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NAHBS 2012 – Vibe, Richard Sachs, Festka & Cleaver

NAHBS 2012 Vibe Sleigh Ride
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NAHBS 2012 Vibe Sleigh Ride

One of the treats about NAHBS is that you’ll see things you’ve never seen before. Touches not found on your local IBD’s concept store floorplan. Case in point: Vibe Cycles showed off a bamboo fat bike that not only had curvy tubes, but plenty of other little touches that had a lot of builders swinging by.

More on that, plus the race-ready goods of Richard Sachs, some carbon-kevlar-carbon honeycombs from Festka and Cleaver’s super simple, somewhat rough cargo bike…

NAHBS 2012 Vibe Headtube

Internal cable routing and curved “tubes” aren’t things you find too often on bamboo bikes.

NAHBS 2012 Vibe Bottom Bracket

And while most bamboo builders leave their sticks in the open, Vibe painted theirs gloss black with snow flakes. Of course, you need something to keep your insides warm, hence the flask holder.

NAHBS 2012 Vibe Snowflake

Between the seatstays was a cut out plate with a blinky light behind it, the shape mirroring the paint scheme…

NAHBS 2012 Vibe Snowflake Interior

…which was super trick, but the real killer app is that the on/off button was dangling from the stretch cord so you could easily use it with super thick winter gloves. All in all, a very nice bike.

 Richard Sachs

Every year I try to talk to Richard Sachs, and every year he’s inundated with the crowds in his booth. This year, I at least got a head nod. Next year, a hand shake, perhaps. Despite that, here are photos of his race-bred road and cyclocross bikes.

NAHBS 2012 Richard Sachs Cross

Sachs’ bikes are purpose built, but that doesn’t mean they can’t have a few nice touches…like internal cable routing and detailed lug work (above, and below at the brake bridge).

2012 NAHBS Richard Sachs Internal Routing


NAHBS 2012 Festka

Festka’s road bikes were quite lightweight, mostly carbon and hail from the Czech Republic. The MOPS, above, uses a tube-to-tube construction with specific tubes and thicknesses chosen based on rider profile and weight. They claim it’s one of the lightest frames in the world, using magnesium in the few places metal is required on the otherwise all carbon frame.

NAHBS 2012 Festka Weighed

This one came in at 13lbs 7oz with Campagnolo SuperRecord.

NAHBS 2012 Festka Green Headtube

Perhaps not the most aero detail, but the cable guides are pretty cool and keep the housing from rubbing on the frame.

NAHBS 2012 Festka Green Cassette

NAHBS 2012 Festka SRAM

The NUMBERS (F-One) bike uses a dual carbon fiber tube with kevlar honeycomb sandwiched between them.

NAHBS 2012 Festka Tubing

NAHBS 2012 Festka Tubing Details

Similar to the 3D tubes Crumpton was using, this allows both inner and outer carbon tubes to have thinner walls, so the net result is a tube with about the same weight, but they’re much, much stiffer. The top two tube pieces and the honeycomb one was remarkably stiffer, I could barely budge it. Despite the stiffness, Ondrej Novotny says they do a better job of damping vibration.

NAHBS 2012 Festka Details

NAHBS 2012 Festka Chrome

The XCR is, yep, XCr stainless steel.

NAHBS 2012 Festka Chrome Seatstay

NAHBS 2012 Festka Royal Flush

The Royal Flush model uses aluminum lugs with carbon fiber tubes, and you can choose standard carbon tubes or their kevlar sandwiched ones.

NAHBS 2012 Festka Royal Flush Details

Frames start at $2,500 for full custom.


NAHBS 2012 Cleaver

Cleaver’s cargo bike was a bit rough around the edges, but seemed well thought out. Steering was cable driven, which kept weight down and reduced the mechanical complexity of running larger steering components under the box. Small 20″ and 16″ wheels make it easy to maneuver.

NAHBS 2012 Cleaver Details

The frame had an elastomer supported bolt just behind the BB that could uncouple, letting the frame pivot vertically at the bottom just behind the box. This made the otherwise large frame easier to cram into a vehicle if necessary. Or, at least take up less real estate at your apartment’s bike parking or elevator. Wooden boxes are more likely to ship, this was a custom cut metal box just for the show. Claimed frame weight (without the box) is just 20lbs, pretty light for a full size cargo bike.

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11 years ago

Well thought out? Where do your knees go?

just a guy
just a guy
11 years ago

bamboo fat bike=fail.

chainstays way way too long. the rear tire will slip under full pedal pressure especially in snow or sand which is were these fat bike should excel. forget any climbing as well, seated or standing.

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