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Friday, October 7, 2011

Handmade Dutch Bike Is All-Wooden -- Down To The Spokes


jan-gunneweg1.jpgPhotos: Jan Gunneweg
There's a lot of wooden bikes out there, ranging from the glue-it-yourself, no-metal kind, to award-winning, high-end designer bikes. But this near all-wooden bike, handmade by Dutch industrial designer Jan Gunneweg, must be one of the most beautiful wooden specimens we've seen to date.

Made out of solid walnut and weighing under 35 pounds, the bike's unique cachet is all in the wheels, which each sport a thick wooden spoke. Drawing attention away from the metal support spokes, the wooden spokes create the impression that there is a continuous line from front wheel, through the frame and all the way to the rear wheel.
As Gunneweg tells Co.Design, the spokes "symbolize the legs of man," adding that "balancing the wheels was pretty challenging because of the width of the wooden spoke."
Another nice detail are the groovy wooden rims on both wheels:

Though it may seem paradoxical, wood and bamboo may actually be more sustainable as materials for bike design, due to the energy-intensity of steel and aluminium. Plus, the nature of wood and bamboo lends more easily to the do-it-yourself ethic, which may explain the recent explosion of handmade bamboo bicycles in places like Brooklyn, and even far off locales like Ghana, Africa.

Gunneweg, whose obsession is wood, has previously designed two wooden bikes before this version, and says that this latest model delivers a smoother ride. The bike will be available for sale later this month; for more details, visit his website.