NAHBS 2017 Best in Show: Anna Schwinn’s Prince Bike by Peacock Groove

I’d first heard about this bike following the Philly Bike Expo, where it won the People’s Choice award despite not even being on the official list for the award. Then I hung out with Anna Schwinn in Minneapolis about a month ago and got to meet its builder, Erik Noren of Peacock Groove. I snuck a peek at the bike in the back of his workshop, where it was undergoing changes and additions for the North American Handmade Bicycle Show.

I’d heard the excitement in Anna voice when she talked about what she called “the most beautiful bike in the world.” I’d gotten to hang out with its builder, who’s intensity and passion for creating bikes was clear from the first minute of our conversation. And so, I felt a special sense of pride for everyone who made this bike happen when it won not one, but two awards at NAHBS this year.

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Erik and Anna were first called on stage to accept the Best Theme Bike award, which was a no-brainer. It was such an obvious winner that this is the last year they will be judging this particular category at NAHBS, because it is believed that no one can top this bike. The way every single piece of this build ties in to the Prince theme is almost unreal—carved-out logos and the words “Much Too Fast” from his song “Little Red Corvette” on the disc brakes, white dove bar tape and a white custom saddle by Leh, lyrics to “Purple Rain” around the rims, one of Prince’s actual picks on the stem, and the matching Paul components that tie it all together. Behind the pretty exterior of the bike, there’s the fact that Prince was from Minneapolis, where Anna lives and Erik runs Peacock Groove, and the collaboration and communication between these two to make this deep custom bike happen was highly apparent.

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After winning Best Theme Bike, we all thought that was that for Peacock Groove and the Prince bike. The team disappeared somewhere to take pictures as a couple more awards were announced. And then, the Best in Show trophy came out, and Erik Noren was called back onstage as Anna shrieked with excitement.

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I don’t know Erik that well, but from what I do know, he deserves every bit of that award. Congrats Erik, and go enjoy that bike, Anna. Oh, and happy birthday.

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