It’s been an interesting past few years for bicycle design and fabrication – among other reasons, the combination of both traditional craftsmanship techniques and more modern manufacturing methods have not only changed how bicycles are made, but also what they are made out of. While some have opted to use additive manufacturing technologies to create next-generation titanium bicycle frames, others have opted to rethink how we can better-optimize more traditional materials…among them being wood.
Among others, we’ve seen Amsterdam-based designer Paul Timmer’s concept for ‘The Wooden Bicycle‘, a single speed cyclocross bicycle which he had developed from a solid ash frame and used 3D printed components of his own design in what is perhaps the perfect mashup of old-traditions and modern manufacturing technologies in a single product.
More recently, Jan, a custom bike building studio from the Czech Republic, has been working on their own wood frame design that naturally absorbs vibrations is well-tuned for a range of uses and riding styles thanks to its unique “avocado shape”. In total, over forty layers of wood are used to create the precisely-shaped frame that features varying thicknesses for carrying different weight loads and balances with minimal vibration.
“Constructors of bicycles have been recently re-discovering natural materials, appreciating their balanced mechanical properties,” says Jan Mucska, founder of the bicycle design studio.
“Wood has excellent proportion of flexibility and durability for construct elements with high dynamic usage. It’s an sustainable material which you can easily work with. It can absorb vibration – the characteristic especially important for a comfortable ride.”
“We created a unique frame applying the qualities characteristic of wood, which are hard to find when using metal or pipes. We chose a concept of a holistic frame. For the production of this unusual construction we had to choose untraditional way of work. We chose the technology of layering which allows to create a compact shape according our needs and at the same time to improve its firmness. Particles not made from wood are made from dural. The whole frame weighs around 3 kilograms.”
“For us, the bicycle is not just a toy for weekend rides. The bicycle is an expression of our approach to life and of modern urban lifestyle.”
Find out more about the unique unibody wood frame design by heading over to Jan.