Thursday, March 15, 2012

Seattle Bike Expo 2012

Spring in the air, despite temps in the 30s and plenty of rain lately.  The annual Seattle Bike Expo is proof of impending warmer weather and more time spent on two wheels.  Full family outing last Sunday to partake in the expo festivities.  Even non bike crazy wife Lori and daughter Amy appeared to have a good time.

This expo is allegedly one of the larger events in the US, presented by the Cascade Bicycle Club, which is allegedly the largest club in the US.  With the number of booths, bikes, events, and people milling about for two days - probably true.  I've hit this gig for many years now, not a bad way to spend a few hours.  It also allows the opportunity to run into people I know from the local bike scene, and that's always cool.

A few Pics 'N' Words to commemorate the day...

Racer Boy Ian volunteered to hand out catalogs and assist at the Redline booth, one of his team sponsors.  The junior racers pulling various shifts for the two days.  Despite his far away camera look, Ian mentioned his two hour gig was fun.  I think it's also a good experience for a 12 year old, no?

CBS, that's short for Cascade Bicycle Studio, brought out some high end toys to gawk over, including this sweet Seven.  CBS is run by Zac Daab and Terry Buchanan, who are also very involved with the local cyclocross scene, promoting the super successful MFG series

Racer Boy Ian has two full MFG series under his belt, and I've dabbled (painfully) in a few races myself.  Believe me when I say they're cool events, we've been to quite a few.

Many vendor booths to cruise through, including Schwalbe, the maker of fine tires.  I've never ridden Schwalbe tires, just posted this 'cause I like the picture...

Dirt Rag Magazine has sported a booth for a few expos now.  I've been a subscriber for 20+ years; my favorite bike magazine and always puts a smile on my face when it hits the mailbox.  If you ride mountain bikes and don't read Dirt Rag - well, frankly - I feel sorry for you...

Soma San Marcos built up real world style.  This frame was designed by Grant Petersen of Rivendell fame, so I'm sure it rides great and now available at lower price point.  Corporate types call this a win win situation.  Very cool, but not really my style; though lately I've had the jones to build up a Soma Smoothie frame.  A little more race oriented, but room for fenders and affordably priced.  It also appeals to old school steel me.

Speaking of old school steel, here's a modern twist on that.  The Colnago MasterYes please, I'll take one.  Oh yeah, I can't afford it.  I'll weep silently, in Italian.

Paul Component Engineering at the expo this year.  Table full of very trick, handmade in the USA goodness to lust after.  Very nice stuff.  Daddy like.  Please send money.

Co-Motion has been quietly making really nice bikes down in Oregon for many years.  This model, the Nor'Wester, very nice steel road bike - with room for fenders.  Oddly enough, I've always wanted one of their aluminum Ristretto models, a no nonsense race bike.

One of the many scheduled talks included Geoff Drake, author of the recent Team 7-11 book, along with Ron Hayman, former member of Team 7-11.  Cool, eh?

Unrelated fun fact:  I used to work for the company that made those speakers flanking the stage.  BFD, I know.

Mountain bike technology marches on with this Norco Revolver as proof.  Lightweight 29er with full suspension.  Pretty trick.  Something like this is right up my XC alley, and a reminder how far things have progressed since I started mountain biking in 1984.  I'm fully digging my 29er hardtail, curious to sample some full suspension models.

Behind the Norco, notice the downhill type Trek in the Bicycles West booth.  Bicycles West is a chain of shops in the Seattle area, run by two guys I know - Kurt and Jim - who took over the operation about a year ago.  Great folks, check 'em out for service and/or a new bike. Kurt was the long time local Trek rep, before diving into retail himself.  Kurt and Jim really know bikes, they won't steer you wrong.

Oh yeah, Jim also used to work for the company producing the speakers mentioned above.  See, this was all somehow connected.

Federal law dictates all bike expos must include a BMX show.  We are now in compliance thanks to the Ride and Glide Extreme Sports Stunt Team.  Say that three times fast.

The Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance does plenty of goodness to keep mountain biking alive and legal in the Seattle area.  I stopped by and plunked down some dough for a family membership, been awhile since I've done that.  During the early the mid '90s, I was pretty involved with the club, then known as the BBTC (Backcountry Bicycles Trail Club).  Cool to see how its grown and run by a whole new generation of riders.

Nice titanium 'cross bike from Davidson Bicycles.  That's Bill Davidson himself peering through the spokes.  Davidson has been turning out custom frames from the back of Elliott Bay Bicycles for many years now, and if you're in the market for a handmade frame, they should be on your list.  I recently had 'em tweak my beloved Hakkalugi frame back into shape.

Super sweet steel road bike from 333fab, a local Seattle builder.  That's Maxwell Kullaway peering at his own work of art, since he's one of the brains behind 333fab.  I chatted with Max at the show and once before during a MFG 'cross race.  Nice guy and nice bikes.

Another bike from 333fab and my favorite of the show.  Insanely spiffy titanium 'cross bike.  Oversized headtube, Breezer style dropouts, simple graphics and serious race look.  Man, I really dig this.  Expensive as hell, but potentially your do everything and last forever rig.

Expo featured a classic bike show with all kinds of history represented.  Back in my day, this Schwinn "Orange Krate" was the cool ride.  Well, until BMX took over and rendered these bikes into the garage, hibernating to fetch loopy prices on eBay - back to old dudes who wish they kept theirs - rendering the crazy circle complete.

Old school Merckx looking perfect in orange.  All hail Eddy as he beams from the head tube.

Classic Masi and Gios keep each other company.

Schwinn Paramount track bike.  Fixie hipsters unite.

Old school travel frame. In Campy we trust.

Daughter Amy plays the name the bike parts game.  One of the kid zone features.  Racer Boy Ian looks on as big brother.  Unknown kid in blue sweatshirt stares at folding chair.

Kids attack the riding course, while green shirted Cascade volunteers block the exits.  There is no escape.

Pics out of order, we'll conclude with a classic Cinelli.  Bask in the chrome and Campy shift levers.

That's all from Seattle Bike Expo 2012.  A full afternoon of bike gawking and bike chatting.  Catalog collecting and picture snapping.  People watching and hamburger eating.  Yup, a full day.  We'll be back in 2013 to repeat the process.  Until then...


  1. Nice pics. I'd like to see more of the Campy travel bike. I ride a folding bike and it's so practical that I'm always surprised that they're not more prominently featured at these shows.

  2. @Chris - thanks! Yeah, that old school folding bike was unique. The Campy quick release levers held it all together. I don't remember what model of bike it was and didn't snap any additional pics. Thanks for checking out my blog.

  3. Cool looking event. Wish we had somthing around here like that. Ian looks all pro. Just needs a sharpie now to sign the books

  4. @Bikewright. The Seattle area has a pretty big bike scene - shops, rec riders, clubs, ride, commuters, races/racers, mountain biking, etc. I can't complain.

    I joke with Ian if anyone asked him for an autograph...

  5. I totally have the hots for that same Colnago Master. *drool*

  6. @Cervelo Girl. I dig most bikes, no matter the frame material, however - Italian steel. Momma mia...