NAHBS 2013: Connor Wood Bicycles’ Ash Wood Cruiser Bike
Connor Wood Bicycles are built with ash wood, which has been used in high stress applications for ages in things like axe handles, Louisville Sluggers, weapons, etc. It absorbs vibration well, too, making it a great material for bicycles
Builder Chris Connor hollows out the front tubes to create butted shapes. Wall thicknesses vary from .27″ up to about half an inch at the junctions. He then layers Kevlar/wood sandwich structures for the stays. They’re steam bent to shape, then bonded with an aerospace epoxy with woven Kevlar sheets between. Click through for detail pics and more info…
The wood is seasoned and cured, so it won’t warp or change shape over time. The bonding of several plies at different angles also negates the likelihood of it getting out of whack. A marine spar varnish protects it from the elements.
Frames start at $3,000, but he generally sells complete bikes because some of the parts need to be pretty particular for the frame. This “hot rod” 29er cruiser would run about $4,500. Frame weight is about 6.5lbs.
Connor says he drove his car onto the curved piece and it only deflected about 3mm, adding that it would have to be crushed almost flat before it would fail.