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North American Handmade Bicycle Show 2010 - Part four

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Serotta fooled a lot of onlookers with this stunning PPG faux-wood paint job.

Serotta fooled a lot of onlookers with this stunning PPG faux-wood paint job. (Image credit: James Huang)
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This gleaming yellow titanium hardtail was shown off with studded tires and chrome fenders.

This gleaming yellow titanium hardtail was shown off with studded tires and chrome fenders. (Image credit: James Huang)
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We normally see Serotta's titanium-and-carbon fiber Ottrott with clearcoated carbon tubes but like the painted look more.

We normally see Serotta's titanium-and-carbon fiber Ottrott with clearcoated carbon tubes but like the painted look more. (Image credit: James Huang)
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This joint isn't just a way to accommodate various stay angles during the build process but is actually a pivot and supposedly contributes to the unique ride quality.

This joint isn't just a way to accommodate various stay angles during the build process but is actually a pivot and supposedly contributes to the unique ride quality. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The new Serotta Size Cycle is big and expensive but also very advanced and easy to use. Serotta says it's already received 25 deposits.

The new Serotta Size Cycle is big and expensive but also very advanced and easy to use. Serotta says it's already received 25 deposits. (Image credit: James Huang)
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A quick-release clamp makes it easy for fitters to swap out bars while the integrated laptop stand allows customers to instantly see the effect of changes.

A quick-release clamp makes it easy for fitters to swap out bars while the integrated laptop stand allows customers to instantly see the effect of changes. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Optional Dartfish software provides more intricate analysis capabilities.

Optional Dartfish software provides more intricate analysis capabilities. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The adjustable crank is connected to the integrated Computrainer via a Gates carbon belt drive.

The adjustable crank is connected to the integrated Computrainer via a Gates carbon belt drive. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Serotta's saddle tool provides a perfect level measurement.

Serotta's saddle tool provides a perfect level measurement. (Image credit: James Huang)
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(Image credit: James Huang)
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Serotta's custom painted Meivici AE was one of the highlights of the booth.

Serotta's custom painted Meivici AE was one of the highlights of the booth. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Once and for all, no, it's not really wood.

Once and for all, no, it's not really wood. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The reflective down tube logo was a nice touch.

The reflective down tube logo was a nice touch. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Ornate paint has long been a hallmark of Ruegamer's ultralight carbon frames.

Ornate paint has long been a hallmark of Ruegamer's ultralight carbon frames. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Careful masking lets plenty of the underlying carbon peek through.

Careful masking lets plenty of the underlying carbon peek through. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The extended seat tube offers benefits of a fully integrated design without most of the usual headaches.

The extended seat tube offers benefits of a fully integrated design without most of the usual headaches. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Ruegamer says this full-carbon track tandem frame weighs just 1,800g.

Ruegamer says this full-carbon track tandem frame weighs just 1,800g. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Rue Sports says this 52cm Zen Uberlight weighs just 720g.

Rue Sports says this 52cm Zen Uberlight weighs just 720g. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Oversized cartridge bearings are pressed directly into the carbon shell.

Oversized cartridge bearings are pressed directly into the carbon shell. (Image credit: James Huang)
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You can just barely make out the stepped transition around the wrapped joints.

You can just barely make out the stepped transition around the wrapped joints. (Image credit: James Huang)
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(Image credit: James Huang)
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(Image credit: James Huang)
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(Image credit: James Huang)
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Metal framemaster Carl Strong now offers a fully custom carbon 'crosser.

Metal framemaster Carl Strong now offers a fully custom carbon 'crosser. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Top tube-routed cables keep them out of the way from mud and debris.

Top tube-routed cables keep them out of the way from mud and debris. (Image credit: James Huang)
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This Strong logo shows off some impressive masking work.

This Strong logo shows off some impressive masking work. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Strong's down tube logo shows off the underlying material.

Strong's down tube logo shows off the underlying material. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Brake bosses are bonded and bolted in place.

Brake bosses are bonded and bolted in place. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Sylvan's custom stainless steel lugs are brazed from the inside-out, leaving a smaller external fillet.

Sylvan's custom stainless steel lugs are brazed from the inside-out, leaving a smaller external fillet. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Sylvan was among a growing number of builders at NAHBS using wood.

Sylvan was among a growing number of builders at NAHBS using wood. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Sylvan says the hollow, laminated octagonal wood tubes are as stiff as steel but 20-30% lighter.

Sylvan says the hollow, laminated octagonal wood tubes are as stiff as steel but 20-30% lighter. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Seven's latest seatpost design is perhaps a bit chunky-looking but easier to adjust than before.

Seven's latest seatpost design is perhaps a bit chunky-looking but easier to adjust than before. (Image credit: James Huang)
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This Seven townie was built with a Rohloff rear hub.

This Seven townie was built with a Rohloff rear hub. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Seven's Rohloff dropout option is neat and clean.

Seven's Rohloff dropout option is neat and clean. (Image credit: James Huang)
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(Image credit: James Huang)
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The aluminum dropout blends cleanly with the adjoining carbon stays.

The aluminum dropout blends cleanly with the adjoining carbon stays. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Seven Cycles is best known for its titanium creations but is also becoming better known for its custom carbon machines, too.

Seven Cycles is best known for its titanium creations but is also becoming better known for its custom carbon machines, too. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Integrated aluminum guards protect the frame against dropped chains.

Integrated aluminum guards protect the frame against dropped chains. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The unique frame shape provides clues as to how Seven is able to alter the frame angles: the head tube looks to 'float' inside the ring-shaped ends of the top tube and down tube and is then somehow locked in place.

The unique frame shape provides clues as to how Seven is able to alter the frame angles: the head tube looks to 'float' inside the ring-shaped ends of the top tube and down tube and is then somehow locked in place. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The svelte rear end includes some aero-inspired shapes.

The svelte rear end includes some aero-inspired shapes. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Seven does a neat job of fitting a round telescoping seatpost into a non-round seat tube.

Seven does a neat job of fitting a round telescoping seatpost into a non-round seat tube. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Internally routed brake cables exit out through the titanium Seven H-bars.

Internally routed brake cables exit out through the titanium Seven H-bars. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The finish work could have been better but the concept is very intriguing.

The finish work could have been better but the concept is very intriguing. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Bamboosero bikes are designed to be easily built by residents of underdeveloped areas to provide a means of transportation - and income. Cargo bikes are a primary focus.

Bamboosero bikes are designed to be easily built by residents of underdeveloped areas to provide a means of transportation - and income. Cargo bikes are a primary focus. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Calfee also does repairs on other makes of carbon fiber frames with some impressive-looking results.

Calfee also does repairs on other makes of carbon fiber frames with some impressive-looking results. (Image credit: James Huang)
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A conventional eccentric is housed within the smoothly sculpted shell.

A conventional eccentric is housed within the smoothly sculpted shell. (Image credit: James Huang)
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We had to stand on a chair to fit this bamboo triplet into the camera frame!

We had to stand on a chair to fit this bamboo triplet into the camera frame! (Image credit: James Huang)
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Most people don't normally think of Cyfac as a handbuilt company but its carbon fiber Absolu is still built in France and is available in fully custom geometry.

Most people don't normally think of Cyfac as a handbuilt company but its carbon fiber Absolu is still built in France and is available in fully custom geometry. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Derailleur housing stops are neatly integrated into the head tube.

Derailleur housing stops are neatly integrated into the head tube. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The unique seat stay arrangement instantly identifies this frame as a Cyfac.

The unique seat stay arrangement instantly identifies this frame as a Cyfac. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The front end shows off some nice lug and paint work.

The front end shows off some nice lug and paint work. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Though better known for its carbon fiber racers, Cyfac also offers more traditional looking steel bikes.

Though better known for its carbon fiber racers, Cyfac also offers more traditional looking steel bikes. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The truss frame is designed to yield maximum stiffness from relatively small-diameter tubes.

The truss frame is designed to yield maximum stiffness from relatively small-diameter tubes. (Image credit: James Huang)
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A rear rack is integrated right into the structure.

A rear rack is integrated right into the structure. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Calfee took the distinctive Moulton trussed frame design and recreated it in bamboo.

Calfee took the distinctive Moulton trussed frame design and recreated it in bamboo. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Hand-wrapped joints can be sanded smooth or left raw depending on the end user.

Hand-wrapped joints can be sanded smooth or left raw depending on the end user. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Ornate paint dresses up the natural beauty of the bamboo.

Ornate paint dresses up the natural beauty of the bamboo. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Though intended to help the world's poor, Bamboosero bikes are also an appealing option for any rider looking for something more eco-conscious.

Though intended to help the world's poor, Bamboosero bikes are also an appealing option for any rider looking for something more eco-conscious. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Boo Bicycles, on the other hand, touts bamboo tubing mainly for its performance and unique ride quality.

Boo Bicycles, on the other hand, touts bamboo tubing mainly for its performance and unique ride quality. (Image credit: James Huang)
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A split dropout is required to slip the belt into the rear triangle.

A split dropout is required to slip the belt into the rear triangle. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The rear brake cable is fed into the top tube then exits straight out the rear for a perfectly direct line.

The rear brake cable is fed into the top tube then exits straight out the rear for a perfectly direct line. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The truss-type bars are built using a mix of carbon fiber, bamboo, and hemp fiber.

The truss-type bars are built using a mix of carbon fiber, bamboo, and hemp fiber. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The classic Moulton linkage-type suspension fork is fitted to the front end.

The classic Moulton linkage-type suspension fork is fitted to the front end. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The internally routed derailleur cables exit just ahead of the bottom bracket shell.

The internally routed derailleur cables exit just ahead of the bottom bracket shell. (Image credit: James Huang)
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De Rosa's King 3 RS Custom differs from the standard model with its tube-to-tube construction and customizable configuration and geometry.

De Rosa's King 3 RS Custom differs from the standard model with its tube-to-tube construction and customizable configuration and geometry. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Customers can opt for straight or tapered head tubes.

Customers can opt for straight or tapered head tubes. (Image credit: James Huang)
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A Gates belt drive on a BB30-equipped Cannondale hollow aluminum crank and toe clip pedals? Anything goes at NAHBS.

A Gates belt drive on a BB30-equipped Cannondale hollow aluminum crank and toe clip pedals? Anything goes at NAHBS. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Bike builders have come up with lots of different ways to cleanly split the rear triangle.

Bike builders have come up with lots of different ways to cleanly split the rear triangle. (Image credit: James Huang)
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We're not sure how many buyers would really opt for a singlespeed version of Independent Fabrication's full-carbon road frame but it's a possibility nonetheless.

We're not sure how many buyers would really opt for a singlespeed version of Independent Fabrication's full-carbon road frame but it's a possibility nonetheless. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Independent Fabrication's carbon lugs are functional and eye-catching.

Independent Fabrication's carbon lugs are functional and eye-catching. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Independent Fabrication is raffling off a custom bike like this to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project, an organization that aids injured veterans. Tickets are available at www.rrcycling.com.

Independent Fabrication is raffling off a custom bike like this to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project, an organization that aids injured veterans. Tickets are available at www.rrcycling.com. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The special Steel Crown Jewel SE bike will come covered in a striking red, white and blue paint job.

The special Steel Crown Jewel SE bike will come covered in a striking red, white and blue paint job. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Sylvan can alter the tubing to tune the ride characteristics.

Sylvan can alter the tubing to tune the ride characteristics. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Center-pull Mafac-type brakes were also a popular item at this year's NAHBS.

Center-pull Mafac-type brakes were also a popular item at this year's NAHBS. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The carbon tubes are neatly plugged into the custom welded lugs.

The carbon tubes are neatly plugged into the custom welded lugs. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The De Rosa Neo Primato continues to be a modern classic.

The De Rosa Neo Primato continues to be a modern classic. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The external headset complements the traditional appearance.

The external headset complements the traditional appearance. (Image credit: James Huang)
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There's a lot of careful welding here even in such a small area.

There's a lot of careful welding here even in such a small area. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Troy Henderson of US De Rosa importer Trialtir says this is Doriano De Rosa's personal track bike.

Troy Henderson of US De Rosa importer Trialtir says this is Doriano De Rosa's personal track bike. (Image credit: James Huang)
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This is one of the cleanest-looking internal-type metallic head tubes we've seen.

This is one of the cleanest-looking internal-type metallic head tubes we've seen. (Image credit: James Huang)
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This De Rosa Scatto Fisso is ready to hit city streets.

This De Rosa Scatto Fisso is ready to hit city streets. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Purple accents contrast with the pearlescent white paint.

Purple accents contrast with the pearlescent white paint. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Reverse TT-type brake levers were a popular trend at NAHBS.

Reverse TT-type brake levers were a popular trend at NAHBS. (Image credit: James Huang)
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An awesome bike and a worthy cause: sounds like a good combination.

An awesome bike and a worthy cause: sounds like a good combination. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Independent Fabrication blends modern technology and classic styling for this randonneur bike.

Independent Fabrication blends modern technology and classic styling for this randonneur bike. (Image credit: James Huang)
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This Independent Fabrication runabout looks like a fun way to roll around town.

This Independent Fabrication runabout looks like a fun way to roll around town. (Image credit: James Huang)

Non-metallic materials continued to make a strong showing at this year's NAHBS with over a dozen builders showing bikes made either entirely or at least mostly of one type of fiber composite – and not just the usual synthetic types, either.

Craig Calfee brought along the usual crop of bamboo-tubed machines to go along with his staple carbon fiber models, having long touted the material's impressive stiffness and weight, sustainable nature, and unique ride quality and aesthetic. After years of working with the stuff, Calfee's bamboo frames look quite refined, too.

This year's examples included an eye-popping road triplet built with gargantuan bamboo tubes and carefully hand-wrapped joints reinforced with hemp fiber as well as a bamboo version of the classic Moulton truss-type frame complete with the original front and rear suspension and integrated cargo rack.

Some of Calfee's more interesting bamboo bikes came from his Bamboosero line, however, which is not meant so much as a more economical alternative to his more premium creations as it is a way to provide the world's poor with a means of transportation – and income. Through the program, local residents are taught how to inexpensively build practical rigs such as cargo bikes using bamboo and other locally harvested, low-cost materials. While the end products aren't always pretty in the classic sense (though that obviously depends on your perspective), they're eminently functional and fulfill a critical role.

So far, Bamboosero boasts established programs in Ghana, Zambia, the Philippines, Uganda and New Zealand with more locations pending.

Colorado-based Boo Bicycles also uses bamboo tubing but mixed with more conventional hand-wrapped carbon fiber joints and with a decidedly high-performance intent. One of the highlights of its booth was a slick-looking singlespeed 'cross bike with an integrated seatmast as well as clever rear brake routing that runs inside the top tube then exits straight out the back of the seat cluster for a perfectly direct cable path.

A split driveside rear dropout allowed the use of a Gate carbon belt drive, too, for a light, comfortable – and quiet – machine.

Hardwood builder Renova was a curious no-show but Sylvan Cycles filled the void with its engineered, eight-sided laminate frame tubes and custom stainless steel lugs. According to Sylvan, its hollow tubes have tested as stiff as steel but yet are 20-30 percent lighter and will a distinctly smooth ride quality as well.

In addition to providing virtually any geometry, Sylvan's custom lugs offer a unique look, too. The mitered joints are first tack TIG-welded for stability and then brazing materials is applied to the iinside/i of the tubes instead of the outside, leaving an impossibly small brass exterior fillet that's barely visible.

Serotta's stunning Meivici AE caught a lot of onlookers off guard – though it sported a thoroughly convincing skin, it was definitely made of carbon fiber and not wood. Serotta developed the finish in cooperation with PPG and only the closest inspection would betray the natural-looking wood grain.

One of the biggest stars of the Serotta booth wasn't even a bike – nor was it even all that pretty. Serotta's latest Size Cycle is a grand departure from its older designs, being based on a more straightforward X-Y coordinate system and boasting an array of electronic and computer-controlled wizardry. Positioning changes are easily made with a combination of hand cranks and worm drives and a built-in Computrainer resistance unit not only provides realistic-feeling resistance but also provides instant power output feedback to evaluate the effectiveness of different adjustments.

The impressive-looking beast also sports adjustable-length cranks and quick-release saddle and handlebar clamps for quick changes, all made by Purely Custom. Optional tools include Dartfish camera and sizing software integration, a slick X-Y Tool for measuring and replicating bar and saddle positions on actual bikes, and a digital level to dial in saddle tilt.

Price for the basic package is set at a heady US$8500 but Serotta's Paraic McGlynn says the company has already received twenty-five deposits with first deliveries scheduled for this May.

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