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by James Huang
November 17, 2017
Photography by James Huang
We wrapped up our coverage of the custom bikes from the Philly Bike Expo earlier this week, and even though the show itself wasn’t that big, it still took three separate galleries to adequately showcase them all. There was more than just complete bikes on tap there, however, and for our last edition of coverage from Philadelphia Convention Center, we bring you all the parts, accessories, and clothing that caught our eye.
Sadly, we’ll all have to wait another year before the show comes around again, but thankfully, the 13th annual North American Handmade Bicycle Show will fill the void in the meantime as it makes its way to Hartford, Connecticut in February. Reality dictates that mass-manufactured mainstream bikes are what most of us ride, but this stuff? These are what dreams are made of. Here’s to dreaming.
Paragon Machine Works isn’t a brand name that’s well known to most cyclists, but its frame parts are used by a majority of builders in the custom market.
Paragon Machine Works makes dropouts for virtually every application.
These Paragon Machine Works Polydrops feature swappable aluminum inserts that let users easily change axle and brake configurations with ever-evolving “standards”.
Keep in mind that this is nowhere near every dropout that Paragon Machine Works offers. Seriously, a visit to the company’s web site is in order.
It’s rarely worthwhile for a builder to make their own fittings when they can just buy them from Paragon Machine Works.
In addition to an army of head tubes, Paragon Machine Works even makes a tapered titanium steerer tube (at left). Yes, it’s very expensive.
Paul Components says its Klamper mechanical disc brakes are some of its most popular items. Hydraulic brakes may work better, but many still appreciate the simplicity of cable-actuated ones.
If colors are your thing, Paul Components is happy to accommodate.
According to Paul Components, its thru-axle skewers, quick-release skewers, and hubs are still quite popular, too.
Redshift Sports’ ShockStop suspension stem seems hokey, but actually works quite well.
Richard Sachs debuted a new stainless steel seatpost binder bolt, made to his exacting specifications by Horst Engineering. The precious little widget is shipped in this magnetically augmented box, complete with NixFrixShun grease, a Silca 5mm wrench, and a snack-sized Twizzlers.
The seatpost binder is machined from stainless steel, complete with cold-rolled threads. Needless to say, it’s far nicer than any other part available (current or past) from from Campagnolo, Sugino, or others.
Riivo Custom Cycling Footwear crafts bespoke shoes based on a mold of your actual feet.
Inside the heel cup of Riivo custom shoes are two patches of anti-slip material.
The three-layer sole features a box-section outsole (complete with integrated carbon fiber heel cup) and a carbon fiber-reinforced orthotic.
Riivo offers a wide range of custom cycling footwear, including models for cross-country mountain biking and cyclocross.
As is typically the case with custom cycling footwear, the range of fabric options is immense.
If you’re looking for a leather saddle, pay close attention to Rivet Cycle Works, who offers a wide range of shapes, sizes, and colors to suit just about every application.
Rivet Cycle Works also sells a select collection of bells. Bells are good; use one.
This one features a laser-etched mandolin.
New from Rivet are these beautiful leather-covered lock-on grips. If drop bars are your thing, though, check out the leather tape instead.
Silca showed off its new aluminum-and-plastic tire levers. Claimed to be more carbon rim-friendly than any other tire levers, the Premio levers are usually thin to better accommodate tight-fitting tires. According to Silca, the first production run sold out in three days.
White Industries introduced headsets last year, and can’t keep up with demand.
The sliding tabs let you attach nearly any symmetrical five-arm inner chainring.
White Industries lets you mix and match gearing setups on its Variable Bolt Circle chainrings.
White Industries hubs are a long-time favorite among the handbuilt crowd for their precision manufacturing, the impeccable finishes, and the range of available colors.
Velocolour is best known for its amazing paint work, but the company also has a healthy range of soft goods, such as this rather tidy-looking saddle pack.
Need to carry a bit more than what will fit in a saddle pack, but don’t want to resort to something big? This handlebar bag from Velocolour might do the trick.
Velocolour’s latest saddle packs use rubber ski straps for a secure attachment.
Twofish Unlimited has a way to attach just about any kind of bottle to your bike. In this case, if you can’t bear to leave your growler at home, one of these strap-on cages should fit the bill.
Swift Industries had a wide range of soft goods on hand at the Philly Bike Expo, all with a classy, subdued aesthetic.
Have bags, will go bikepacking.
Walz Caps bucks the trend of cycling caps made of cotton or higher-tech fabrics, instead sticking to tried-and-true wool.
Sinewave is one of the top offerings for generator-powered front LED lights.
This polished finish is new from Sinewave.
Sinewave also has a setup where you can use the generator front hub to charge your USB-connected devices.
KaGey Caps specializes in custom headset caps using inlays made of wood, mother-of-pearl, and other materials. Prices are surprisingly reasonable.
Fancy a turtle headset cap made of mother-of-pearl and wood? KaGey Caps has got you covered.
KaGey Caps can also do custom head tube badges, too.
Ron Andrews still makes his King Cages the same way he has for years.
NixFrixShun founder and formulator Joshua Simonds claims his chain lube and grease are the last ones you’ll ever try – and some independent tests help support his heady claims, too.
Hirobel gots its start with this novel frame clamp, which allows you to attach odd-shaped frames to standard repair stands.
Hirobel has followed up its neat frame clamp solution with its new Gear Wipes, which were originally designed for mechanics’ hands, but are now more often used for cleaning bikes.
HED showed off its new Vanquish carbon clinchers at this year’s Philly Bike Expo. The new aero wheels will only be offered for disc-brake use.
HED makes the 60mm-deep carbon clincher rims in-house. The tubeless-compatible rims are designed for disc brakes only, and the maximum approved pressure is 90psi.
HED announced last year that it was planning to move all hub production in-house. That hasn’t quite happened yet, but the company is apparently getting closer.
Former downhill world champion Jurgen Beneke has shifted his attention into a surprising new direction in recent years: bike storage. The new “Dan” model from DäHanger is a fun new solution comprising a little wall-mounted cartoon character and two trays for the wheels.
The DäHanger Dan grabs the bike by the non-driveside pedal, and is designed to work with any pedal system. Fun decal sheets are included with each Dan, too, so you can dress him up as you wish.
DäHanger’s original product is a sturdy wall-mounted dock made of heavy-duty rotomolded plastic (similar to how Yeti coolers are made). It hooks bikes by the saddle nose, and offers storage for helmets and other accessories.
Rolf Prima has launched a new standalone rim company called Astral. The new rims are mostly identical to what Rolf Prima uses in its complete wheelsets, but are drilled for use with standard hubs instead of paired spoking patterns.
Astral’s aluminum rims will be offered in multiple colors.
Boyd Cycling has quickly become a favorite amongst the handbuilt crowd.
Do you regularly commute in rainy weather? The Cleverhood might be a good solution for keeping you dry.
This intruiging lock concept from Altor Locks uses a four-piece rod and a push-button locking mechanism with “gold-level” security. The new lock will be launched on Kickstarter at the end of November, and will be offered in both steel and titanium versions.
The six-disc lock cylinder is said to be virtually impossible to pick.