29"er "Nabs" People's Choice Award At NAHBS

The North American Handmade Bicycle Show just concluded and the awards were handed out Sunday for some absoulutely incredible bicycles. Amongst them was a 29″er. The “People’s Choice Award” for the show went to second time winner Sam Whittington of Naked Bicycles for his full suspension big wheeler. Here’s the full text from the NAHBS blog:

Naked Bicycles from British Columbia once again won the heart of the NAHBS crowd.
Wooden components are used for the seat post, hand grips and pedals, and the frame features particular curves that builder Sam Whittingham states he has a liking for. “Bicycles should be more feminine as it softens their lines”, he says.
The Mountain bike uses the 29″ wheel, which Whittingham says is well suited to the BC riding conditions.

If you want one like it, figure on about $18,000 or so.

The design used FSA head sets for main pivot bearings and Chris King’s new “Inset” as a head set proper. The rims were also wood construction as well as the other components mentioned in the NAHBS quote above. The bike featured nickle plating of various frame components and suspension pieces. In a sort of ironic twist, the bike featured Avid mechanical disc brakes, the rear unit being operated by a cable which pierced through the seat stay.

Twenty Nine Inches would like to congratulate all the award winners from the 2009 NAHBS and a special tip of the hat goes to this outstanding custom 29″er.

Editor’s Note: Picture credit: NAHBS. For more pictures and information about the North American Handmade Bicycle Show, go to the official website.


No Responses to “29"er "Nabs" People's Choice Award At NAHBS”

  1. MMcG Says:

    That bike is cool and all – but $18K ??? C’mon.

  2. Guitar Ted Says:

    MMcG: Well, it took six weeks to make that one bike. Figure what you make just in labor for that time, then figure in all the materials and machining, plating costs, paint, assembly. I don’t know, but I can see where it has to be way up there in price.

  3. grannygear Says:

    Considering a one of a thousand Specialized carbon bike is over 6K, 18K does not sound so unreasonable for what it represents in time and uniqueness. Do I want one? No. But I do appreciate the vision.

  4. Jared Says:

    A single speed FS bike? Interesting.

  5. Shiny Flu Says:

    Whilst the colour doesn’t do much more me, same goes for the rather exuberant lugs. I definitely appreciate the work and craftsmanship. I really like the use of headsets for pivots. That alone wins me over.

  6. MMcG Says:

    GT – oh I’m sure it cost that and more to make, and it turned out really really cool. But, in these current times, would there really be a market for that? Maybe there is one person out there willing to buy it though (if it is even for sale) so that’s all that is needed I guess.

    I guess it leaves me thinking. Are some bikes just built for art or to showcase craftsmanship, whereas others are built to have the snot ridden out of them. I guess something that falls in the middle of those two extremes is what is appealing to me personally.

  7. GreenLightGo Says:

    MMcG – I think it’s as much a showcase of talent as it is exploring the realm of the possible (and desirable). The economy is not affecting everyone the same. While I personally would not take that fully over my Sultan – for my intended purposes anyway – if fiscally able – I’d have one for the pure enjoyment and style.

  8. jimmythefly Says:

    Yeah, I think you’ve got at least part of it GreenLightGo. If you’re a builder out to display the range and depth of your talents, why not go whole-hog? The final customer can decide to have you build a more understated machine.

    It does disturb me that Sam has said he’ll probably replace the wood seatpost before riding it extensively. I’m sure that’s wise, but I think the bikes that win awards at this show should be rideable for years as they sit. If they they want to add an award for design/models/mockups great, I just think it should be a clear line.

  9. Cloxxki Says:

    Had he tested such a seatpost for durability (at a certified institute), the bike would have been $20k. But I would have preferred that too.

    Original and out of the box thinking, I like that.

  10. Dirt McGirt Says:

    I shorted out my keyboard drooling over that thing there….

  11. oliver Says:

    Over priced, you can three motorcycles or a car for that money. Hand made or not, mountain bikes are way over priced for what you get.

  12. Guitar Ted Says:

    oliver: While I will not deny that the price is high, let’s be honest here. Comparing “handmade bicycles” to assembly line goods isn’t being fair. Also, it must be apparent that we are looking at a highly customized machine with several one-off features. The direct comparison would be more appropriate if you were to mention a Boyd Coddington custom car, or an Orange County Choppers motorcycle.

    I think then you might find the disparity in prices a bit easier to understand. 😉

    But to your idea that mountain bikes in general seem “way overpriced for what you get”, I think that there is a debate there that makes sense to consider. I do not agree with your assessment, but I can see where someone could be coming from with that. However; to use this bike as an example to support that theory is not very realistic.

  13. Dirt McGirt Says:

    Oliver= sh*t stirring lurker….

  14. Dirt McGirt Says:

    Motorcycles are for rednecks….

    There, I have officially lowered myself to your level. Now back to MTBR with you…

  15. jonnyB Says:

    Is full suspension ss going to be the next niche market big thing? Is anyone else doing it?
    What thinks ye?

  16. Guitar Ted Says:

    jonnyB: Folks have been “franken-single speeding” full suspension bikes for quite awhile now. However; there are and have been purpose built single speed full suspension single speed rigs.

    You can get a 29″er LenzSport “Milk Money” now which is a really great ss FS design. I have ridden with a guy that owns one and it performed flawlessly. In the right setting, he told me it is more fun than humans should be allowed to have. That said, I don’t see a huge market in this type of rig.

  17. oliver Says:

    I hear what you are saying, but 18k for a hand made bike is still a lot. It is a beautiful bike, but I thought Jones bike where steep.

    Dirt McGirl, Blow me! I was using it as a price comparison.

  18. dirtsurfer Says:

    Cool looking bike, but does it work? In other words, how does it actually ride?

    Bike art IMO, not very practical. Hopefully this type of bike doesn’t set the standard for what bike will win at the NAHMBS.

  19. Guitar Ted Says:

    dirtsurfer: You might be interested to know that the builder built this for himself, tested it pre-paint, and plans on riding it now after NAHBS in British Columbia. (The only thing he’s not going to use is the wooden seat post)

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