NAHBS is just around the corner again. And while Anna is bringing us the behind-the-scenes with another season of Road to NAHBS interviews, this fat creation snuck past her into my inbox. Chris Connor, owner of Connor Wood Bicycles has been displaying his wooden crafted bikes at NAHBS since at least 2013. Each year the bikes get more refined, look even more capable off-road, and the latest additions even added some wood/carbon composite handlebar offerings. Well, this year Connor has been busy in the wood shop again, and is going fat with a new bike built around a set of wide Surly Lous…
This new wooden fat creation carries over Connor’s work of bringing together the performance features of modern components and modern materials mixed in with the more traditional look and feel of wood. It even gets clean internal routing inside the hollow downtube construction.
To get the clearances around these huge 4.8″ Surly Lou tires on wide Rolling Darryl rims, Connor had to break out some more dramatic wood bending. Like he’s done on his other bikes, this one combines steam bent sections of wood like you’ll see in the those shaped seatstays and then individual molded laminates like the plate-style plywood chainstays.
All throughout Connor mixes in reinforcements with both carbon & Kevlar fibers to get the desired level of stiffness and resilience to complement the character of the wood. The wood composites then joins up with bolt-on alloy dropouts that offer drivetrain setup flexibility. While adhesive resins are always important in the construction of carbon bikes, it is even more key here as Connor works with the most advanced adhesives to combine these mixed materials, as well as with alloy inserts for bearings, to deliver a balance of performance and durability with the unique look of a handmade wood frame.
Weighing in at around 29lbs, the fat bike doesn’t sacrifice much while being a lot of fun to ride. The complete bike gets built up with a SRAM X0 1×11 drivetrain with alloy RaceFace cranks, a full carbon Whiskey rigid fork, and an Easton alloy cockpit.
Check out the bike in person (along with plenty of other stunners) in a couple of weeks in Salt Lake City at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show March 10-12.