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On show: North American Handmade Bicycle Show, Part 7

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Needless to say, this Cherubim design is not UCI-compliant.

Needless to say, this Cherubim design is not UCI-compliant.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The integrated seatmast on Naked's city bike has no provisions for height adjustment.

The integrated seatmast on Naked's city bike has no provisions for height adjustment.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Tasteful paint work adds a bit of flair to the Krencker frame without overwhelming the carbon weave.

Tasteful paint work adds a bit of flair to the Krencker frame without overwhelming the carbon weave.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Krencker revamped the standard Rohloff shifter with an aluminum body.

Krencker revamped the standard Rohloff shifter with an aluminum body.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Krencker says it still has a bit of development work to finish up on the seatmast head design.

Krencker says it still has a bit of development work to finish up on the seatmast head design.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Beautiful chrome covers up the fillet brazing on this Krencker.

Beautiful chrome covers up the fillet brazing on this Krencker.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Krencker dressed this saddle up in calfskin and alligator leather.

Krencker dressed this saddle up in calfskin and alligator leather.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Krencker integrates convenient barrels adjusters into the housing stops for the Rohloff lines.

Krencker integrates convenient barrels adjusters into the housing stops for the Rohloff lines.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The Corima rims are dressed up with Krencker's own paint.

The Corima rims are dressed up with Krencker's own paint.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Krencker's cyclosportive bike includes carbon tubes and an integrated seatmast.

Krencker's cyclosportive bike includes carbon tubes and an integrated seatmast.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Tight bends like this would normally create an issue with mechanical brake but this hydraulic one should pose no problems on Krencker's stunning bike.

Tight bends like this would normally create an issue with mechanical brake but this hydraulic one should pose no problems on Krencker's stunning bike.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The brake levers are still pending some final development work but Krencker says the Tr!ckstuff master cylinder will ultimately have an ergonomic carbon fiber shell that will then be wrapped with leather upholstory to the customer's specifications.

The brake levers are still pending some final development work but Krencker says the Tr!ckstuff master cylinder will ultimately have an ergonomic carbon fiber shell that will then be wrapped with leather upholstory to the customer's specifications.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Krencker says its head tube badge is made of "Baccarat's crystal and precious metal". The Rohloff shifter lines are fed into the oversized head tube and run outside of the steerer tube.

Krencker says its head tube badge is made of "Baccarat's crystal and precious metal". The Rohloff shifter lines are fed into the oversized head tube and run outside of the steerer tube.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The stem is aluminum, the head tube and sleeves are steel, and the fork is carbon fiber - and yet Krencker has done a superb job of making all the finishes match up.

The stem is aluminum, the head tube and sleeves are steel, and the fork is carbon fiber - and yet Krencker has done a superb job of making all the finishes match up.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Phanuel Krencker says his gleaming Bicyclettes de Luxe was created with the concept of luxury in mind. "Price upon request" - meaning that if you have to ask

Phanuel Krencker says his gleaming Bicyclettes de Luxe was created with the concept of luxury in mind. "Price upon request" - meaning that if you have to ask
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The post mount tabs are gorgeously integrated into the rest of the structure on Krencker's modified carbon fiber fork.

The post mount tabs are gorgeously integrated into the rest of the structure on Krencker's modified carbon fiber fork.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The Krencker 'K' logo is held in place on the dropout with two tiny screws.

The Krencker 'K' logo is held in place on the dropout with two tiny screws.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The masked down tube logo on Naked's city bike is well in keeping with the goal of keeping things simple.

The masked down tube logo on Naked's city bike is well in keeping with the goal of keeping things simple.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The stitched leather grips on Naked's city bike maintain a constant outer diameter with the rest of the handlebar.

The stitched leather grips on Naked's city bike maintain a constant outer diameter with the rest of the handlebar.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Sam Whittingham says the inspiration for this year's NAHBS showpiece was simplicity: "How clean could a bike be?"

Sam Whittingham says the inspiration for this year's NAHBS showpiece was simplicity: "How clean could a bike be?"
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Even the custom front hub on Naked's city bike sports a highly simplistic profile.

Even the custom front hub on Naked's city bike sports a highly simplistic profile.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Naked's city bike was simply stunning with almost no visible hardware. Absolutely gorgeous - and well deserving of this year's "People's Choice" award.

Naked's city bike was simply stunning with almost no visible hardware. Absolutely gorgeous - and well deserving of this year's "People's Choice" award.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The rear dropout on Naked's city bike very cleanly incorporates an eccentric to tension the chain.

The rear dropout on Naked's city bike very cleanly incorporates an eccentric to tension the chain.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The front wheel on Naked's city bike uses hidden hardware to secure the axle. After loosening the set screws, one has to then spread the fork tips to remove the front wheel.

The front wheel on Naked's city bike uses hidden hardware to secure the axle. After loosening the set screws, one has to then spread the fork tips to remove the front wheel.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The distinctive top tube of Naked's Baby Ganoush.

The distinctive top tube of Naked's Baby Ganoush.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Naked's Baby Ganoush features this interesting seat cluster design.

Naked's Baby Ganoush features this interesting seat cluster design.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Naked now offers the Baby Ganoush, a (somewhat) more affordable version of the bike that won the "Best in Show", "President's Choice", and "People's Choice" awards at NAHBS 2008.

Naked now offers the Baby Ganoush, a (somewhat) more affordable version of the bike that won the "Best in Show", "President's Choice", and "People's Choice" awards at NAHBS 2008.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Naked's Baby Ganoush uses one of the cleanest bolt-on fork tip designs we've ever seen.

Naked's Baby Ganoush uses one of the cleanest bolt-on fork tip designs we've ever seen.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The front brake line is neatly run through the fork blade on Naked's Baby Ganoush.

The front brake line is neatly run through the fork blade on Naked's Baby Ganoush.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The crankarms, chainring, and outer guard are all highly polished on this Krencker custom machine.

The crankarms, chainring, and outer guard are all highly polished on this Krencker custom machine.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Belt tension on the Krencker is adjusted via the eccentric bottom bracket.

Belt tension on the Krencker is adjusted via the eccentric bottom bracket.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Steel stubs on the down tube and seat tube are bonded to carbon fiber center sections.

Steel stubs on the down tube and seat tube are bonded to carbon fiber center sections.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The truss frame on this Kimori looks unusual but it has very sound engineering foundations.

The truss frame on this Kimori looks unusual but it has very sound engineering foundations.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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A custom lugged stem finishes off the Cherubim "Rambler".

A custom lugged stem finishes off the Cherubim "Rambler".
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Cherubim claims the arcing dual top tubes and seat stays lends more comfort to the rider on rough roads.

Cherubim claims the arcing dual top tubes and seat stays lends more comfort to the rider on rough roads.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Cherubim also showed off the "Rambler", its interpretation of the modern club racer.

Cherubim also showed off the "Rambler", its interpretation of the modern club racer.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The rear brake is tucked inside the stays on Cherubim's "Rambler".

The rear brake is tucked inside the stays on Cherubim's "Rambler".
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The bottom bracket features Cherubim's typical identifying icons.

The bottom bracket features Cherubim's typical identifying icons.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Is it a down tube or is it a top tube? Yes, according to Cherubim's wild track machine.

Is it a down tube or is it a top tube? Yes, according to Cherubim's wild track machine.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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A small chrome accent at the top of the seat tube lends a nice visual transition to the polished seatpost.

A small chrome accent at the top of the seat tube lends a nice visual transition to the polished seatpost.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The seatpost on Cherubim's track bike appears to be based on an American Classic design.

The seatpost on Cherubim's track bike appears to be based on an American Classic design.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The bottom bracket on this Cherubim is supported solely by the seat tube - there are no chain stays and no conventional down tube.

The bottom bracket on this Cherubim is supported solely by the seat tube - there are no chain stays and no conventional down tube.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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This wild red track bike is Cherubim's interpretation of what a track bike could look like if the designs weren't restricted by UCI regulations.

This wild red track bike is Cherubim's interpretation of what a track bike could look like if the designs weren't restricted by UCI regulations.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Cherubim says the prime design goal for the bike was aerodynamics.

Cherubim says the prime design goal for the bike was aerodynamics.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The bars on this Cherubim track bike are attached directly to the fork blades.

The bars on this Cherubim track bike are attached directly to the fork blades.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The front end of Kimori's small-wheeled bikes include a parallelogram-type suspension linkage.

The front end of Kimori's small-wheeled bikes include a parallelogram-type suspension linkage.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Kimori once again showed off its wild-looking trussed small-wheel bikes complete with front and rear suspension.

Kimori once again showed off its wild-looking trussed small-wheel bikes complete with front and rear suspension.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Beautiful two-piece dropouts on this Krencker machine allows for the belt to pass through the rear triangle.

Beautiful two-piece dropouts on this Krencker machine allows for the belt to pass through the rear triangle.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Krencker customers can choose from a range of custom leather finishes.

Krencker customers can choose from a range of custom leather finishes.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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KirkLee says this mahogany-look carbon bike - painted by Darin Wheeler of 2 Wheeler Customs - was actually included in a collection of "alternative material bikes" on someone's blog.

KirkLee says this mahogany-look carbon bike - painted by Darin Wheeler of 2 Wheeler Customs - was actually included in a collection of "alternative material bikes" on someone's blog.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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A closer look at KirkLee's "Starry Night" frame.

A closer look at KirkLee's "Starry Night" frame.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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We're not sure if KirkLee's "Starry Night" bike is intended to be ridden but if so, the owner certainly won't be happy if the paint gets damaged.

We're not sure if KirkLee's "Starry Night" bike is intended to be ridden but if so, the owner certainly won't be happy if the paint gets damaged.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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KirkLee showed off this stunning carbon fiber frameset at NAHBS.

KirkLee showed off this stunning carbon fiber frameset at NAHBS.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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There are no decals here on this KirkLee "Starry Night" frame.

There are no decals here on this KirkLee "Starry Night" frame.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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KirkLee's Brad Cason says this "Starry Night" paint job was painstakingly done completely by hand by Darin Wheeler of 2 Wheeler Customs.

KirkLee's Brad Cason says this "Starry Night" paint job was painstakingly done completely by hand by Darin Wheeler of 2 Wheeler Customs.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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KirkLee says that CarbonSports agreed to open up its old 650c mold for this project.

KirkLee says that CarbonSports agreed to open up its old 650c mold for this project.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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KirkLee topped the Schmolke seatpost with an Odyssey BMX saddle since standard ones would have been too big.

KirkLee topped the Schmolke seatpost with an Odyssey BMX saddle since standard ones would have been too big.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Count the bling on the front end of this special KirkLee kid's bike: eecycleworks eebrakes, Shimano Dura-Ace Di2, Enve Composites bar, Paul top-mount brake lever, Lightweight 650c carbon wheels

Count the bling on the front end of this special KirkLee kid's bike: eecycleworks eebrakes, Shimano Dura-Ace Di2, Enve Composites bar, Paul top-mount brake lever, Lightweight 650c carbon wheels
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Remember that image of the junior racing lining up with a full-custom carbon fiber rig with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2, 650c Lightweights and an aero helmet? Yep, same bike, made by KirkLee in Austin, Texas.

Remember that image of the junior racing lining up with a full-custom carbon fiber rig with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2, 650c Lightweights and an aero helmet? Yep, same bike, made by KirkLee in Austin, Texas.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 for a kid in elementary school? Sure thing, says KirkLee.

Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 for a kid in elementary school? Sure thing, says KirkLee.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Junior gearing requires the use of Rotor mountain bike chainrings on this very special KirkLee kid's bike.

Junior gearing requires the use of Rotor mountain bike chainrings on this very special KirkLee kid's bike.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Lever reach is shortened for easier braking and shifting with small hands on the Enve Composites bar.

Lever reach is shortened for easier braking and shifting with small hands on the Enve Composites bar.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Tiny dropout pivots are used on the Kimori frames.

Tiny dropout pivots are used on the Kimori frames.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The leather top tube protector sits in a recessed center section to maintain a constant outer diameter and cleaner lines.

The leather top tube protector sits in a recessed center section to maintain a constant outer diameter and cleaner lines.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)

Cherubim offers up its vision of what a track bike could look like

Japanese outfit Cherubim has consistently brought some wild machines to NAHBS over the past years and the Austin edition was certainly no different. Highlighting the booth was a wild red and chrome machine that Cherubim says is its vision of what a track bike could look like were it not for the restrictive UCI technical guidelines (pictured right).

Indeed, the bike was visually stunning, with a single member joining the seat tube and head tube stub, tall seat stays that meet up with the seat tube just below the saddle, no chain stays whatsoever, and minimal grips sprouting right from the fork blades.

We might question Cherubim's claims about the bike's aerodynamics but its aesthetic appeal was undeniable.

Sitting right behind it was a somewhat more conventional-looking machine that was Cherubim's interpretation of a modern-day club racer. Slender dual top tubes arc down to the dropouts to supposedly lend a cushy ride and disc brakes are fitted front and rear. Capping things off was a custom lugged stem, an integrated seatmast, and a handy little handlebar bag to hold the essentials.

Kimori's function-over-form trussed bikes

Truss-type bicycle frames aren't anything new but Japanese builder Kimori is among the few to still continue using them in the modern day. Claimed benefits include stiffer frames with less material – the distinctive look comes free.

Kimori also uses the truss members to help support its small-wheeled bikes' front and rear suspension. The front end uses a parallelogram linkage and an air/oil shock that doubles as the steerer tube while the rear is a simpler modified single-pivot arrangement supported by a stack of elastomers.

KirkLee rethinks the kid's bike

Months ago a photo of a certain well-off junior went viral on account of his ultralight custom carbon fibre frameset, 650c CarbonSports Lightweight carbon tubulars, Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 group and yes, even an aero helmet. Turns out that was the creation of Austin, Texas builder KirkLee who was directed to simply build the best bike they could – and not surprisingly, money was no object.

KirkLee started with a particularly light hand-wrapped carbon tube-to-tube frame and dressed it up with some of the best parts it could find to fit the pint-sized proportions. The Odyssey BMX seat and basic forged aluminum crankarms are obvious concessions but KirkLee's Brad Cason did manage to get CarbonSports to reopen its old 650c mold for one last run of Lightweight wheels.

Dare we say there may be an arms race heating up in the Texas junior ranks – good thing CarbonSports made extras.

KirkLee's custom paint jobs also nabbed the company its first NAHBS award for "Best Paint". Darin Wheeler of 2 Wheeler Customs redid Vincent Van Gogh's classic "Starry Night" using one of KirkLee's carbon frames as a canvas and there was some amazing detail – the closer you looked, the more there was to see.

Wheeler also painted KirkLee's wood-look bike with a similar degree of expertise. Made to look like mahogany, the end result was apparently more than a little convincing to some onlookers.

"Someone put the wood bike on a show blog along with the bamboo frames under 'Alternative Materials'," said Cason. "We are still laughing about that."

French builder Krencker looks to bring the luxury back into bicycles

Phanuel Krencker's stunning chrome and carbon fiber cyclosportive bike was one of the most thoroughly custom complete bikes at NAHBS with not just a bespoke frameset but also a collection of other parts that were anything but off-the-shelf.

Cyfac built the frame for Krencker using fillet brazed steel "lugs" and bonded-in carbon fibre tubes to provide a distinctive look, a lighter weight, and a smoother ride. All of the metal bits were polished to a mirror-like finish and even the carbon fiber fork was finished in chrome paint for an impressively matched appearance.

An eccentric bottom bracket allowed tension adjustment for the Rohloff-equipped chain-driven transmission and the shifter cables were run internally – fed into the frame at the bulbous head tube and then diverted around the 1 1/8" steerer. Front and rear disc brakes were by German company Tr!ckstuff.

Krencker's "luxury" theme could also be found in the custom aluminum Rohloff shifter body, the Baccarat crystal head tube badge, the custom calfskin and alligator hide coverings on the saddle and lever hoods, and tastefully understated paint job on the frameset and tubeless-compatible Corima carbon clincher rims.

Krencker says the price is available "upon request" – meaning that if you have to ask…

Massachusetts builder Maietta adds just the right amount of embellishment to its anniversary machine

Maietta's fifth-anniversary Columbus Life-tubed road bike didn't go over-the-top with its decorations but what it did do was very noteworthy. Abalone inlays were used for the gorgeous down tube logo and proud "Made in Massachusetts" badge on the top tube while most of the rest of the bike was finished in a deep black paint.

The one major exception was the bamboo-look seat tube, a convincing replica of the real thing augmented with more abalone inserts and realistic shaping. Finishing things off were the painted-to-match Enve Composites seatpost, stem, and handlebar.

Sam Whittingham steals the show yet again

Naked's Sam Whittingham has earned a reputation for thoroughly over-the-top dedicated showpieces at past NAHBS editions but took a subtler approach this time around. Whittingham says that his primary design goal for 2011 was simplicity.

"How clean could a bike be?" he asked of himself on his blog. "Take away as many nuts and bolts as possible – what is the result?"

The result took home the "People's Choice" award for its incredibly streamlined profile. There's a constant diameter from the stem all the way through the head tube and fork steerer base – with almost zero gap in between – and the custom front hub is held in place with blind fork tips and hidden set screws.

Chain tension on the singlespeed drivetrain is adjusted via neatly integrated eccentric rear dropouts, the saddle rails are welded directly to the top of the truly integrated seatmast, and necked-down sections on the top tube and handlebars yield a constant diameter when the stitched-on leather covers are added in.

All told, Whittingham's bike was a bold statement to what's needed and what isn't, and we're hoping to see this machine brought into limited production as he did with the "Baby Ganoush" – a toned-down version of the bike that not only won the top three NAHBS awards in 2008 but was later purchased by Lance Armstrong for display in his Mellow Johnny's shop.