The First Annual Rocky Mountain Bicycle Show has left the building. I can’t even express the amount of relief and elation that I feel knowing it will be almost an entire year before I have to start caring about trade shows again. Having said that, I would have to say that this show is far and away the most fun that I have ever had talking relentlessly for a couple days about the same bikes and parts over and over. 

For the important stuff – Hudz sponsored the prize for Rocky Mountain Builder of the Year ($1000 cash, what you got DW?) which was won by a very deserving James and the Black Sheep crew. I took a couple minutes during a lull in the show (corresponding to the Pro men’s race at the Boulder Cup cross) to take his ‘yarder’ out for a spin. I have no – and I mean a complete and utter lack of – technical mountain biking skills, but I was bouncing my way up steps (ones that I was sure were too steep) and plowing my way over everything in site. While it’s not exactly the most practical bike (34 pounds for the single speed version), it is insanely fun, and I hope to obtain one for my commuter bike soon.

James also doubled up with the Rider’s Choice award, and Argonaut took the Builder’s Choice and Best of Show awards for his beautiful lugged bikes. Courage, Temple Cycles, Victoria, Citizen, and Nobilette also took the honorable mentions in the various categories. All in all, there were some truly sexy bikes on display there. 

Aside from the bikes, I had the best time just sitting around and chatting with other builders there. Hanging out with the custom builder crowd was an incredible experience (I don’t do NAHBS due to a personal conflict with the show organizer, so this was my first custom builder show). The environment really was the polar opposite to Interbike or anything in the mass-production side of the industry. Rather than anyone having the megalomaniacal view that everyone there was competing with them and taking food off their table, it was a crowd of people genuinely geeked about bikes and lavishing compliments on everyone of their peers. 

I really look forward to next year’s Colorado show, and am now seriously considering heading to San Diego in April for Brian Bayliss’ show and possibly the Oregon Manifest next year as well. For a guy that hates trade shows, that’s saying a lot.

Anyway. 

We unveiled the new SoftGrip material for our Hudz at RMBS also. People were genuinely shocked at how different the feel was from our Original Hudz and the manufacturer’s spec hood. We have had cross racers using them for a couple months and the feedback has been great, but it’s always nice to hear press and riders stopping dead i their tracks and saying “Woah,” (cue the Joey Lawrence sound effect).

More work to do, with additional distributors coming on around the world and new designs for DA7900 and Campy 11 in the works. We’re getting close on DA7900 – got the first rapid prototype on Friday and checked out out Saturday night, pretty darn good, just a few contours to work out and we’re ready for tooling design. Campy 11 development starts next week so I had better start logging hours on the new levers right away…

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