Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
Carrer Maranello. You likely haven’t given a lot of thought to what materials a bicycle can be made out of. That will change the moment you step onto the floor at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show. In addition to the classic metals—steel, titanium, alloy—and carbon, there are also all kinds of wooden frames, including oak and bamboo. Carrer brings Italian attention to detail to artisan wooden frames. Each frame is built by hand in an active Italian shipyard and is unique and unrepeatable by virtue of the material. Carrer offers four different city options made from six different woods—including oak, ash and elm—plus a road frame called the Maranello. It’s not going to compete with any other frame on performance, but it’s not trying to. This is a beautifully crafted bike that’s built to last and be every bit as enjoyable to look at as it is to ride. We’re not quite sure what it is, but there’s something about a wooden bike that is so much more friendly and inviting compared with any other material. quote upon request; carrerbikes.it
Exept Classic Version. Having launched less than a year ago, Exept is a young company that’s looking to redefine custom and premium carbon. This Italian manufacturer is bringing something new to the table: It is the only brand making fully custom monocoque frames. Exept has developed a patented production technique and a five-step process to dial in the fit for each customer. Broadly, it is based around two models: the Allroad—with clearance for 30mm tires—and an aero model that will be available later this year. Within each model, there is an integrated version that has some aero shaping as well as a classic version. Going a step further, there are two geometries: Race and Endurance. To summarize, you’re going to get a high-end carbon frame that’s tailored to exactly how you ride. But this level of attention won’t come cheap; the Classic version of the Allroad frame style shown here costs $6,500 while the integrated comes in at $5,700. $5,700–$6,500; exept.cc
DeAnima O.Q.O.C. Steel no longer holds its once exalted status as the material of choice in the pro peloton. But for custom frame builders, it’s still held in high regard for the relative ease it offers in tailoring a bike’s geometry to an individual rider. And many cyclists prefer the ride quality of steel to carbon. For DeAnima, the O.Q.O.C. is an exercise in seeing what is possible. It’s a no-nonsense frame stripped down to the bare essentials needed to make a fast, simple bike. Just like expertly crafted frames two plus decades ago, you won’t find any fads or gimmicks here. Just a simple TIG-welded Deda Zero Custom tubeset and custom CNC-machined dropouts. Weighing in at 1,350 grams for a size 56cm (without paint) it is one of the lightest steel frames you will find. With custom geometry available, you’ll have a bike tailor made just for you that is designed to last a lifetime at a price that is far less than today’s high-end carbon frames. If you’re not sold, you should take a look at the paint jobs available from this Italian workshop; some are more aptly described as fine art. $3,400 (including custom geometry and paint); 1,350g (56cm, no paint); deanima.it