Handbuilt Bicycle News


Philly Bike Expo

Paul Skilbeck

Saturday 15 October 2016

Philly Bike Expo grows as handbuilt event

Now in its seventh year, the Philly Bike Expo has grown into the largest gathering of handbuilt custom brands in northeastern USA.

Philly Bike Expo grows as handbuilt event
Event promo poster by Jeff Curtis Williams

The Philly Bike Expo announced today it has surpassed 35 registered custom frame builders, the largest number in its seven year history. While this number is still well short of the 80-90 that the North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS) regularly attracts, this still makes the Philly Bike Expo a significant event for the cycling industry not only in the U.S.A. but also internationally.

International growth seems to be where the Philly Bike Expo is heading with its frame builder contingent. Last year Shand Cycles was the first frame builder from outside North America to exhibit in Philly. This year those brands include Cherubim and Nagasawa from Japan and Portus from Germany. Italian frame builder Battaglin first heard about the expo too late to exhibit this year but is seriously considering being there in 2017.

Among the North American frame builders, most are based relatively close to Philadelphia, but four builders are coming from California: Calfee, Frances, Inglis/Retrotec and Moth Attack; three from Colorado: Da Vinci, Gallus and Nobilette; and two will travel from Oregon: Cielo and Co-Motion.

Many of the frame builders exhibiting in Philly seldom appear at other shows, so this expo presents a rare opportunity to meet these builders in person. Richard Sachs, Cicli Polito, Da Vinci, Moth Attack, 44 Bikes, Vlad, Breismeister, Cobra, Coast, Cycles Ed, Dogwood, Hanford, Fenix, Nagasawa, Royal H, Stanridge, Wraith, and Von Hof are all among the builders who are using the Philly Bike Expo as a key show appearance and a main avenue for interacting with their customer base in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.

Not only is the list of frame builders appearing in Philly the largest collection of builders exhibiting in the Northeastern U.S., but the list of seminars being offered is perhaps unrivalled nationally in terms of the number of seminars scheduled and the breadth of topics discussed. The seminars include a framebuilder's panel, as well as many other topics of relevance to the handbuilt bicycle afficionado:


Arriving at the Bench presented by Richard Sachs.
Bicycle touring: things you need to know (or might have forgotten) Brian and Diane Jenks, The HubBub Helmet Mirror.
BikeSnob NYC (Arrive early if you want to get a seat).
Campagnolo USA Overview of the 2017 lineup, including disc brake
Cargo Bike Symposium Presented by Josh Boisclair, Bilenky Cycle Works; Joshua Muir, Frances Cycles; David Wilson, Firth & Wilson Transport Cycles; Stephen Horcha, Haley Trikes.
Cycling Savvy An elderly, modest and unprepossessing woman was afraid to ride her bike on a bike path, but after Cycling Savvy she was empowered to go anywhere she wants on Orlando’s arterial streets. Presented by John Schubert and Mighk Wilson, Cycling Savvy.
Design, Build, Ride University of Iowa's Steve McGuire presents his course curriculum.
Endurance Cycling Ely Rodriguez, RuthWorks SF; Debra Banks, Rivet Cycle Works; Eric Estlund, Winter Bicycles; David Dean, Sinewave Cycles and Todd Parker, TP2 – Todd Parker Training Programs.
Essential Attire for Women on Wheels Barbara Kornbluh, Evelyn Hill Cycling.
Family Biking Basics Firth & Wilson Transport Cycles; Dena Driscoll and Kate Mundie, Kidical Mass PHL.
Framebuilder panel Bryan Hollingsworth, Royal H cycles; Drew Guldalian, Engin Cycles; Mark Nobilette, Nobilette Cycles; Dan Polito, Cicli Polito; Steve Potts, Steve Potts Bicycles. Moderated by Mark Norstad, Paragon Machine Works.
Frame tubes Why the stated properties might not best match a frame builder’s needs presented by Lon Kennedy, Nova Cycles Supply.
How the Sun Set on Suntour Presented by Paul Brodek of Bronin Jitensha.
Randonneur bike design considerations Moderated by Jamie Swan. Panelists: Johnny Coast, Coast Cycles; Mark Nobilette, Nobilette Cycles; Joshua Muir, Frances Cycles; Simon Firth, Hanford Cycles; Jeremy Schlachter, Gallus Cycles.
Stoking Women's Amateur Racing Anna Schwinn and Elisabeth Reinkordt present effective methods for growing and retaining women in local racing scenes, and making the whole racing community stronger in the process.
The bicycle wheel Rolling with the changes, presented by Chad Eskins, DT Swiss.
Yes She Can The Woman-owned Bike Business. Moderated by: Jane Hayes, Janeware Micro; Joni Taylor, TEXmarket-USA; Megan Dean, Moth Attack and Suzanne Carlsen, VeloColour.

Founded in 2010 by Philly-based frame builder Steven Bilenky, and now managed by his daughter Bina, the Philly Bike Expo represents a rare opportunity to learn more about some of the world's top frame builders, to meet them in person, and to have fun all at the same time. Philadelphia is a bicycle-friendly city, and is easily accessible by public transportation, including rail. Amtrak is offering special fares for PBE attendees, and certain long-distance trains in the Northeast Corridor now have baggage cars fitted with bicycle racks that avoid the need for passengers to box their bikes. More information about the full list of exhibitors, the seminar schedules, parking and transportation to the show may be found at the PBE website.



 Bina and her father Stephen Bilenky. Photo: Brad Quartuccio/PBE