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North American Handmade Bicycle Show 2010 - Part three

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Finish work on the lugged stem is impeccable.

Finish work on the lugged stem is impeccable. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Quiring's paint work has progressed along with his welding skills.

Quiring's paint work has progressed along with his welding skills. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Geekhouse's display included this stunning 'cross bike.

Geekhouse's display included this stunning 'cross bike. (Image credit: James Huang)
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PressFit 30 isn't just easier to build around; it's also light and quiet.

PressFit 30 isn't just easier to build around; it's also light and quiet. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Detail like this can't be found on most production bikes.

Detail like this can't be found on most production bikes. (Image credit: James Huang)
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This light blue Engin road bike sports one of the company's trademark paint jobs.

This light blue Engin road bike sports one of the company's trademark paint jobs. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Guldalian paints most of the dropout but polishes the inside of the window.

Guldalian paints most of the dropout but polishes the inside of the window. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Guldalian is an outspoken proponent of the PressFit 30 system.

Guldalian is an outspoken proponent of the PressFit 30 system. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Engin Cycles builder Drew Guldalian recently upgraded the hardware on his cast seatpost head.

Engin Cycles builder Drew Guldalian recently upgraded the hardware on his cast seatpost head. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The front end boasts plenty of beautiful lugwork.

The front end boasts plenty of beautiful lugwork. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Engin proudly displayed this fully rigid 29er singlespeed.

Engin proudly displayed this fully rigid 29er singlespeed. (Image credit: James Huang)
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This sliding dropout incorporates a knurled brass barrel to lock in the setting.

This sliding dropout incorporates a knurled brass barrel to lock in the setting. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The etched graphic leaves little doubt as to what tubing is used here.

The etched graphic leaves little doubt as to what tubing is used here. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The segmented titanium fork is a nice touch.

The segmented titanium fork is a nice touch. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The yellow steerer tube peeks out through the cutout stem clamp.

The yellow steerer tube peeks out through the cutout stem clamp. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Sure, the seat height isn't adjustable but so what - it looks really cool.

Sure, the seat height isn't adjustable but so what - it looks really cool. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Geekhouse also included one of its trademark fixies.

Geekhouse also included one of its trademark fixies. (Image credit: James Huang)
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This multi-color scheme shows off some impressive masking work.

This multi-color scheme shows off some impressive masking work. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Being based in Michigan, Scott Quiring builds a lot of 29ers.

Being based in Michigan, Scott Quiring builds a lot of 29ers. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The rear brake caliper is neatly tucked away between the stays.

The rear brake caliper is neatly tucked away between the stays. (Image credit: James Huang)
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This Quiring frame uses a standard BB30 setup - and thus required more machining work to fit the bearings into the frame.

This Quiring frame uses a standard BB30 setup - and thus required more machining work to fit the bearings into the frame. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Moots' latest Vamoots RSL is supposedly the company's lightest and stiffest road frame to date.

Moots' latest Vamoots RSL is supposedly the company's lightest and stiffest road frame to date. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The Alpha Q fork is painted to match.

The Alpha Q fork is painted to match. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The PressFit 30 system is tidy and narrow.

The PressFit 30 system is tidy and narrow. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The Moot Smoots snow bike makes yet another appearance and though we've seen it many times before, it never seems to catch our eye.

The Moot Smoots snow bike makes yet another appearance and though we've seen it many times before, it never seems to catch our eye. (Image credit: James Huang)
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135mm spacing on the fork means that the front and rear wheels can be interchanged in the event of a freehub failure.

135mm spacing on the fork means that the front and rear wheels can be interchanged in the event of a freehub failure. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Moots' Psychlo X uses many of the ultralight oversized tubes from the company's Vamoots RSL road bike.

Moots' Psychlo X uses many of the ultralight oversized tubes from the company's Vamoots RSL road bike. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Chain stays are slightly flattened for a little extra vertical flex.

Chain stays are slightly flattened for a little extra vertical flex. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The giant PressFit 30 bottom bracket shell looks almost proportional in comparision to the big adjoining tubes.

The giant PressFit 30 bottom bracket shell looks almost proportional in comparision to the big adjoining tubes. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The Moots head tube badge sports one of the industry's best-known mascots.

The Moots head tube badge sports one of the industry's best-known mascots. (Image credit: James Huang)
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This Dean track bike looks ready to rip.

This Dean track bike looks ready to rip. (Image credit: James Huang)
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A QBP Travel Agent provides a handy means of redirecting the cable direction.

A QBP Travel Agent provides a handy means of redirecting the cable direction. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The head tube is a nice blend of fillet brazing and traditional lugwork.

The head tube is a nice blend of fillet brazing and traditional lugwork. (Image credit: James Huang)
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A curved seat tube on this Black Cat 29er helps keep the chain stays to a reasonable length.

A curved seat tube on this Black Cat 29er helps keep the chain stays to a reasonable length. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Neat pivoting dropouts complete the rear end.

Neat pivoting dropouts complete the rear end. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Another popular trend at NAHBS were stems with integrated housing stops for the front brake.

Another popular trend at NAHBS were stems with integrated housing stops for the front brake. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Black Cat's 'cross bike was coated in one of the most popular colors of the show.

Black Cat's 'cross bike was coated in one of the most popular colors of the show. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Tucked in the corner of the Alchemy booth was this elegant titanium bike.

Tucked in the corner of the Alchemy booth was this elegant titanium bike. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The PressFit 30 system can be especially appealing for titanium builders given the material's difficulty to machine.

The PressFit 30 system can be especially appealing for titanium builders given the material's difficulty to machine. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Here's a clever idea for a cable protector: cheap and readily available clear rubber stick-on furniture pads.

Here's a clever idea for a cable protector: cheap and readily available clear rubber stick-on furniture pads. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Though TIG welded, this Alchemy Isky still boasted a lug-like paint job.

Though TIG welded, this Alchemy Isky still boasted a lug-like paint job. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Alchemy also showed off this fetching steel number.

Alchemy also showed off this fetching steel number. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The head tube badge is fittingly a blend of the old alchemy symbols for silver and gold.

The head tube badge is fittingly a blend of the old alchemy symbols for silver and gold. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Sparkling blue paint coats the cleanly welded seat cluster.

Sparkling blue paint coats the cleanly welded seat cluster. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Austin, Texas builder Alchemy Bicycles displayed this beautiful titanium-and-carbon road bike.

Austin, Texas builder Alchemy Bicycles displayed this beautiful titanium-and-carbon road bike. (Image credit: James Huang)
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This white and grey road bike was one of the highlights of the Black Cat booth.

This white and grey road bike was one of the highlights of the Black Cat booth. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Once installed, the PressFit 30 system is neatly tucked away.

Once installed, the PressFit 30 system is neatly tucked away. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Black Cat is located nearby Easton's main office, making that company's seatpost hardware an easy pick for this customization.

Black Cat is located nearby Easton's main office, making that company's seatpost hardware an easy pick for this customization. (Image credit: James Huang)
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S&S bikes were a prominent portion of Dean's display - and company employees flew with them from Colorado with no extra charges.

S&S bikes were a prominent portion of Dean's display - and company employees flew with them from Colorado with no extra charges. (Image credit: James Huang)
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A tidy split seat stay allows the belt to pass into the rear triangle. And yes, there's a bolt missing from the sliding rear dropout.

A tidy split seat stay allows the belt to pass into the rear triangle. And yes, there's a bolt missing from the sliding rear dropout. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Dean says this do-everything travel bike can accommodate nearly any type of bike you might encounter on a trip.

Dean says this do-everything travel bike can accommodate nearly any type of bike you might encounter on a trip. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The titanium fork uses a White Brothers aluminum crown.

The titanium fork uses a White Brothers aluminum crown. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Dean's do-everything frame is fitted with an FSA mountain bike crank here but road ones will also fit.

Dean's do-everything frame is fitted with an FSA mountain bike crank here but road ones will also fit. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The titanium tubes were externally machined then wrapped with carbon fiber by Edge Composites.

The titanium tubes were externally machined then wrapped with carbon fiber by Edge Composites. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Dean's titanium-and-carbon fiber road bike wasn't just a standard bonded number.

Dean's titanium-and-carbon fiber road bike wasn't just a standard bonded number. (Image credit: James Huang)
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In addition to being easier to build around, PressFit 30 bottom brackets also sport an additional bearing shield for added protection relative to standard BB30.

In addition to being easier to build around, PressFit 30 bottom brackets also sport an additional bearing shield for added protection relative to standard BB30. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Crumpton taps Dedacciai for the carbon rear end.

Crumpton taps Dedacciai for the carbon rear end. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The Chris King InSet internal headset makes for a larger head tube.

The Chris King InSet internal headset makes for a larger head tube. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Crumpton's new Corsa M features an internal-cup headset and oversized head tube plus a PressFit BB30 bottom bracket.

Crumpton's new Corsa M features an internal-cup headset and oversized head tube plus a PressFit BB30 bottom bracket. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The replaceable derailleur hanger's shape is even incorporated into the design of the adjoining stays.

The replaceable derailleur hanger's shape is even incorporated into the design of the adjoining stays. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Crumpton's Corsa M exemplifies the advantages of PressFit 30 with a bare carbon fiber shell that weighs next to nothing.

Crumpton's Corsa M exemplifies the advantages of PressFit 30 with a bare carbon fiber shell that weighs next to nothing. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Socket-style dropouts are bonded to the carbon stays.

Socket-style dropouts are bonded to the carbon stays. (Image credit: James Huang)

Every year at NAHBS we scan the aisles looking for common trends as history has consistently demonstrated that what shows up here today often arrives in the mainstream a year or two later. This year's show has been different, however, in that the pervasive theme hasn't been a genre of bike or even a particular style but rather a new piece of technology.

Roughly ten or so builders at NAHBS (a substantial figure given the small community) included SRAM's new PressFit 30 bottom bracket systems into their designs. Since the bearings themselves are the same size and they're spaced identically to standard BB30, existing BB30 cranks can be used and the benefits are also the same relative to most conventional threaded setups: lighter weight, more heel clearance, better bearing durability, and slightly improved stiffness. However, the PressFit 30 standard delivers those without the intricate shell machining and extremely tight tolerances normally required.

PressFit 30 requires only a straight, concentric bore nominally 46mm in diameter with parallel-faced ends and that's all – meaning it's easier and cheaper to manufacture while also increasing the likelihood that the finished product will actually meet specifications. There are no interior grooves required for snap rings, the system's nylon cups are more tolerant of slight dimensional variations, and there's no metallic sleeve required so ultralight bare carbon shells can be used.

Moreover, depending on the frame material there's also less chance of creaking and the larger-diameter shell provides more flexibility for adjoining tube dimensions and positioning – and the builders that are already on board seem to absolutely love it.

"I think it's more about the simplicity of the manufacturing process," said Drew Guldalian of Engin Cycles. "Boring out a [standard] BB30 is not impossible but in my opinion an unrealistic task from a manufacturer's standpoint that needs to do something to make money. With the PressFit 30, they're using the same technology with the larger bearings and the same technology with the bearings living inside the frame but they're utilizing the nylon to their advantage where you have a more realistic tolerance.

"And that's what it came down to," he continued, "the dread of finishing a bicycle, putting it on the machine, starting to bore it, having a really odd way of using a go-no go gage, and then you're done and [maybe it's] going in the garbage. And you do the PressFit 30 and you face the outside, you check your bore diameter, and if you need to ream it, you ream it, but you're not reaming it to such an insane tolerance."

"It's a fundamentally simpler system to use," said SRAM's Ed Nasjleti. "Plus there's a smaller compound miter for your seat tube and your down tube joint and a bigger area to work with for your chain stay height so I think there are some other advantages with the larger outer diameter."

Nasjleti is realistic about whether PressFit 30 will eventually become the dominant bottom bracket standard across the industry, though, saying that framebuilders that use more traditionally sized tubing will likely never accept the system's disparate proportions. In addition, some bicycle companies we spoke with prefer the design advantages that wider systems such as Shimano's press-fit system and Trek's drop-in setup allow.

Still, PressFit 30's extraordinarily straightforward dimensional requirements will certainly make it appealing to the mainstream industry as it can offer both a performance and cost advantage in most cases – a clear win-win. And the fact that it's so prevalent here at NAHBS is further indication that we'll see much more of PressFit 30 in the future.

For the full gallery click here.