Riding the Leadville 100 on a wooden bike

10:08 AM, Aug 6, 2013   |    comments
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KUSA - It's gorgeous, functional and regenerated.  Robert Brudenell hopes it gets him through 100 miles of the Leadville 100 on August 10th. 

Chris Conner of Denver-based Conner Wood Bicycles has given an urban tree from Denver a second life as a custom-made, race-ready mountain bike (the D.U.R.T. Bike) and Brudenell is taking it for the ultimate test when he competes in the 100-mile mountain-bike competition that starts and ends in Leadville.

Conner and Brudenell, an experienced endurance mountain bike rider, arborist, and owner of The Natural Way, teamed up when Conner found out Brudenell's dream:  to take downed trees from within the city of Denver, turn them into a bike constructed in Denver and race it in one of Colorado's marquee bike races.  Brudenell is also racing in an effort to raise awareness for ALS.

This past spring, Brudenell tracked down a white ash tree hit by a car on the median of 6th Ave in Denver and also a black walnut tree, which died of disease at a residential property.  Both were used by Connor Wood Cycles to created high-performance "art."  The wood from the trees were locally milled and then kiln dried at Natural Way's facility. 

"The City of Denver's urban forest is an incredible resource for high-quality wood," says Brudenell.  "Fallen or dead trees can be put to use in all sorts of amazing projects. It's great to take these trees and use local companies and facilities to turn them into functional, useful projects."

Working with this local wood, Connor Wood Bicycles fabricated the bike's frame and handlebars, made primarily from white ash, with Connor's signature Kevlar application, to give the wood incredible strength but still provide a supple ride to help smooth out even the toughest trails. Unique to this particular bike, a set of Italian 29-inch wheels made from beech and a 14-speed internal hub that's connected to the cranks with a Gates carbon belt drive (another Denver-based company). Suspension forks and lightweight carbon-fiber parts round out a mountain bike that weighs less than 30 pounds.

For more information: 
www.thenaturalwayinc.net www.thenaturalwayinc.net/Wood_Bike_Project.php

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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