NAHBS Snapshot: Avery County Cycles

NAHBS Snapshot: Avery County Cycles

Josh Culbertson is pressed up against the wall, by himself. One table. One chair. One bike. One talented individual.

Culbertson has essentially been relegated to the kids table at Thanksgiving. As a first-year exhibitor, he is forced to submit to what is effectively the frame-builders coming of age rite. Allowed just a simple space to showcase their chops, first-years are all grouped together at the show, in a freshmen orientation of sorts. Invariably the talent pool varies, but like any freshmen class, it will inevitably contain the one-day valedictorian. But in this case, make that plural. Valedictorians.

Tasteful copper-plated hardware gave the bike a subdued yet stately appearance.

Tasteful copper-plated hardware gave the bike a subdued yet stately appearance.

Easy to overlook, with no handwrought displays and dedicated lighting, the row of first-years is nonetheless remarkable for its display of talent.

Which of course brings us back to Josh Culbertson of Avery County Cycles.

Allowed only one bike at the show, he certainly had to choose carefully, eventually settling on a personal build—his “version of a high-speed commuter…fun and quick, but can still handle gravel trails.”

Home-grown. Denver-based Avery County Cycles didn't have to travel far to this year's show.

Home-grown. Denver-based Avery County Cycles didn't have to travel far to this year's show.

It’s a bike that certainly reflects the needs of Denver-based Culbertson, with urban city streets not far removed from miles upon miles of gravel roads.

It’s also bike that, at first glance, incites a somewhat muted response. Bathed in the unflattering light of the tradeshow floor, and located just abreast of a distractingly garish design, many nod in slight appreciation at the bike’s clean lines and simply pass on, missing the bike’s painstaking attention to detail.

But boy is there beauty in the details.

Details for days. It took us nearly a half-hour to spot them all, well, maybe all of them.

Details for days. It took us nearly a half-hour to spot them all, well, maybe all of them.

Self-taught, spending “six months of burning through tubes,” Culbertson has been building for two years. A surprisingly low number to hear based on his exquisite bike on display.

From the flat-crown fork to the dedicated light mount, with copper accent of course, Culbertson left no detail unvisited.

From the flat-crown fork to the dedicated light mount, with copper accent of course, Culbertson left no detail unvisited.

Never forget your roots.

Never forget your roots.

2013 NAHBS Coverage

Show Gallery

NAHBS: It’s Not About the Bike

A Lesson in Lust At the North American Handmade Bike Show

Avery County Cycles

Cherubim Cycles Rambler

Shamrock Cycles Fendered Road Bike

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