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NAHBS 2013: Black Sheep Bikes

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Black Sheep's curvaceous titanium frames aren't as shocking to us as they once were but they're still no less stunning.

Black Sheep's curvaceous titanium frames aren't as shocking to us as they once were but they're still no less stunning. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Black Sheep built this snow bike around 45NRTH's massive 4"-wide Escalator tires.

Black Sheep built this snow bike around 45NRTH's massive 4"-wide Escalator tires. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The brushed titanium tubing looks trick with the white accents and red anodized details.

The brushed titanium tubing looks trick with the white accents and red anodized details. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Check out how the handlebar is independently adjustable from the captain's saddle height.

Check out how the handlebar is independently adjustable from the captain's saddle height. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The only straight tubes we could find were the bottom bracket shells, boom tube, and head tube.

The only straight tubes we could find were the bottom bracket shells, boom tube, and head tube. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Black Sheep Bikes won the "Best Tandem" award at this year's NAHBS for this creation.

Black Sheep Bikes won the "Best Tandem" award at this year's NAHBS for this creation. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The rear shock is driven by a chunky aluminum link.

The rear shock is driven by a chunky aluminum link. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Instead of a traditional pivot, Black Sheep's full-suspension snow bike uses a titanium flex plate.

Instead of a traditional pivot, Black Sheep's full-suspension snow bike uses a titanium flex plate. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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This Black Sheep likes the snow.

This Black Sheep likes the snow. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Black Sheep machined the aluminum shock mounts and links in house.

Black Sheep machined the aluminum shock mounts and links in house. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Black Sheep's usual truss titanium fork is augmented with aluminum linkages and a Fox shock that provides 90mm of travel.

Black Sheep's usual truss titanium fork is augmented with aluminum linkages and a Fox shock that provides 90mm of travel. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Black Sheep unveiled this full-suspension snow bike at NAHBS.

Black Sheep unveiled this full-suspension snow bike at NAHBS. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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This tubular titanium rear rack is both beautiful and capacious.

This tubular titanium rear rack is both beautiful and capacious. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Black Sheep frames frequently feature unique head tube badges.

Black Sheep frames frequently feature unique head tube badges. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Anyone up for a snow adventure?

Anyone up for a snow adventure? (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Black Sheep seems to have mastered the art of bending titanium tubing.

Black Sheep seems to have mastered the art of bending titanium tubing. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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A trio of NAHBS attendees stand in admiration of this Black Sheep snow bike.

A trio of NAHBS attendees stand in admiration of this Black Sheep snow bike. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)

This article originally published on BikeRadar

Colorado-based builder Black Sheep Bikes certainly stand out from the crowd with their incredibly curvaceous titanium creations. Black Sheep brought their A-game yet again this year, winning not one, but two NAHBS awards: one for "best tandem" and another for "best titanium construction".

Black Sheep's winning tandem was a fitting tribute to the company's work with bent titanium tubing. From tip to tail, only the head tube, bottom bracket shells, seatposts, and boom tube were straight. Otherwise, every other part bore some sort of curve.

Especially noteworthy is the way the captain's top tube curves four times from the head tube back to the stoker's bottom bracket and how the seat stays follow a graceful S-bend from the rear dropouts to the down tube. Additional curved struts reinforce the extended seat tubes, too, and Black Sheep have even figured out a novel solution for independently adjusting the stoker handlebar height relative to the captain's saddle.

And then there's Black Sheep's trademark truss-style fork. And the custom titanium backswept handlebars. And did we mention that it was a tandem snow bike? Ok, we'll stop now.

The other award-winner was a bike commissioned by University of Iowa, which will be permanently at its Museum of Art in Iowa City. According to Black Sheep, this bike showcases the best of what the company has to offer, including integrated front and rear tubular titanium racks, curved main frame tubing, a truss-style fork, and, of course, fat bike wheels and tires. To top it off, Black Sheep dressed it up with a selectively masked and media blasted finish that should last for an eternity.

Though it didn't win an award, Black Sheep also debuted a new full-suspension snow bike with 90mm of travel front and rear. The fork is based on the company's usual truss model but with the entire structure floating on a pair of aluminum linkages and a Fox Float RP23 shock. Meanwhile, the rear end pivots about a flat chainstay plate and drives another Fox Float RP23 with a seat tube-mounted aluminum link.

Want more? Click through the image gallery for a closer look at the booth – and make sure to have a napkin handy.

Black Sheep's usual truss titanium fork is augmented with aluminum linkages and a Fox shock that provides 90mm of travel.

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