling clean. It is a well-used and well-cared-for bicycle. That makes it all the more awesome. Please check out the gallery below for some rad closeups of this fine conveyance.