NAHBS Begins – Don Walker Shop Tour
The 5th annual North American Handmade Bicycle Show unofficially began tonight with a small gathering of friends at Don Walker’s shop. The early comers to the show got together in an informal setting to meet up, have a drink and have a laid back low stress night before the frenzy of the show begins.
Don Walker Cycles is located in Speedway Indiana, a short 20 minute bike ride from downtown Indianapolis and just down the road from the speedway. The storefront display is impressive, and hides a full fabrication shop in the back quarters where the real magic is done.
The back of the shop houses the fabrication aspect of things – dedicated mitering tools each for the main tubes, seatstays and chainstays, welding and brazing equipment (of course), and all of the alignment gauges and jigs needed to crank out frames day in and day out.
Don’s shop is located just down the road from Zipp Speed Weaponry, and as such had a handful of Zipp oddities in the space. Hand polished Zipp stems were hidden to protect them from fingerprints and handling before the show begins, but the real story was the Zipp 1080 track wheels. Never-produced in a track format before, the 1080′s are the deepest of deep dish dimpled rims available. Think fast. As far as the world is concerned, Don has the only set of track 1080′s on earth which will be on display to the public come Friday. You saw it here first.
Back in the day when the Obree position was banned from track cycling Shaun Wallace commissioned Don Walker to build this completely custom track frame. Integrated fairing, super thin bottom bracket shell, narrow aero rear spacing and a one-sided fork set this one apart from the rest. It was light and it was made in haste, but it did win the race and that is really what matters.
If you’re attending the show this weekend be sure to stop by the Urban Velo booth in your travels. Until then, consider this your sneak preview. We’ll be following up throughout the show with photo updates and studio shots to come… Check our NAHBS page for updates as the show goes forward.