October 02, 2013 2 Comments
We do bicycle work for many reasons. To enable the thrill and renewal of carefree riding, to honor the materials available, to share our skills, sometimes we can't quite help ourselves.
A beautiful example of all those is a wood bike built by Chris Connor of Connor Wood Bicycles for a fundraiser organized by Robert Brudnell of Natural Way to celebrate the life of a friend. Please visit the site to learn the whole story and contact Robert if you're inspired to participate.
For today, let's bask in some lovely images of the process and bike. A big part of the magic of making things (from meals to bikes to films) is seeing a mental visualization become physical and shareable. What a rush. Second is watching materials move from a pure state in which they only represent possibilities to another where they are performing precise tasks. This transformation, despite our growing understanding of the principles, remains a fundamentally captivating magic.
The bike is designed to race the very demanding Leadville 100, a high speed, challenging variety of terrain. White ash was obtained from two donated trees. One victim of traffic, one of development. Black walnut died of a new-to-Colorado disease in residential Denver.
Here are the milled boards headed to the frame shop. The spirit of a bicycle is dormant inside them!
Specialized engineering, elaborate shaping, structural tricks, most of the cleverness is hidden from sight. Many hours in the workshop...
Of course, what would this vehicle do for mobility without wheels?
The finished bike is a marvel of graceful force management, art, originality, and function.
Now for some speed. The transformation is complete!
Be sure to visit the project site for more pictures of the process and details of the very touching story of charity, family, community, and sustainability. Well done Robert and team!
November 02, 2021
Nice stuff Ric! I didn’t know you had a Blog. Probably because I don’t blog. I also found out about the blog subjects about making your own wheel truing stand and your spoke tensiometer. I have a photo to share with you, of the truing stand that I made for myself back in the early-70’s, copied from an article that was in Bike World magazine. I’ll have to locate the photo, but send me an email, and I’ll attach the photo to my reply. Nice to hear more about Wheel Fanatyk. Happy Holidays Ric!
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November 02, 2021
Ric (and Jon too!) Just had to thank you for mentoring me. Most of what I have learned about bicycle wheels I learned from you. There is one and only one sticker on my tool chest: Wheelsmith Fabrications!
There is wood in my name and I an arborist, woodworker and bicycle design engineer (co-founded BikeE and designed most of the product). Built or spec’d at least 60,000 bicycle wheels.Also created Quick Disc.
Once had the opportunity to ride a Schwinn Paramount with Ghisallo rims.
Any chance that you and your brother might decide to enter that market?
I truly believe that a wood/composite rim can be equal to or better than the rims currently on the market, esp. ride quality.
Once made my own tensionometer, truing stand and many other tools.
Your nipple shuffler is brilliant!