While new frame builders, like NAHBS 2015 People’s Choice Award-Winning Mars Cycles’ fillet brazed cyclocross bike or NAHBS 2015 Best New Frame Builder-Winning LoveBaum's cyclocross bike, excite us with their fresh approaches to the sport, we must say that we are also thrilled with builders who push against the boundaries of conventional materials at NAHBS.
Connor Cycles did just that with their all-new Axehandle CX: A cyclocross and gravel bike built from both white ash and black walnut wood. The rig is literally fit for an arborist. The display model presented at NAHBS 2015 will soon belong to Robert Brudenell, a Denver-based arborist who wrote a featured article in Issue 28 (be sure to read about his assessment of Austin Nationals in our next print mag).
Chris Connor has been building his frames for three and a half years, and has intimate knowledge with the nature of wood as he built classical guitars before he moved to bicycles.
While the majority of this bike was built from wood from a fallen tree that was hit by a car in Denver, the Axehandle CX also sports internal reinforcements, including a carbon-fiber lined downtube with Kevlar support in the rear triangle. A marine spar varnish keeps the frame sealed from the weather you'll find in cyclocross, while a 3M clear bra is also used to keep the frame resistant against the dings of flying gravel. His bikes and handlebars have survived races such as the Leadville 100.
The Axehandle CX costs around $3500 for a frame and $7000 for a full bike. The frame on the size 58 shown here weighs about six pounds. You can find details of the cyclocross bike through the slider below, as well as more information about their builds and other models, such as their cruiser, mountain bike and electric bike at connorcycles.com, and see our ever-growing list of NAHBS 2015 cyclocross and gravel bikes and goodies here.