Thursday, January 31, 2008
While the idea of a wooden bike is certainly nothing new (illustrated above). It seems the design possibilities of wood are just begging to be fully exploited. I don't doubt that the bikes in the above photo are inspired by modern creations of the industrialized world, I do acknowledge the possibility they are an indigenous invention however unlikely that may be. These bikes also lack one key feature the modern bike, drive trains and are basically glorified scooters with seats. They do however seem to have a foot articulated brake, which reinforces my notion that they are made primarily for down hill use.
More advanced wooden bikes seem to have woo,d only in the frame. These three examples illustrate woods potential to build highly functional modern bikes. The above bike even incorporates the natural flex in wood to creat a full suspension frame, without the use of a rear shock.
There are even tandems made out of wood, like this bike built by a German college student Jens Eichler (the guy riding in front) . It's called Renovatia.
However it seems that, until now its been thought impossible to build a fully functional bike completely out of wood. 16 year-old high school student Marco Facciola built a bike out of wood, completely. Pretty damn impressive. "Marco had to complete this as a non-academic project for his International Baccalaureate, and inspiration came from his grandfather, forced to make wooden wheels for his bike during the war due to rubber shortages."
These closeups of the drive train and free wheel are the most impressive.
Posted by erik k at 11:42 AM