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Birth of a show bike, part one: Mosaic Bespoke Bicycles

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Mosaic began planning for this year's NAHBS months in advance, complete with detailed CAD drawings and plenty of time to incorporate the builds into the company's standard schedule

Mosaic began planning for this year's NAHBS months in advance, complete with detailed CAD drawings and plenty of time to incorporate the builds into the company's standard schedule (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Mosaic founder Aaron Barcheck apparently is not a fan of headset spacers

Mosaic founder Aaron Barcheck apparently is not a fan of headset spacers (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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All of this craftsmanship will eventually be covered in paint from Spectrum Powderworks

All of this craftsmanship will eventually be covered in paint from Spectrum Powderworks (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Titanium welds don't come much neater than this

Titanium welds don't come much neater than this (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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A section of thick-walled titanium stock on its way to transforming into a 44mm head tube

A section of thick-walled titanium stock on its way to transforming into a 44mm head tube (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Titanium head tubes are internally and externally machined in-house. The drawing at left perhaps isn't the most impressive looking but the numbers are sound

Titanium head tubes are internally and externally machined in-house. The drawing at left perhaps isn't the most impressive looking but the numbers are sound (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Mosaic purchases its head tube stock in long tubes that are eventually milled down as needed

Mosaic purchases its head tube stock in long tubes that are eventually milled down as needed (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Mosaic has decided to partner with its dealers for this year's NAHBS. Velosmith Bicycle Studio of Wilmette, Illinois has decided on a titanium disc road bike

Mosaic has decided to partner with its dealers for this year's NAHBS. Velosmith Bicycle Studio of Wilmette, Illinois has decided on a titanium disc road bike (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Mosaic uses huge white boards to track its upcoming projects

Mosaic uses huge white boards to track its upcoming projects (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Recognize any names on this board?

Recognize any names on this board? (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Mosaic founder Aaron Barcheck has no problem seeing into the media blasting chamber he built for himself when he started the company five years ago. Unfortunately, though, not everyone who works for Mosaic now is that tall

Mosaic founder Aaron Barcheck has no problem seeing into the media blasting chamber he built for himself when he started the company five years ago. Unfortunately, though, not everyone who works for Mosaic now is that tall (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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A custom machined titanium plug allows the cutter better access to the end of this head tube

A custom machined titanium plug allows the cutter better access to the end of this head tube (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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This head tube has to be manually sprayed with coolant to keep it from overheating while it's being machined

This head tube has to be manually sprayed with coolant to keep it from overheating while it's being machined (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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There are certainly benefits to being married to a framebuilder. This gorgeous hardtail belongs to Mosaic Bicycles founder Aaron Barcheck's wife, Liz

There are certainly benefits to being married to a framebuilder. This gorgeous hardtail belongs to Mosaic Bicycles founder Aaron Barcheck's wife, Liz (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Mosaic doesn't just build its bikes to be shown off. They're also meant to be ridden - hard

Mosaic doesn't just build its bikes to be shown off. They're also meant to be ridden - hard (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Mosaic employee Kevin Batchelor rode this machine into work the day we visited the shop - on snow-covered roads and in sub-freezing temperatures

Mosaic employee Kevin Batchelor rode this machine into work the day we visited the shop - on snow-covered roads and in sub-freezing temperatures (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Kevin Batchelor faces a head tube using a custom modified Park cutter

Kevin Batchelor faces a head tube using a custom modified Park cutter (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Check out the neatly scalloped ends on the stays of these Mosaic steel frames

Check out the neatly scalloped ends on the stays of these Mosaic steel frames (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Mosaic will bring a wide range of machines to the show this year in an effort to showcase each of the company's most common builds in both steel and titanium

Mosaic will bring a wide range of machines to the show this year in an effort to showcase each of the company's most common builds in both steel and titanium (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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A trio of freshly welded steel frames waiting for their braze-ons and bridges

A trio of freshly welded steel frames waiting for their braze-ons and bridges (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Although Mosaic is best known for its work in titanium, head welder Aaron Barcheck clearly is adept with thin-walled chromoly steel, too

Although Mosaic is best known for its work in titanium, head welder Aaron Barcheck clearly is adept with thin-walled chromoly steel, too (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Thru-axle steel dropouts come courtesy of Paragon Machine Works

Thru-axle steel dropouts come courtesy of Paragon Machine Works (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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A steel hardtail frame tacked up and ready for final welding

A steel hardtail frame tacked up and ready for final welding (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Mosaic is building this steel 650b hardtail as a co-branding display with fi'zi:k for NAHBS

Mosaic is building this steel 650b hardtail as a co-branding display with fi'zi:k for NAHBS (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Titanium head tubes are machined in-house

Titanium head tubes are machined in-house (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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A seat stay bridge in the process of being mitered

A seat stay bridge in the process of being mitered (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Mosaic Bicycles built its own media blasting chamber for finishing its titanium frames. Decals are cut in-house, too

Mosaic Bicycles built its own media blasting chamber for finishing its titanium frames. Decals are cut in-house, too (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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A small window lets Kevin Batchelor see what he's doing inside the media blasting chamber

A small window lets Kevin Batchelor see what he's doing inside the media blasting chamber (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Steel dropouts are neatly brazed on the stays of these Mosaic show bikes

Steel dropouts are neatly brazed on the stays of these Mosaic show bikes (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Lots of builders can produce pretty looking welds that might not be all that strong, though. According to Scott Gordon of Denver Welding & Research, that isn't the case here. "The discoloration on the chromoly says that they didn't weld too fast and subsequently quench the weld. The rainbow color (instead of grey) tells me that there was enough shielding and not too much heat input, and not all of the chromium was depleted."

Lots of builders can produce pretty looking welds that might not be all that strong, though. According to Scott Gordon of Denver Welding & Research, that isn't the case here. "The discoloration on the chromoly says that they didn't weld too fast and subsequently quench the weld. The rainbow color (instead of grey) tells me that there was enough shielding and not too much heat input, and not all of the chromium was depleted." (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Finishing bits for three steel show bikes are sorted into little bins. And no, Mosaic isn't building a bike for Kanye West. That's just the company nickname for founder Aaron Barcheck

Finishing bits for three steel show bikes are sorted into little bins. And no, Mosaic isn't building a bike for Kanye West. That's just the company nickname for founder Aaron Barcheck (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Freshly finished frames en route to their final destinations

Freshly finished frames en route to their final destinations (Image credit: Jonny Irick)

This article originally published on BikeRadar

The 10th annual North American Handmade Bicycle Show is fast approaching and with it comes the usual frenzy for builders to complete their display bikes in time for opening day. Boulder-based Mosaic Bespoke Bicycles, however, will arrive fresh and rested thanks to some careful planning. Here's a look behind the curtain at what you'll see next month.

Mosaic decided six months ago to partner with its dealers for this year's NAHBS and highlight each type of bike it makes: a Campagnolo-equipped steel road bike for Above Category in Mill Valley, California; a hydraulic disc brake-equipped cyclo-cross titanium rig for Pro Peloton in Boulder, Colorado; a titanium gravel grinder with Shimano Di2 and hydraulic disc brakes for Blacksmith Cycle in Toronto, Canada; a disc-equipped titanium road bike for Velosmith in Chicago, Illinois; a conventional titanium road racer with Shimano Dura-Ace 9000 for Crankstar in Brisbane, Australia; and a steel road bike with Shimano Di2 for Prestige Cycles in the UK.

There will even be a steel 650b hardtail as a co-branding project with fi'zi:k.

As Mosaic only builds fully custom machines, each bike began with a back-and-forth conversation between builder and rider for critical decisions like geometry but also for smaller features such as braze-ons, axle fitments, and paint.

Rather than cram those builds on top of an already busy production schedule, Mosaic had the foresight to instead work them into the usual production schedule. Impressively, all of the steel bikes were welded and already en route to be painted at Spectrum Powderworks in Colorado Springs, Colorado, more than a month before the show. Titanium orders were already well underway, too.

We dropped in to Mosaic's shop last week to see how things were going – and they were clearly going well. Flip through the gallery to see the progress for yourself, then check back in a few days to see the painted steel frames and the titanium frames being finished up.

This year's North American Handmade Bicycle Show will take place March 14-16 at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. Tickets are available for US$8-18 per day or $50 for a three-day pass. Attendees can register on the official show website.