The North American Handmade Bicycle Show was held in Portland last weekend. Tucked in among the insane randonneurmobiles were at least a few kid-sized bikes.
That mostly seem to have been built for the fabricator's own kids. At a basic level, that makes sense; what builder wants his kid riding around on a POS from TRU?
That incredible tricycle and the mixte city bike below were both at Sacha White's Vanilla Bicycles, . That trike has a cut down Brooks saddle and bag and Phil Wood wheels.
The Trike's been on the circuit a while. It was described as Vanilla's "famous tricycle" at last year's NAHBS, and as world famous in 2006, when it won Best of Show at Interbike. And it's the only photo on flickr at the moment with the tag, "trikeporn".
[And no, since there's no mention of them on Vanilla's site, I'm guessing those sweet silkscreened trike posters are sold out.]
White's daughter is now 8-yo,, which sounds too big for a trike. Thus, the mixte, which UrbanVelo says has a five-year waitlist. As if parents of a 3-yo didn't have enough to keep track of already without planning their kid's 2nd grade rides.
Now to shift gears, so to speak; they're three words that strike fear into the heart of girls' dads everywhere--purple. sparkly. butterflies. What's a titanium race bike builder to do?
I'll be damned if Roark hasn't figured it out, and how. Insanely mitered and welded titanium curves. Wheels machined from 2-inch thick slabs of aluminum. A 9-speed internal SRAM i-Motion hub--with a coaster brake, remember, it's for kids, not show. A custom titanium & sparkle chain cover. Hints of purple, pockets of sparkle. And butterflies everywhere. And by embedding both kids' names into the saddle, you can encourage them to share.
See details in the Roark NAHBS butterfly bike gallery [roarkcycle.com]