Berliner Fahrradschau 2014

Like every year the beginning of spring is symbolized by the ever growing bike show with the very non-native-German-speaking name “Der Berliner Fahrradschau” which basically means “The Berlin Bike Show.”  Lets agree that abbreviating it to BFS (that’s actually F and S in that super long word that is of course made out of two nouns) is ok and we shell not mention the full name any more.

This year the show really grow and with that several of the corridors became unbearable.  I’m pretty sure I waved off people away from my frame more than once and all together avoided a few rows all together.  I started from the end and worked my way to about half the space focusing really on handmade bikes.  This year there were some excellant German handmade bikes as well as international names.

To start off, the best of show for me was a builder out of Bochum called Le Canard (the duck in French).  He explained that the bike that was copper plated was his own and had three gears – walking the bike, riding the bike, pushing the bike.  He had the passion of someone who rides his own work and has the balls to go big – copper plated bike with internal cable routing and a GT-like geometry with lights built into the butt.  What’s not to love?

Next to him was Wheel Dan – a local Berlin titanium builder that’s doing amazing work.  This time he presented a commuter bike he built for a customer which came with a Pinion drive!  The handmade racks he build, both for the commuter and for Christoph’s Brevet machine, standing in the same booth, were impressive in their design, ambition and execution.  This year the show was all about internal routing – German minimalism at its best.

Another local German builder is Tannenwald.  They explained to me that they like to work with steel and combine the newest technologies, such as 44mm head tubes and through axels, with old school design.  Their design and paintwork were impressive and the combination of Tune parts (they come from the forest next door to Tune’s) really accentuated their European-ism.  Their bikes were the only ones I saw that used 3T forks.

Pretty much all other bikes that caught my eyes were some form of cyclecross bikes, each one using Enve Components.  Enve had a nice area in which they invited some of their favorite European builders to present their bikes which is how we ended up with first hand view of a beautiful fixie from Field Cycles in the U.K.  In the same area Troica Cycles, Berlin’s own cyclocross newcomer, presented one of their rigs and in the background, Ken’s Crema Cycles presented a baby blue UCI-sanctioned cross machine built to win and win.  Yes, there was a Vandeyk in the same area and a beautiful road machine St. Joris cycles out of the Netherlands, but at this point I got a little dizzy by the abundance of carbon and had to move away.

I had to ask myself “where is 3T?”  Enve, a company based in Utah, showed up in full force with a concept and 3T, a company with similar products, located on the same small continent, missed on a show as big as this.  Shame.

It was great to see so many every day folks checking out the show.  It was not just occupied by the freaks and geeks and fixie nerds, but by people like my mom and your aunt and the dad that loaded his family on their bikes and took a tour in the BFS.  There were loads of cargo bikes and baby bikes and WheelDan even brought his son’s titanium training bike.  There was really something for everyone.

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