2015 NAHBS – March 6-8 - The Kentucky International Convention Center
News from NAHBS: NAHBS Sponsors, Q&A, and Exhibitor News

With just over three weeks until showtime, NAHBS is excited to share the most recent and noteworthy show news with you!

First of all, we are proud to announce Shimano has signed on as a show sponsor. We are very happy to have such a heavy-hitter joining the show.

Second, we have a Q&A with Buzzworthy show exhibitor Charles Wells from Holland Cycles. Holland and their ExoGrid frames are really something to check out.

Finally, see what’s in store with a few of our exhibitors at this year’s show…

Sit back, relax, and enjoy the read. We’ll look forward to seeing you in Louisville!


Exhibitor, attendee, and media registration is quick, easy, and available online. Just visit the NAHBS website and look for the 2015 Registration Link on the homepage. And while we will always have room for media and attendees wanting to walk the show, 10×10, 10×20, and 20×20 exhibitor spaces are filling up quick!

If you have any questions about registration, please email Robin Rinehart at  registration@handmadebicycleshow.com and she will assist you.

Media attendees can contact Scott Kaier at scott@smakstrategies.com for more information.

NAHBS Sponsor Highlight- Shimano

NAHBS is proud to announce Shimano has signed on as a sponsor for the 2015 show! This year, Shimano is working with several bike builders to showcase the potential of their new e-bike electric assist system called Shimano Steps.  Keep an eye out on the show floor for new bikes featuring this technology.

“We are more than happy to sponsor NAHBS as it is a great opportunity for us to support an event that provides a platform for frame builders and their work to be seen on a global level,” said Dustin Brady, Shimano marketing manager. “New designs launched at NAHBS sometimes influence the direction that larger bike companies take and it is always fun to see and discover the new creations.”

Shimano has been a supporter of NAHBS since the beginning and will have a small booth at this year’s show for those who want to connect directly with the brand. “Ultimately, this show is about the frame builders,” said Brady. “We just want to do our part to help them be successful.”



This week’s Buzzworthy Builder is Holland Cycles, Inc. Based in San Diego, CA Holland Cycles makes some pretty unique rides, combining titanium and carbon fiber into their signature ExoGrid frames. We were able to get some time with Holland partner, wheelbuilder, and apprentice frame builder Charles Wells to get the inside story on the company.

Business Name: Holland Cycles Inc.

Person Name: Charles Wells

Title/Position: Partner / Wheelbuilder / Apprentice Frame Builder

Location: San Diego CA

Year Founded: 1986

Number of Employees: 7

Website:  www.hollandcycles.com

Contact Info:  619-469-1772, info@hollandcycles.com

How long have you been building bikes/frames? How did you get your start?

I’ve been in and out of the bike business since the mid-eighties, and somewhere along the way I developed an obsession with wheel building.  Building great wheels is what got my foot in the door at Holland Cycles.

Now, I’m a long way from being a frame builder, but I’m currently under the tutelage of a man who is among the best, Bill Holland.  I joined Holland Cycles five years ago with the aim of ultimately being the guy who would build the Hollands for our children and grandchildren.  We have a growing business and it has only been in the last year that I’ve been able to divert some time to actually learning the frame building process. I’m at the point now that I’m practiced at the bulk of our fabrication process, and am showing some promise.  But there is so much more to frame building than just fabrication.  I’m really looking forward to learning the fitting and design aspects of the process as well.  When I’ve mastered all three elements of frame building, and with Bill’s seal of approval, then I’ll call myself a frame builder.

ExoGrid looks pretty interesting. What are some of the challenges and benefits of this bike?  

For custom builders, Exogrid is quite a commitment.  It’s an awfully expensive material to work with and presents a lot of inventory as well as fabrication challenges.  In order to build truly custom bikes, we stock a huge selection of tubes of different diameters as well as length of the carbon layup, in order for the bikes to share proportional amounts of carbon and titanium regardless of how small or large.  On the fabrication end, an Exogrid frame probably takes us a third again as much time as a titanium frame, and mistakes are much less forgiving and substantially more costly.  All that said, the results are worth the extra cost and effort. Exogrid yields exceptional ride quality.  It really offers a rare opportunity to enhance both performance and comfort.  The added carbon improves the torsional stiffness of the original titanium tube while at the same time contributing substantial vibration damping. The exceptional ride quality of Exogrid is also having a real influence on our next generation full carbon bike, the HC, as Bill will not be satisfied until he can deliver a carbon frame that exceeds the ride quality of what has up until now been our flagship.

What is your favorite kind of bike to build and why?  

We build road bikes almost exclusively.  Bill has chosen to focus on road designs because that is what he rides himself, and where he is best capable of exceeding a client’s expectations.  In short, Holland Cycles has chosen to do one thing great.

The builds I get most excited about are our Jet travel frames.  Because they are custom, each one is its own challenge to fit the complete bike in its 26x26x10 travel case, and I’ve enjoyed working with our customers to help them become adept at packing these bikes.  The design is clean and light, and they really are everyday bikes that can travel.

As a business, what are some of benefits and challenges to offering both bikes and custom wheels?  

In a lot of ways it has been my commitment to hand built custom wheels that delayed my frame building apprenticeship.  And while frame building is essential to my future in this business, I really believe quite strongly that we would be doing our customers a disservice if we didn’t offer wheels that live up to the quality of everything else we offer.  But for the frame, nothing contributes more to the ride quality of a bike than the wheels, and like frames, wheels are not “one size fits all.”

I would also say that the benefits are substantial.  Being known as a source for quality wheel building is for many of our customers their first entire into Holland Cycles.  Quite a few have come in for wheels and eventually left with a custom frame.

What is your business’ biggest challenge? Biggest success?

Managing growth while attempting to develop new products has probably been our most significant challenge.  We’ve been growing steadily, adding staff, and moved into a new showroom, all while developing a truly custom carbon frame.  It’s been pretty taxing…

As for our biggest success, while we have a lot to be proud of, I’ve got to believe our best is ahead of us.  Ask Bill that question next year, and my bet is he will respond “the HC, hands down.”

When you’re not building bikes, how do you spend your time?

Family time!  I’ve a wonderful wife and two year old daughter (who’s first three syllable word was “bicycle,” no kidding).  I throw my leg over my Holland when I can fit it in, but most of the time that means with my daughter in tow.  Honestly, when I need a little quiet time I just like to sneak out to the garage and start a new set of wheels.

On to NAHBS… why is it important for your business to exhibit at the show?

As a small regional frame builder, NAHBS offers us a much needed opportunity to introduce ourselves to cyclists outside of San Diego. Presently, we sell 80-90% of our bikes in Southern California.  It’s essential to our continued growth that we increase sales out of our traditional sphere of influence.

This will be our fourth consecutive year exhibiting at NAHBS.  We’ve gotten great one on one exposure to prospective clients as well as establishing some really valuable industry connections.  It has also consistently generated solid media exposure.  It’s just been a great way for Holland Cycles to make a little noise despite our smallish marketing budget.


With over 100 exhibitors descending on Louisville this March, we have a ton of exciting news to share. Following is a small sampling of what’s new and newsworthy from NAHBS this year.

Connor Wood Bicycles

Booth #302


At the show in will also be rolling out a new bike model.  After a few years of creating cruiser, city and mountain bikes with my beautiful aesthetic and amazing ride quality I’ve branched out into narrow(er) tires.  A new Cyclocross /Gravel bike is in the works for the show.  It will sport fat knobbies, a Lynskey through axle fork with matching 142mm through axle rear.  Driving it will be a modified SRAM CX1 drive train with the 10-42 mountain cassette.  It will also be done out of walnut wood and will have a very different look from my other bikes. Pictures are coming soon but be sure to see it at the show.

Cysco Cycles

Booth #603


We are building a custom cx bike for a sergeant first class that just retired from the army. He did many tours to Afghanistan, he received a bronze star and two purple hearts toward his top missions he carried out over there and he was wounded twice. The bike is going to be themed toward his medals and missions. The reason why were building this custom bike is to help aid in his recovery from the combat  injuries he received during. He will be heavily involved the ride to recovery and will be riding in the millennium races. He will be at the show in are booth with his bike.

Fifield E-Bikes

Booth #213


Four years ago, Fifield began a search for a bike builder who was able to design and build custom high-end electric bicycles, a product that was not widely available. Longtime icon in the industry, Ted Wojcik, took his 35 bike-building years of experience and partnered up with Fifield to complete the task. The result of this partnership was a line of dependable and powerful electric bikes that look, ride, and feel like a classic bicycle. Fifield’s premiere step-over and step-through bicycles are hand-crafted on a butted chrome moly steel frame with top-of-the-line Shimano Alfine components. These e-bikes are built with a minimal maintenance, internally geared system that works in conjunction with the Gates carbon belt drive.

Gates Carbon Drive

Booth #519


Continuing its NAHBS tradition of commissioning show-stopping belt drive bikes without chains Gates will showcase its new Carbon Drive Red belts that bring a splash of color to bike drives. Gates is partnering with REEB Cycles and Cycle Monkey, the US distributor for Rohloff internally geared hubs, on a showcase of red belted internally geared bikes across many styles including commuter, touring, mountain, dirt jumper, and fat bike. The Gates belt drive pairs perfectly with internally geared hubs and allows for clean, sexy and low-maintenance bikes without greasy chains or derailleurs. REEB is building five custom belt drive bikes in a range of styles and featuring the Gates red belts, while Cycle Monkey has commissioned bikes with Gates belts combined with Rohloff hubs from Calfee, Independent Fabrications and Black Sheep.

KC Bike Collective

Booth #718


My name is Vincent Rodriguez and I own a bike shop coffee roastery in KC called Velo + and Maps Coffee Roasters in Lenexa, KS. I am also a steel frame builder who showed at the NAHBS New Builder Table in 2013. I left my career with a major coffee company after 18yrs to start my own bike shop. Since opening my bike shop in 2013, I have focused on growing locally made bicycle products and approaching the business in a different way, Bikes Coffee and Sometimes Beer. This is our chance to show the community how we came together for success.

Pace Sportswear

Booth #744


Pace Sportswear started out making custom cycling caps for local bike shops back in the 70’s and through the years expanded into clothing and private label programs.  However, the cycling cap has always remained the main attraction. Located in Southern California and offering an art and digital printing department, cutting, sewing, finishing and warehouse, Pace prides itself with manufacturing everything in the USA. Complete with full body sublimation printing and local Huntington Beach screen printing services. Pace offers a complete line of cotton and technical headwear. The Pace custom division focuses on cycling apparel and headwear for corporate promotions, teams, clubs and events.


HOST HOTEL: Galt House

Just seven miles from the airport, with 1,300 guest rooms and 650 suites, the Galt House offers the best in convenience, comfort, and hospitality. The hotel features 9 restaurants & lounges, 24-hour on-site deli, on-site UPS Business Center, and many other amenities.  Special NAHBS rates are below:

RIVUE TOWER – Deluxe Guestroom

Single $ 135.00 / Double $ 135.00 / Triple $ 145.00 / Quad   $ 155.00

SUITE TOWER – Executive Suite

Single $ 155.00 / Double $ 155.00 / Triple $ 165.00 / Quad $ 175.00

Other Galt House Links

Photo & Video Gallery: click here

For Hotel Reservations, click here


Established in 2005, the North American Handmade Bicycle Show is the largest and most widely accessible destination for frame builders to share their passion with cycling enthusiasts and supporters. It aims to be a meeting point – both online and in person- for frame builders and consumers looking for custom-made bikes, for the sharing of ideas, and the promotion of a special industry with a rich history dating back to 1819. NAHBS moves from city to city each year. For more information on the 2015 show, please visit http://www.2015.handmadebicycleshow.com/
The NAHBS team is 100% focused on creating an exciting, impactful, and well-attended event in 2015 and hope you will be joining us for what we think will be the most successful show yet.

Thanks for your continued support of NAHBS. I look forward to hearing from you and seeing you in Louisville March 6th-8th!


Don Walker

Don Walker,  Founder and President