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European Handmade Bicycle Exhibition 2010 round-up

All the best bits that we didn't manage to show you before.....

The 2010 European Handmade Bicycle Exhibition turned out to be an even bigger feast for bike lovers lucky enough to make it to the show. All types of bike were on display, from low-riders and high-wheelers to cutting-edge composites and artfully-finished classics - and there were a good few 'firsts' revealed at the show.

Marco Bertoletti's Legend range

The Legend range from Italy is by one of the best-kept secrets in the Italian bike trade, Marco Bertoletti. Bertoletti has spent the last 20-odd years building frames for many of Italy's better-known labels, but until now, has rarely produced frames under his own brand.

The Legend range, seen for the first time at EHBE, finally makes his superb craftsmanship accessible to a wider audience. Models are built from steel, titanium and carbon, so there's a model for every taste and scenario.

If the chance of a cheap Ryanair flight to Bergamo comes your way, why not take the opportunity to marvel at his work in his new showroom in Presezzo, on the other side of town from the airport?

Matt Klucha

Meanwhile, European customers of Matt Klucha, one of the finest of the current crop of US framebuilders can take advantage of his 'European Delivery Program'. This combines a visit to Matt's workshop with the chance to tour in the spectacular scenery and quiet lanes surrounding his New England base.

As well as getting the chance to see at close range how your frame was built and have Matt personally complete the final bikefitting process, generous discounts on complete bike builds mean the cost of the flight to the USA is offset. All you have to do is let Matt know when you'll arrive at the airport and leave the rest up to him as you enjoy a week as a guest of the Klucha's!

Julie Racing Design

Julie Racing Design had a very interesting design on their stand, reinforcing their position as one of France's most creative framebuilders. Their mono bike, with single blade fork and single, drive side stays was nothing short of a work of art. Not only was the design superb, but the execution of the build is proof, if proof were needed, of Christophe Vacheron's superior framebuiliding skills. 'Plug-and-Play' framebuilding doesn't cut it at the Vacheron workshop and with each new build his work continues to improve and grow evermore inventive.

Selle Royal

Selle Royal let us have a look at a re-working of their ground-breaking 1970s 'Contour' design. The patented nylon shelled model was much sought-after by top racers of the day for its comfort and (relatively) light weight and often had its branding removed and fitted by riders sponsored by other saddle firms. The 2011 version promises the same comfort as the original moulds and tooling have been brought out of mothballs to reproduce the saddle which, with its hand-stitched leather cover, is intended as a luxury item for those not obsessed with gram-shaving.


German builders Riccorsa, based in the same town as the EHBE venue, had a great frame for those stuck in the middle of the 'great frame materials' debate.

They were showing off one of their designs which featured titanium main tubes bonded to carbon 'lugs', with a wishbone rear stay formed from Nivachrome steel. It may be the ideal solution for those stuck between being at the cutting-edge, but still wanting to embrace traditional materials!

We'll be back...

All in all, the 2010 version of EHBE firmly sets it as a not-to-be-missed fixture in the bike show calendar. The rate of progress made by the organisers in the few short years they've been hosting the show is incredible.

With future support promised by the local town authorities, who are planning a week of 'bike culture' events in the lead-up to next years event weekend, as well as extensive coverage locally by both press and TV, the show is no longer a curiosity and something for the town to get behind.

For the exhibitors, setting up was all but flawless, with a few concerns about less-than expected visitor numbers. However, tie-ups with local cycling clubs and bodies, together with a date change, should see favourable growth in the numbers of show-goers next year.

If the smiles on the wide-eyed bike lovers leaving this year's event are anything to go by, word-of-mouth may proved to be the biggest asset the show could hope for. It's doubtful if one single visitor went away less than thrilled by the talent on display and the overall quality of the event. Roll on next year!


Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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