Tech features Tech gallery: 2023 Made handmade bicycle show, part nine
We’re closing out our coverage from Made for now, but waiting with bated breath for next’s year’s edition.
I initially guessed we’d have 6-8 galleries from the inaugural Made handmade bicycle show in Portland, Oregon, but it turns out we made it to nine! We’ve sadly come to the end now, though not without a few remaining goodies to whet your appetite for next year’s event.
How about an elegantly traditional titanium road bike from Italian brand Bixxis? Or a more progressive titanium bikepacking rig from Otso? Perhaps an outlandish custom titanium triplet or a lightweight gravel machine is more your style? This gallery also includes a bunch of smaller widgets to add that perfect finishing touch, like anodized aluminum cable end caps, a clever luggage rack, or a delicately hand-engraved bell. And since it’s also important to keep our bikes running smoothly, who wouldn’t be tempted by a electronically height-adjustable repair stand that even home mechanics might be able to afford?
There’s all of that and more in here, and if you’ve missed any of our previous galleries from Made, make sure to
check them all out here. Until next year, Portland! Merlin previously offered road bikes in its ultralight “XL” construction, but it’s now offering something similiar for gravel in the new XLG. The Merlin Sandstone XLG titanium gravel bike features butted titanium tubing and a generally slimmed-down profile as compared to the standard Sandstone. Tire clearance is limited to 700×40 mm. The 3D-printed chainstay semi-yoke allows you to run full-sized road cranksets while still easily fitting a 40 mm-wide gravel tire. One thing to consider regarding fully internal routing: if you’re primarily interested in saving weight, partially external routing is lighter. Italian brand Bixxis showed off its new Bagarre, a wonderfully traditional-looking machine built with butted and tapered titanium. Just how traditional are we talking here? The Bagarre is actually Bixxis’s first road bike available with disc brakes, and it’s still offered with a level top tube. Naturally, this particular sample was outfitted from head to toe with the latest Campagnolo componentry. Yep, that De Rosa family. Bixxis head Doriano De Rosa is the son of legendary builder Ugo. Vapor Propulsion Labs is a US distributor focused on German brands Bosch, Pinion, 3×3, and Supernova, all of which were incorporated into this bonkers fully custom titanium triplet. The center section of the triplet is meant for kids, but it can also be removed to make a more traditional two-person tandem. Z-couplers are quickly taking the place of S&S couplers thanks to their less visually obtrusive design. They also don’t require a special lockring tool for assembly or disassembly. Yep, these titanium slider dropouts are 3D-printed. Sitting in between them is a slick nine-speed internally geared hub from German brand 3×3. Note the split in the seatstay to accommodate the Gates belt drive, too. The e-assist motor housing is 3D-printed, too. The wireless 3×3 shifter doesn’t require any extra work when the triplet is converted to a tandem (and vice versa). There’s definitely a specific order in which the three belts need to be tensioned, but it’s still a straightforward process. Supernova’s e-bike lights have never been offered with flashing patterns since they’re not allowed in Germany’s StVZO lighting regulations. The US market isn’t subject to the same conditions, though, so VPL is hoping to soon offer Supernova front and rear lights with a daytime mode for Americans. Squid Bikes is best known for its outlandish paint, and this one-off done for the White Industries and Rolf Prima booth at Made certainly kept that reputation going. Ingrid’s striking rear derailleur isn’t just for show. It’s actually a modular design with interchangeable bits so it can (at least theoretically) work with a wide range of shifters and cassettes. Construction quality on the Ingrid rear derailleur looks top-notch, although I can’t comment on how well it actually functions. The printed cage might seem flimsy, but it actually felt quite sturdy in my hands. Bonus points for the use of Shimano’s cassette lockring standard for some of the hardware. White Industries has offered these crankarms in polished silver for a while now, but now the matching VBC (Variable Bolt Circle) chainring set is now available in silver, too. At Made, Wolf Tooth Components showed off its newest anodized color: olive green. Wolf Tooth Components has gone deep into color accents, even offering complete kits in various hues if you want to quickly add some visual spice to your ride. Wolf Tooth Components displayed those new olive green bits on this lovely Fenrir Ti bikepacking machine from sister brand Otso. A machined semi-yoke on the Otso Fenrir Ti adds a little extra tire and drivetrain clearance without having to resort to an overly pinched-down tube. SaltAir Cycles wasn’t technically at this year’s Made show, but the Salt Lake City builder’s presence was still felt thanks to this lovely custom steel road bike on display at the Rotor booth. This particular bike is owned by Rotor technical sales manager and OEM coordinator Joel Sehloff, who picked up these handmade bar end plugs at Handlebar Cyclery in Richmond, Texas, just outside of Houston. Up, up, and away! Upstart brand Remco Tools showed off the Bike Lift, which the company says can raise or lower bikes weighing up to 45 kg (100 lb) at the touch of a button. The motor unit itself is actually derived from height-adjustable desks. Three presets can be programmed, and there’s also a manual mode. Remco isn’t selling complete repair stands, instead offering a modular unit that’s designed to work with existing setups. The thought here is that most interested customers would already have invested in a nice stand, so this approach minimizes the cost. International pricing is still to be determined, but the Bike Lift can be retrofitted for as little as US$545, which is a steal compared to other options currently on the market. Count me in as one of the interested parties! Rolf Prima’s new 40 mm-deep Ares AR is one of the latest wide-format options for all-road and gravel bikes, featuring a 25 mm internal width and 31 mm external width that offers good casing support while still maintaining solid aerodynamics. Many will also find the hooked design to be a bonus for the more straightforward tire compatibility, and the titanium freehub bodies are made by White Industries (who recently purchased Rolf Prima). Claimed weight is just 1,515 g for the set, and retail price is US$2,200. Squid Bikes custom painted a set of the new Rolf Prima Ares AR wheels for their booth at Made, and holy crap, are they gloriously loud. Astral Cycling (the sister brand of Rolf Prima) previous only offered fully polished aluminum wheelsets as limited-edition runs, but the company has now added them as a permanent inline option. Hallelujah! Double your pleasure, double your fun? This Co-Motion e-assist tandem looks to be able to cover some serious ground with its dual batteries. Dave Rome already showed you Tomii Cycles‘ incredible custom engraved headset caps and headset spacers, but let’s not forget these incredible customized bells, too. Oh, wait, you wanted a different style of hammer for your artfully engraved bell? Yep, Tomii Cycles can accommodate that, too. Ratking Frames had one of the most interesting widgets I found at the show, called The Cradle. It’s designed to work on either the steerer tube or seatpost, and the angle-adjustable platform works with a wide range of gear. The Ratking Frames Cradle is angle-adjustable to suit your particular bike setup, and it’s rigidly braced so there’s little risk of your gear becoming unstable. Ratking currently has these available on pre-order for delivery by December, with retail price set at US$155. Paragon Machine Works is making it a lot easier for metal framebuilders to incorporate UDH into their designs with a whole bunch of options in both steel and titanium. Just a handful of them are shown here. Project 321 has revised its clever 6 Lock adapter for Center Lock hubs, beefing up the base of the threaded posts to make it less likely they’ll twist under high torque. And still wondering why this exists in the first place? Project 321 says six-bolt rotors are more readily serviced in the field, and it’s also a novel option if you happen to strip out a Center Lock lockring spline. Looking for a nicer way to finish your cable ends? Get yourself a set of Cable Cherries from Forager Cycles! They’re not exactly inexpensive at US$21 per pair, but they’re reusable and offered in six anodized aluminum colors as well as solid brass. Forager Cycles says it’ll even send a replacement if you lose one. What did you think of this story?
😐Meh 😊️Solid 🤩Excellent