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NAHBS 2014 Gallery: Gravel grinders and fat-tired road bikes

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Alchemy Bicycles revealed at this year's NAHBS a gorgeous new carbon fiber gravel race bike called the Aithon

Alchemy Bicycles revealed at this year's NAHBS a gorgeous new carbon fiber gravel race bike called the Aithon (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Need proof that Six-Eleven is a small-volume builder? Here you go

Need proof that Six-Eleven is a small-volume builder? Here you go (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The split for the belt drive is neatly tucked away a little further up on the seat stay on this Independent Fabrication titanium Club Racer

The split for the belt drive is neatly tucked away a little further up on the seat stay on this Independent Fabrication titanium Club Racer (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Since Independent Fabrication makes its own steel forks, it's no big deal making one a little longer to accommodate 32mm-wide road tires

Since Independent Fabrication makes its own steel forks, it's no big deal making one a little longer to accommodate 32mm-wide road tires (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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This Independent Fabrication titanium Club Racer singlespeed was custom built with S&S couplers, a Gates carbon belt drive, and long-reach caliper brakes with plenty of clearance for high-volume road tires

This Independent Fabrication titanium Club Racer singlespeed was custom built with S&S couplers, a Gates carbon belt drive, and long-reach caliper brakes with plenty of clearance for high-volume road tires (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The rear brake on HED's new Triple Crown bolts to elegantly shaped post mounts. Note the steel 142x12mm thru-axle dropouts, too

The rear brake on HED's new Triple Crown bolts to elegantly shaped post mounts. Note the steel 142x12mm thru-axle dropouts, too (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The shape of the triple fork crown plate is mimicked further down on the disc hose mount on HED's new Triple Crown

The shape of the triple fork crown plate is mimicked further down on the disc hose mount on HED's new Triple Crown (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The curved seat stays on the HED Triple Crown yield a novel appearance but also leave enough room to mount the rear brake caliper inside the rear triangle

The curved seat stays on the HED Triple Crown yield a novel appearance but also leave enough room to mount the rear brake caliper inside the rear triangle (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Swap in a set of 27.5in wheels and fatter tires and you can use the HED Triple Crown as a full-on adventure touring bike

Swap in a set of 27.5in wheels and fatter tires and you can use the HED Triple Crown as a full-on adventure touring bike (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Rack and fender mounts are included on the HED Triple Crown to enhance its versatility

Rack and fender mounts are included on the HED Triple Crown to enhance its versatility (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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HED's new Triple Crown frame also refers to its ability to function as a 'cross bike, gravel/dirt road rig, or adventure machine depending on the build

HED's new Triple Crown frame also refers to its ability to function as a 'cross bike, gravel/dirt road rig, or adventure machine depending on the build (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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HED's latest disc-compatible hubs are now convertible to thru-axle fitments. Unfortunately, older hubs can't be retrofitted

HED's latest disc-compatible hubs are now convertible to thru-axle fitments. Unfortunately, older hubs can't be retrofitted (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The eccentric bottom bracket shell is a better choice for a travel bike than horizontal dropouts since it's more likely to retain its adjustment

The eccentric bottom bracket shell is a better choice for a travel bike than horizontal dropouts since it's more likely to retain its adjustment (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Custom bar end plugs for this Independent Fabrication machine

Custom bar end plugs for this Independent Fabrication machine (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Mosaic Bicycles built this titanium roadster for Toronto-based dealer Blacksmith Cycle

Mosaic Bicycles built this titanium roadster for Toronto-based dealer Blacksmith Cycle (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Nicely done disc mounts on this Six-Eleven all-road rig

Nicely done disc mounts on this Six-Eleven all-road rig (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Gracefully curved seat stays decorate the rear end of this Six-Eleven all-road bike

Gracefully curved seat stays decorate the rear end of this Six-Eleven all-road bike (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Beautiful finish work on this Six-Eleven all-road bike

Beautiful finish work on this Six-Eleven all-road bike (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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This Six-Eleven all-road bike was built to accommodate tires up to 40mm wide

This Six-Eleven all-road bike was built to accommodate tires up to 40mm wide (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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We can't help but think that this Mosaic would ride like a dream with its Enve carbon rims and high-volume tubular tires

We can't help but think that this Mosaic would ride like a dream with its Enve carbon rims and high-volume tubular tires (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Also on display at the Mosaic booth was this dual-disc road bike, again with room for moderately high-volume tires

Also on display at the Mosaic booth was this dual-disc road bike, again with room for moderately high-volume tires (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Mosaic's ultra-clean internal cable routing features a titanium guide that runs through the length of the top tube for easy routing

Mosaic's ultra-clean internal cable routing features a titanium guide that runs through the length of the top tube for easy routing (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Yet another set of Paragon Machine Works titanium dropouts

Yet another set of Paragon Machine Works titanium dropouts (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Mosaic went with a Wound-Up fork for this fat-tired road bike

Mosaic went with a Wound-Up fork for this fat-tired road bike (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Although this Mosaic was displayed with 25mm-wide Challenge Strada tires, there's more than enough room for 28mm-wide rubber - with fenders included

Although this Mosaic was displayed with 25mm-wide Challenge Strada tires, there's more than enough room for 28mm-wide rubber - with fenders included (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Nice detailing on the HED Triple Crown, built by Erik Noren of Peacock Groove

Nice detailing on the HED Triple Crown, built by Erik Noren of Peacock Groove (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Polished stainless steel rings reinforced the head tube on the HED Triple Crown

Polished stainless steel rings reinforced the head tube on the HED Triple Crown (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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HED's Triple Crown frameset derives its name partially from the triple stainless steel plate fork crown

HED's Triple Crown frameset derives its name partially from the triple stainless steel plate fork crown (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Argonaut has elegantly managed to tuck the rear brake caliper in between the stays

Argonaut has elegantly managed to tuck the rear brake caliper in between the stays (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The non-driveside dropout on Argonaut's dual-disc fat-tire road racer is slightly scalloped to create enough clearance for a 140mm or 160mm rear rotor

The non-driveside dropout on Argonaut's dual-disc fat-tire road racer is slightly scalloped to create enough clearance for a 140mm or 160mm rear rotor (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Argonaut machines its own dropouts in-house

Argonaut machines its own dropouts in-house (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Argonaut refers to its new bike as a gravel racer but there's realistically only room for 28-30mm tires. Even so, it's utterly gorgeous and we expect that it would be a dream on paved or dirt roads

Argonaut refers to its new bike as a gravel racer but there's realistically only room for 28-30mm tires. Even so, it's utterly gorgeous and we expect that it would be a dream on paved or dirt roads (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The raw finish on Alchemy's Aithon gravel racer prototype puts the underlaying lay-up on display for all to see

The raw finish on Alchemy's Aithon gravel racer prototype puts the underlaying lay-up on display for all to see (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Alchemy is also machining its own replaceable rear derailleur hangers for the new Aithon

Alchemy is also machining its own replaceable rear derailleur hangers for the new Aithon (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Alchemy says there's enough room on its new Aithon gravel racer to accommodate 40mm-wide tires

Alchemy says there's enough room on its new Aithon gravel racer to accommodate 40mm-wide tires (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The rear caliper mount on the Alchemy Aithon can accommodate a 140mm or 160mm-diameter rotor

The rear caliper mount on the Alchemy Aithon can accommodate a 140mm or 160mm-diameter rotor (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Alchemy cut all-new molds for the rear end of its Aithon gravel racer that not only allow for wider tires but soften the ride relative to the Helios road model, too

Alchemy cut all-new molds for the rear end of its Aithon gravel racer that not only allow for wider tires but soften the ride relative to the Helios road model, too (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Alchemy will soon include its own fork - molded in-house - with its new Aithon gravel race bike pending final development and testing. The 385mm axle-to-crown length puts it in between a 'cross fork and a road fork. Target weight is 430g

Alchemy will soon include its own fork - molded in-house - with its new Aithon gravel race bike pending final development and testing. The 385mm axle-to-crown length puts it in between a 'cross fork and a road fork. Target weight is 430g (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Breadwinner Cycles - a joint project between Ira Ryan and Tony Pereira - offers up the B-Road with room for up to 700x38mm-wide tires and built with Columbus Spirit chromoly steel tubes

Breadwinner Cycles - a joint project between Ira Ryan and Tony Pereira - offers up the B-Road with room for up to 700x38mm-wide tires and built with Columbus Spirit chromoly steel tubes (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The 44mm-diameter head tube on Breadwinner's B-Road will accommodate straight or tapered forks

The 44mm-diameter head tube on Breadwinner's B-Road will accommodate straight or tapered forks (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Breadwinner offers the B-Road in disc or rim brake configurations. Routing on the disc option is admirably tidy

Breadwinner offers the B-Road in disc or rim brake configurations. Routing on the disc option is admirably tidy (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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HED is getting into the frame business in cooperation with Erik Noren of Peacock Groove

HED is getting into the frame business in cooperation with Erik Noren of Peacock Groove (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Gorgeous Paragon Machine Works dropouts on this Eriksen titanium gravel grinder

Gorgeous Paragon Machine Works dropouts on this Eriksen titanium gravel grinder (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Eriksen built this titanium gravel grinder with 1in-diameter chain stays

Eriksen built this titanium gravel grinder with 1in-diameter chain stays (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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33.3mm-wide Jack Brown tires easily fit through the titanium seat stays on this custom Eriksen

33.3mm-wide Jack Brown tires easily fit through the titanium seat stays on this custom Eriksen (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Eriksen showed off this titanium gravel grinder at NAHBS but the reality is that company has always been able to build such a thing

Eriksen showed off this titanium gravel grinder at NAHBS but the reality is that company has always been able to build such a thing (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Optional rack mounts are masked off before painting

Optional rack mounts are masked off before painting (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Ellis's dropout design is beautiful as always - and can also conveniently accommodate internal routing and additional braze-ons

Ellis's dropout design is beautiful as always - and can also conveniently accommodate internal routing and additional braze-ons (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Ellis Cycles built this steel road bike with Columbus Life chromoly tubes and medium-reach brake calipers that can handle moderately high-volume tires

Ellis Cycles built this steel road bike with Columbus Life chromoly tubes and medium-reach brake calipers that can handle moderately high-volume tires (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The Co-Motion Divide drop-bar adventure bike is built with Reynolds 725 chromoly tubing and can easily swallow 29x2.0in tires

The Co-Motion Divide drop-bar adventure bike is built with Reynolds 725 chromoly tubing and can easily swallow 29x2.0in tires (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Co-Motion's versatile Cascadia can accommodate 700x35mm tires with room to spare for fenders

Co-Motion's versatile Cascadia can accommodate 700x35mm tires with room to spare for fenders (Image credit: Jonny Irick)

This article originally published on BikeRadar

The North American Handmade Bicycle Show has always been a reliable indicator of hot trends in the industry. This year's event in Charlotte, North Carolina is littered with countless gravel grinders and all-road machines that mimic the general look of traditional road racers but with far more tyre clearance to tackle both dirt and gravel roads. Here's a look at some of the most notable examples.

Alchemy Bicycle Company

Alchemy showed off one of the highest-performance examples of the genre at this year's show with its all-new Aithon – a more evolved and purpose-built model that shares its spirit with the custom Helios Disc we commissioned from the Colorado company last year. The Aithon essentially uses the same front end as the Helios but with a dedicated carbon rear end that features much more widely-set stays that will clear tyres up to 40mm across.

Alchemy angled the seat stays further rearward to allow for a chain stay-mounted disc brake caliper, and the modified geometry supposedly makes for a more comfortable ride, too. Actual frame weight will vary depending on how the tubes are laid up, but Alchemy says the 56cm one on display weighs around 1,050g.

Up front is a brand-new fork that Alchemy is also molding in-house. The 385mm axle-to-crown length splits the difference between road and 'cross forks and the projected weight is 430g.

Alchemy expects the Aithon to be available around May.

Argonaut Cycles

Argonaut modified its carbon fiber road racer with extra tyre clearance and dual disc mounts for this year's NAHBS. The rear disc mount is especially tidy, too, with a custom dropout built in-house plus an elegant post mount bonded to the chain stay. Up front is an Enve Composite disc road fork.

Argonaut refers to the new bike as a 'gravel racer' but some might dispute that. Argonaut builder Ben Farver tells BikeRadar that the bike will handle at most a 30mm-wide tyre up front and a 32mm-wide one out back.

Breadwinner Cycles

Breadwinner Cycles – a joint project between fellow Portland, Oregon-based builders Ira Ryan and Tony Pereira – evokes the spirit of exploration and freedom with its B-Road, built with Columbus Spirit chromoly tubing and enough clearance for tyres up to 38mm wide. Breadwinner will build the B-Road for rim or disc brakes and the included Enve Composites fork is painted to match. Three bottle mounts should provide enough fluid for hours of carefree pedaling, too.

Co-Motion Cycles

Co-Motion has a long history with touring and adventure bikes, highlighted by its Cascadia and Divide models. The Cascadia is built with Reynolds 725 steel tubing with room for 35mm tyres and fenders, dual disc brakes, front and rear rack mounts, and three bottle mounts. The Divide, on the other hand, also features Reynolds 725 tubing but is built more ruggedly with room for 29x2.0in mountain bike rubber.

Ellis Cycles

Ellis Cycles' Strada all-road machine was a subtle variation of the standard road bikes for which the company is better known. Built with Columbus Life chromoly tubing, Shimano Ultegra Di2 with slickly done internal wiring, and medium-reach dual-pivot rim brakes, Ellis says there's just enough extra clearance for standard tyres and fenders or moderately wide rubber measuring 28mm across or so.

HED

HED is best known for its wheelsets but is now embarking on an intriguing frame project with Erik Noren of Peacock Groove. The new 'Triple Crown' partially derives its name from its characteristic triple stainless steel fork crown plates but also for its ability to be three bikes in one: an all-road bike, a touring machine, or an adventure bike depending on the build kit.

We were most intrigued with the adventure build, which by swapping to 27.5in wheels easily accommodates 2in-wide tyres. Standard features throughout include front and rear disc brakes, front and rear thru-axles, rack and fender mounts, and stainless steel reinforcing rings on the head tube.

HED expects the Triple Crown to be available starting in May. Retail price is US$3,500 including the frame, fork, HED Ardennes Plus FR Disc wheelset, HED GTO drop bar, and HED GTO stem.

Independent Fabrication

IF can do any of its bikes in custom configurations and the titanium Club Racer it had on display at NAHBS included just about every option available: S&S couplers for traveling, a split rear triangle for a Gates belt drive, an eccentric bottom bracket shell, a custom steel fork built in-house, and extra clearance front and rear for long-reach brakes and room for 32mm-wide tyres.

Adding the finishing touch were custom bar end plugs with IF's unmistakable crown logo.

Kent Eriksen Cycles

As with IF, Kent Eriksen Cycles has always been able to do any of its titanium bikes in custom configurations and it took the opportunity at this year's show to showcase its gravel grinder capabilities. Eriksen didn't break any new ground on its samples but it was an impressively tidy execution nonetheless with clean and unadorned seat stays, enormous 1in-diameter chain stays, Paragon Machine Works disc rear dropouts, and an Enve Composites 'cross fork. All of which easily had room to spare for the 33.3mm-wide Jack Brown tyres used on the show bike.

Mosaic Bespoke Bicycles

We showed you the lead-up to Mosaic's NAHBS show bikes over the past few weeks and it was time for the full reveal in Charlotte, North Carolina. One of the titanium bikes – built for dealer Blacksmith Cycle in Toronto, Canada – included enough clearance for 28mm-wide tyres courtesy of slightly longer stays and a Wound-Up fork. Disc brakes were used front and rear.

Disc brakes were also featured on the titanium bike Mosaic built for Velosmith Bicycle Studio in Wilmette, Illinois. That sample was more of a road racer but still featured slightly wider tyres – tubular, in this case, which when combined with the Enve Composites rims would likely produce a fantastic ride quality.

Six-Eleven Bicycle Company

Virginia-based builder Six-Eleven showed off a steel all-road bike with dual disc brakes, clearance for 28mm-wide tyres, and beautifully executed seat stays that arc cleanly into the seat cluster. Finish work was gorgeously done, too, with a metallic silver paint job and gold accents.

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