Connor Wood Bicycles
Tell us about your business.Connor Wood Bicycles, LLC was founded by Chris Connor in 2012 to build wood bicycles that beautifully combine form and function. Chris is a longtime Denver woodworker and cycling enthusiast, and building wood bicycles came as a stunning realization that he could bring the two together. After years of experience building classical guitars and designing and building modern furniture, Chris has a love and respect for the beauty, strength, and durability of wood. Connor Wood Bicycles uses a unique combination of sustainably harvested American White Ash, Black Walnut and Kevlar in curved composite laminations throughout its bikes. These bikes are beautiful, fun and strong!
Tell us about your workspace, shop, or studio.Connor Wood Bicycles, is based in a home studio in Denver Colorado. This small home workshop is crammed with a combination of traditional and modern high-technology woodworking equipment. In this space, the magic of taking slabs of sustainable american hardwood, and crafting them into beautiful, durable bicycles takes place. Heavy equipment such as table saws, band saws, planers and mills are brought together with computer controlled routing systems to do much of the rough work. At the end of the day, it's the small hand tools like chisels, planes and files which ultimately sculpt final shape of each of these bicycles making them sculptures that can be ridden.
What inspires you?I am inspired by making works of functional art with which one can have a dynamic relationship. Having a background in building classical guitars, I was impressed by the way a musician has a very personal and intimate relationship with their instrument. It is more than simply an inanimate object with which they interact -- it's an extension of them and a voice for their expression. As I worked designing furniture I missed this closeness to the finished product and sought to find something with a similar level of interaction between the user and the product. As a long time cyclist, and believer that cycling is more than the act pedaling, I found that I could translate my design skills and interests into creating wooden bicycles which would be every bit as beautiful to look at as to ride. They provide that dynamic relationship I was looking for in that you can take them out into the world with you and have a truly unique riding experience.
What makes your business stand out?Connor Wood Bicycles does something that turns heads. Each of their bicycles is a magic act defying logic, amazing and inspiring those who ride and see them. In this age of industry where new things are almost required to be done with the latest materials and most modern manufacturing techniques, it's wonderful to take a step back and turn things on their ear. A wood bicycle utilizes a traditional material and old-world construction techniques. However, when paired with modern adhesives and engineering something exceptionally beautiful can be made which in many ways is superior to modern materials and methods. The awe and inspire those who see them and are a joy and totally unique riding experience. Connor Wood Bicycles is a one-man show started in a basement workshop and now producing world-class innovative products that are appreciated around the world.
What advice would you give an aspiring creative entrepreneur?Find what you love to do. Do it well and do it in your own distinctly different way. find out who wants what you've created -- and there will be someone who wants it -- and the money will come. Be hands on and be sincere and don't reach too high too quickly. Hard work pays off.
What does American Made mean to you?American Made is more than a product that is made within the borders of our country. It is something that symbolizes our freedom to create and express ourselves as a country through our industry. American made symbolizes innovation and out of the box thinking. It embodies craftsmanship and quality that should serve as an example of greatness to the whole world.
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