2014 Handmade Bike Show Goes Electric

Robert English has now turned his award winning skills to building electric bikes.
Robert English has now turned his award winning skills to building electric bikes.

For the last decade the North American Handmade Bike Show has made its presence known around the world as the one place where the very best frame builders convene annually to showcase their talents. This year the roving bike show is headed to North Carolina on March 14-16 and for the first time there will be an official recognition of electric bikes.

“Electric bikes can get more people out of cars and onto two wheels, and we want to expose more Americans to this efficient, affordable, and healthy transportation solution,” said Todd Sellden, global director of Gates Carbon Drive. “Our goal with the Custom eBike Showcase is to allow top custom builders to present an American interpretation of the eBike movement that is sweeping Europe.”

Award-winning builders participating in the showcase include Co-Motion Cycles, English Cycles, Calfee Design, Kent Eriksen Cycles, Ti Cycles, Dean Cycle Works, SyCip Designs, Boo Bicycles, Santana, Alternative Needs Transportation, and Connor Wood Bicycles. Gates and its partners Bosch, SRAM, BionX, and NuVinci gave the builders creative freedom to design eBikes to suit their functional and artistic visions. The belt drive eBikes cover a range of styles: fat bikes and cargo bikes, tandems, urban commuters, and electric bikes made of bamboo and hardwood.

The eBikes will feature electric drives from Bosch, SRAM, and BionX, as well as NuVinci N360 continuously variable planetary hubs from Fallbrook Technologies. The Custom eBike Showcase marks the debut of the widely anticipated Bosch Gen2 eBike system in North America. “Electric bikes are one of the hottest segments for growth in the bike industry, and Fallbrook Technologies is excited to be a part of this showcase that introduces more Americans to this trend,” said Chris Vasiliotis, NuVinci product manager for Fallbrook Technologies.

Sales of eBikes have doubled annually in Europe and the United States for the past several years. The chairman of the Light Electric Vehicle Association expects that trend to continue in coming years, with sales expected to hit two million in Europe for 2013.