As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I am a fan of Shimano’s new utility oriented Alfine group. To showcase the versatility of the new component group, Shimano recently sponsored a custom bike design contest called the Alfine Challenge. The company will be displaying the top three winning entries in their booth at Interbike this week.
According to Shimano, “Fourteen builders took on the challenge of creating a unique dream bike with a specific customer in mind. The builders not only had to construct a bike to be displayed at Interbike 2006, but were judged on the description of their creation, the description of the customer, and how well the bike met their respective customers’ needs. Shimano provided full ALFINE kits to each participant and established the panel of judges. The fourteen participants were (with Interbike booth number): Alternative Needs Transportation (ANT), Charter Oak Cycling, DeSalvo Custom Cycles (#3832), Floyd Cycles (#6158), Igleheart Cycles, Independent Fabrications (#4245), Kish Bicycles, Old Man Mountain, Pereira Cycles, Rock Lobster, SadiLah, SyCip (#3344), Vicious Cycles (#4060), and Waterford Cycles – Schlick (#6559).”
Shown here are some shots of the winning entry, the aviation inspired “Frequent Flyer” from Old Man Mountain. Many of the details are nice, such as the internally routed hydraulic brake lines, but I especially like the airplane wing inspired custom handlebars. Second place went to Rock Lobster’s 1940’s inspired “Alfie” and third went to a classic looking entry from Alternative Needs Transportation. If you are in Vegas this week, make sure you check out all three bikes at Shimano’s booth (#4121).