Carter Woods has been having a good November. The Naked Factory Racing junior rider from Cumberland, B.C. has hit five podiums in three weeks. Here’s a closer look at the steel Naked Bicycles cross bike Woods’ has been racing across Canada.
Woods podium streak started with a third, and the top Canadian in the junior men’s race at Silver Goose Pan American cyclocross championships in Midland, Ont. The following weekend, he earned his second maple leaf jersey of the 2018 by winning the junior men’s race at Canadian cyclocross championships in Peterborough, Ont. (He is also the junior XCO champion in mountain biking). Woods’ made it a perfect weekend by winning the Lift Lock Cross UCI C2 junior men’s race the following day.
Back at home in B.C., Woods kept the streak alive at a double header weekend at Western Speedway in Victoria, B.C. On Saturday he won Days of Thunder, the Cross on the Rock series finals. On Sunday, he earned another jersey by winning the junior men’s race at B.C. cyclocross provincial championships.
I caught up with Woods between days at the Western Speedway double header. For the sake of full disclosure, both Woods and I ride for Naked Factory Racing so the junior had no choice but to let me borrow his bike after winning Cross on the Rock finals or the teams wrench wizard Regan Pringle would have refused to tune it up before B.C. cyclocross provincials the following day. Woods rides a fancier and faster version of my X15 ride, though “faster” might have more to do with the rider than the ride.
Carter’s bike is a bit unusual for race winning ride. In place of a carbon fibre frame, deep carbon wheels and tubular tires, Woods’ Naked X17 is a steel frame, hand made on Quadra Island, B.C. with a Whisky Parts Co. carbon fork. Ultralite 235 aluminum rims from Asheville, N.C.’s Industry Nine are run tubeless with Maxxis All Terrane tires being Woods’ go-to tread of choice.
While the frame material may hearken back to an era of pro racing that largely ended before Woods was born, the drivetrain is thoroughly modern. Shimano Ultegra Di2 keeps shifting through the mud while a Ultegra Rx rear derailleur keeps the chain on track through bumps, ruts, and the occasional whip with its clutch mechanism. Wolf Tooth adds more security with a 42-tooth drop-stop chainring and Gnarwolf chainguide.