Bicycles

Louisville Slugger Bike made from "bat wood"

Louisville Slugger Bike made f...
The Louisville Slugger Wood Bat Bike, on display at NAHBS 2015 (Photo: Ben Coxworth/Gizmag.com)
The Louisville Slugger Wood Bat Bike, on display at NAHBS 2015 (Photo: Ben Coxworth/Gizmag.com)
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The Louisville Slugger Wood Bat Bike, on display at NAHBS 2015 (Photo: Ben Coxworth/Gizmag)
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The Louisville Slugger Wood Bat Bike, on display at NAHBS 2015 (Photo: Ben Coxworth/Gizmag)
Connor sent the frame to the Louisville Slugger factory, where it received the traditional Slugger branded-on logo (Photo: Ben Coxworth/Gizmag.com)
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Connor sent the frame to the Louisville Slugger factory, where it received the traditional Slugger branded-on logo (Photo: Ben Coxworth/Gizmag.com)
It also received the clear finish normally applied to the bats (Photo: Ben Coxworth/Gizmag.com)
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It also received the clear finish normally applied to the bats (Photo: Ben Coxworth/Gizmag.com)
The bike also features a custom saddle made from the leather used for Louisville Slugger's baseball mitts (Photo: Ben Coxworth/Gizmag.com)
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The bike also features a custom saddle made from the leather used for Louisville Slugger's baseball mitts (Photo: Ben Coxworth/Gizmag.com)
The wood construction extends to its handlebars (Photo: Ben Coxworth/Gizmag.com)
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The wood construction extends to its handlebars (Photo: Ben Coxworth/Gizmag.com)
One of the billets, alongside a Louisville Slugger baseball bat (Photo: Ben Coxworth/Gizmag.com)
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One of the billets, alongside a Louisville Slugger baseball bat (Photo: Ben Coxworth/Gizmag.com)
Chris Connor with his creation (Photo: Ben Coxworth/Gizmag.com)
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Chris Connor with his creation (Photo: Ben Coxworth/Gizmag.com)
The Louisville Slugger Wood Bat Bike, on display at NAHBS 2015 (Photo: Ben Coxworth/Gizmag.com)
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The Louisville Slugger Wood Bat Bike, on display at NAHBS 2015 (Photo: Ben Coxworth/Gizmag.com)

This year's North American Handmade Bicycle Show was held in Louisville, Kentucky – a city known for its namesake Louisville Slugger baseball bat. Bicycle builder Chris Connor decided to commemorate the event, by building a one-off wooden bike made from Slugger baseball bat billets.

"I've always referred to the strength of my bicycles as akin to that of a Louisville Slugger baseball bat, because I use the same American white ash that they use in their bats," Connor told us. "So, I pitched them the idea of doing a bicycle out of their baseball bat billets, the actual blanks from their bats. They loved the idea, and they sent me out a tremendous box of these billets."

Ordinarily, the long, cylindrical billets are turned on a lathe in order to create the bats. In this case, however, Connor cut them into slabs, laminated those slabs together, and then used that wood to create the frame. He then sent that frame to the Louisville Slugger factory, where it received the traditional Slugger branded-on logo along with the clear finish normally applied to the bats.

Connor sent the frame to the Louisville Slugger factory, where it received the traditional Slugger branded-on logo (Photo: Ben Coxworth/Gizmag.com)
Connor sent the frame to the Louisville Slugger factory, where it received the traditional Slugger branded-on logo (Photo: Ben Coxworth/Gizmag.com)

The bike also features a custom saddle made from the leather used for Louisville Slugger's baseball mitts, along with handlebar grips that incorporate the same Lizard Skins grip tape used on the Slugger bats. It also has a Gates belt drive, a carbon fiber fork, 29-inch custom wheels, and a rear drum brake.

Although NAHBS 2015 is now wrapping up, the Louisville Slugger Wood Bat Bike will be moving to the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory, where it will become part of an interactive display.

Company website: Connor Wood Bicycles

2 comments
sk8dad
Cool like a bamboo bike (probably heavier too). Used bats or virgin hardwood? Sustainability?
unklmurray
I like it butt, he should have made the forks out of bent and laminated Bats,using anything else would be ,and is a sacrilege kinda like putting a Chevy 350...in a Ford 32 deuce coupe!!...LOL