SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The 2017 North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS) this past weekend showcased many great works of art, and Cyclocross Magazine was at the show, covering some of the cyclocross and gravel offerings that caught our photographer’s eye. Take an up-close look at the bike that won the award for Best Cyclocross Bike.

Tom Donhou shows us his award-winning DSSX. Donhou was prominently featured in the Brooks booth. NAHBS 2017. © C. Fegan-Kim Cyclocross Magazine

Tom Donhou shows us his award-winning DSSX. Donhou was prominently featured in the Brooks booth. NAHBS 2017. © C. Fegan-Kim Cyclocross Magazine

Tom Donhou is a UK-based bike builder hailing from the East London area. If his name sounds familiar, you may recall his 100mph bike from a few years back featured in a video called “Experiments in Speed”.  That bike had a steel frame and a massive chainring with 102 teeth.

The DSSX features a wide top tube made from Reynolds 853 steel with a Columbus Zona down tube. NAHBS 2017. © C. Fegan-Kim Cyclocross Magazine

The DSSX features a wide top tube made from Reynolds 853 steel with a Columbus Zona down tube. NAHBS 2017. © C. Fegan-Kim Cyclocross Magazine

Although his average builds are more standard, that doesn’t mean they are boring. His aesthetic is subtle and his lines traditional, but each bike is a unique creation. Featured here is Donhou’s award-winning DSSX cyclocross bike with a mix of materials in its construction. It has a Reynolds 853 top tube, Columbus Zona down tube with Reynolds chainstays and seatstays. It is a prototype bike called DSSX (Donhou Signature Steel Cross, and it is not a singlespeed), but Donhou also has offers “off-the-shelf” versions of his Signature Series frames available for interested customers. Of course, Donhou also does full custom as well.

Tom Donhou has been building custom frames for about seven years now and winning awards is nothing new for him. He won Best In Show at the Bespoked show in the UK back in 2011 with a bright yellow, steel townie. The DSSX highlighted here was made for Neil Phillips, a rider in the London League who took second place in the Trans Conti Race on this bike. In fact, this cyclocrosser was re-painted just in time for NAHBS.

The Donhou DSSX is marked as a prototype that with a mix of steel tubing. Note that there is plenty of tire clearance up front with a 35c tire fitted. NAHBS 2017. © C. Fegan-Kim Cyclocross Magazine

The Donhou DSSX is marked as a prototype with a mix of steel tubing. Note that there is plenty of tire clearance up front with a 35c tire fitted. NAHBS 2017. © C. Fegan-Kim Cyclocross Magazine

Donhou’s award winner is a unique bike with disc brakes, a wide top tube (for help when shouldering) and clearance for wide tires. The frame has internal cable routing so the lines stay neat and mud build up is kept to a minimum. The DSSX uses a rear dropout design that gives the rider axle options.

The DSSX has a proprietary dropout to give the rider options moving forward. NAHBS 2017. © C. Fegan-Kim Cyclocross Magazine

The DSSX has a rear dropout that gives the rider axle options moving forward. NAHBS 2017. © C. Fegan-Kim Cyclocross Magazine

Full photo gallery below. See our growing coverage of cyclocross and gravel bikes from the 2017 NAHBS here.

Donhou DSSX Spec Highlights:

Frame: DSSX steel (Reynolds 853/Columbus Zona)
Fork: Enve carbon disc fork
Crankset: Middleburn
RD: SRAM Force
FD: n/a
Brakes: SRAM Force
Shifter/Brake Levers: SRAM Force
Stem: Ritchey WCS
Seatpost: Ritchey WCS
Saddle: Brooks Cambium C15
Wheels: Hope 20Five
Tires: Continental CX Race
More info: donhoubicycles.com

Donhou DSSX Photo Gallery:

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The Donhou DSSX strikes a very subtle pose with its understated color scheme, but the disc brakes, internal cable routing and wide tires speak to the potential of this race rig.

The Donhou DSSX strikes a very subtle pose with its understated color scheme, but the disc brakes, internal cable routing and tire clearance speak to the potential of this race rig.

Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse