Frames from Speedhound and Sylvan

Road, Tradeshows & Events 1 17

Since my last post, I have added quite a few new photos to my Interbike photoset on Flickr (up to nearly 600 shots total). I still have more photos and videos to go through on my wife’s camera, so I may be adding a few more to that set as the week goes on. As you can tell from the pictures, there was a lot at the show. It seemed like the majority of exhibitors that I talked to late Friday indicated that they had a better show than they had anticipated. That is great to hear…and it seemed especially true for the companies focused on transportation oriented or commuter oriented products. Attendance at Interbike this year had been projected to be down, but as BikeBiz reported that was not the case at all (and yes, in case you are wondering, I would have linked to that BikeBiz article even if it didn’t include a picture of me…but I do really like that pic).

I saw many interesting bicycles and cycling products at the show from companies big and small. I will talk about several of the products and categories that interested me in a series of posts, but today I want to mention bikes from a couple of small companies that got my attention in Vegas.

Speedhound Bikes is a small company from Minneapolis that had a 10’ x 10’ booth at the far end of the show hall. The frame they had on display, with a slot on the drive side rear dropout, immediately caught my eye as I walked by. Actually, I shouldn’t say slot in the dropout; the dropouts were not installed on the frame that I saw. The slot in the frame allows a belt (or unbroken chain) to be slipped through. Modular dropouts then bolt on, covering the slot and closing the rear triangle on the drive side. Both vertical road style and track fork end dropout are available. In each case, the dropout design allows for the user to vary the rear hub spacing depending on how the dropout pieces are installed. The track fork ends, for example, can provide 120mm, 125mm, 130mm, or 135mm spacings all from the same modular parts. The Speedhound website explains the dropout system much better than I am doing here, but suffice it to say that I thought it was a really nice solution and a clean, straightforward design. Given the fact that the frame can be built up as a geared road bike, a chain driven fixed gear, a belt driven integral geared hub bike, or really any other configuration, it really is one of the most versatile frame designs I have seen. Several frames that I like, including the Salsa Casseroll and the Ibis Tranny, allow for flexibility in build options, but the Speedhound “Only One” frameset is one of my new favorites. I am looking forward to seeing more from them.

I have posted a few different wooden bikes on the blog in the past. As I was walking outside of the show area, I saw a guy holding a nice lugged road frame with faceted wooden “tubes”. It turns out that the guy was Sam Kelly and the frame was one of his prototype Sylvan Cycles. See the Sylvan website for better pictures of the frame than this one that I took at the entrance of the Sands Expo. The “About” section of the site is worth checking out too. The guys behind the company have interesting backgrounds that led them to their current venture.

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