Frame builders from around the world converged on Southern Germany last weekend, as did over 3,000 fans of beautiful bikes for the first ever European Handmade Bicycle Exhibition.
The Exhibition featured just about every type of bike, from classic Pedersen-design roadsters with tensioned cables acting as suspension for comfy leather hammock saddles, to full-on, state-of-the-art mountain bike downhill rigs and all points in between – every type of road bike imaginable was on display in a range of materials from steel, throught titanium to custom carbon fibre.
While the accent was on handbuilt quality and craftsmanship there was also a fair amount on innovation on show too with some very fine examples of fram building coming out of France in particular.
This single speed commuting bike from German framebuilder Ullrich Vogel proves that interesting bikes can be practical too. This one sports front and rear racks, what looks like a flip flop rear hub, and what looks like a front hub dynamo light. What we're guessing is the front brake, (although it looks like a bottle dynamo) is mounted behind the front fork rather than in front of it… interesting.
Among the better-known brands at the show were De Rosa, Independent Fabrication, Litespeed, Merlin, and Pegoretti they were joined by a host of lesser-known names such as Ulrich Vogel of Germany, Julie Racing Design of France and Demon Frameworks all of whom boosted their profile - and fan base- by being at the show.
This custom built Litespeed Archon features track end horizontal dropouts and extended Ti seattube and a special black paint finish with deck of cards logos to match the Paul component build.
The French are different and Julie Racing Design are more different still, as this elegant fixed demonstrates - it looks like it has a fairly stretched out riding position.
Neil from Frameforum who took these pictures reckoned this French firm were one of the stars of the show with frames that were real works of art, but that weren't different just for the sake of it…
Mind you, the Brits can do beautifully crafted too as this fixed from Demon Frameworks shows.
Neil from Frameforum – two of whose members, Indra Sarkar and Ingo Brandtl of local MTB and BMX innovators 2Souls Cycles, organised the exhibition – shot these pictures and we'll be posting more galleries in the coming days including one of Litespeed and Merlin pics from the show later today.
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.