NAHBS is often a showcase of the newest trends in the bike world. From Speed Release axles to gravel bike suspension forks, the 2017 edition was no different, but thanks to The Pro’s Closet, there was plenty of vintage bike jewelry to obsess over as well. I’ll admit that I’m a bit of a vintage bike nerd, so seeing all these amazing bikes in one place was a highlight of the show. What made it even better was that classic bikes like this Moot Mountaineer were built by guys like Kent Eriksen who is still building and was even on hand at the show…
Moots (and Eriksen) bikes have come a long way since this early 1984 Moots Mountaineer. Like many of these bikes, the Mountaineer was basically built for bikepacking before it was cool.
The Breezer Series 1 from 1978 was a huge stepping stone in the evolution of the mountain bike. Purpose built chromoly with a full complement of components, it was a big departure from the early Klunkers.
Before fat bike components existed, you had to make your own. A popular way of building in additional float was to lace two rims to the same hub and mount two tires side by side. Effective, but not exactly the performance level of fat bikes today.
Old Kleins are always fun to drool over – especially when they’re ex Tinke Juarez race bikes.
I love this bike, mostly for the remote actuated Hite Rite “dropper post.” Talk about being ahead of your time. It looks like it could be the IRD Remote Quick Release which was added to the Hite Rite and operated by a friction thumb shifter at the bar. The lever would allow you to open the seat post clamp, and you could push the seat down like a standard dropper and close the clamp. When you would open it again, the compressed spring of the Hite Rite would allow the post to raise.
This 1984 J.P. Weigle “Playboy’s Best Custom Bike” had an amazing vintage Campy group, and while those Delta brakes apparently never stopped very well – they certainly are beautiful.
According to the description on The Pro’s Closet museum page, this incredibly rare Confente Pro-Strada was number 47 out of only 135 bikes that Mario Confente built before he died at the age of 34.
Of course TPC wouldhave an amazing Tom Ritchey Road bike in their collection. And how about those brake pads? Finned for cooling?
Another Cunningham, this time an Alan road bike.
As was popular back in the day, Davis Phinney’s bike for the Olympics was a Murray that was actually built by Serotta.
There were a lot of feels any time someone mentioned Jeff Archer’s name at NAHBS, and rightfully so. The Founder of Mountain Bike Art & Technology (MOMBAT), and the revivalist of the Mountain Goat name, Jeff was tragically killed last year after being hit by a drunk drive while he was crossing the street. Not only were there tributes to Jeff like this display of a 1988 Mountain Goat Dinoflage Deluxe, but a tribute has been inscribed on the back of the NAHBS Best In Show trophy to honor his legacy.
Salsa has come a long way since 1982, and while their bikes can no longer be considered “handbuilt” in the NAHBS sense, it’s cool to see where the brand came from.
Another bike that the original builder was at the show still showing current bikes, this 1985 Steve Potts Limited Edition was fitted with a Suntour XC group and WTB Roller Cam brakes, hi-E hubs, and even Magura brake levers.
For more detail on each of the bikes above, you can check out their individual stories on The Pro’s Closet Bicycle Museum site.