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A Bicycle Built from Wood
June 13, 2007 1:02 PM   Subscribe

Meet JANO, the beautiful bicyle built out of wood. This hybrid bike is the thesis project of Roland Kaufmann and is designed for both the very active and every day cyclist.
posted by inconsequentialist (33 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
nifty - Calfee makes a bit more conventional frame out of bamboo, and you can order one today, if you so desire.
posted by the painkiller at 1:10 PM on June 13, 2007


That bike looks mostly metal to me. This is a real wood bike.

And I wouldn't feel comfortable leaving a wood bike out in the rain, no matter how many coats of sealant it had on it.
posted by Pastabagel at 1:14 PM on June 13, 2007


I like the integrated bag thing. I saw a bike the other day with a battery back and motor. That sort of thing could be good for the environment.
posted by delmoi at 1:23 PM on June 13, 2007


Is it just me or is that bicycle built out of pixels, because it looks like a render rather than an actual object....
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 1:23 PM on June 13, 2007


I'm putting this on my HOT 100 list of bikes.
posted by hermitosis at 1:25 PM on June 13, 2007


Not surprising. Wood is the original composite material with cellulose fibers in a sap-resin matrix.
posted by Doohickie at 1:27 PM on June 13, 2007


This project has gone beyond some vaporware CAD drawing—he's actually built a great-looking prototype, riding this bike around and impressing everyone in sight.

But no actual pictures of the physical bike.
posted by octothorpe at 1:29 PM on June 13, 2007


I love metafilter lately. Its like digg v2.0
posted by subaruwrx at 1:32 PM on June 13, 2007


Details interesting to me:
-Belt drive (cog?)- I never saw a chainless bike. I guess a derailleur is not an option? Looks like there's a gearshift cable, though.
-Brakes. Where are they? I see levers- how do they work?
posted by MtDewd at 1:33 PM on June 13, 2007


The bicycle's own antecedents were mostly wood, too.

Wooden bikes are usually invented by industrial design students and only infrequently built. Bamboo bikes (here's another) are built by hobbyists and actually used.

A bamboo bike that rides like a conventional bike can be made pretty similarly to how a handbuilt steel bike is made, and with much of the same equipment. Most modern wooden bikes I've heard of are massive or fragile or require elaborate engineering and manufacture.
posted by ardgedee at 1:34 PM on June 13, 2007


Octothorpe - there's a link in the comments.

If you ask me, the real version looks like two jigsawed pieces of plywood. Other than for one's own amusement, I'm just not convinced there's any reason to build a wooden bike.

Perhaps this has something to do with the whole boingboing steampunk obsession, and it's just way over my head.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 1:34 PM on June 13, 2007


There's a lot of metal on that wooden bike... Maybe it's a composite bike? Love to ride it, though. And looks cool too.
posted by MarshallPoe at 1:36 PM on June 13, 2007


I think it is rather ugly, actually. When I saw "beautiful bicyle built out of wood," I was expecting something with old world charm and rich, hard wood grain. Something with grace and elegance. This combines the boxy look of a modern Cadillac with the materials of your average IKEA chair.
posted by Muddler at 1:39 PM on June 13, 2007


From M.C. Lo-Carb!'s link, the real bike doesn't really live up to the prototype, in fact, it just looks like someone slapped wood onto a bike frame (and there seem to be no brakes on the "real" version).
posted by drezdn at 1:39 PM on June 13, 2007


I applaud the latest web-fueled iteration of the build-it-yourself movement and detest the ongoing quest for the latest Shiny Object of Desire.

Keep pissing your resources away on some meaningless doodad and watch the world die around you.
posted by squalor at 1:45 PM on June 13, 2007


I'd like to see if he uses a wooden chain and wooden spokes. If so, I'd like to see how far he cycles before hitting the ground.

One weird thing about the article is that it says wood is stiffer than other materials, but one desirable aspect of a bike is that the frame gives slightly without breaking. I suspect this bike will be something of a bone shaker.

Boat varnish would easily protect it against the rain, but if you knocked it and the varnish came away, you'd have to touch it up pretty damn fast to avoid water penetration.
posted by humblepigeon at 1:49 PM on June 13, 2007


-Brakes. Where are they? I see levers- how do they work?

It looks like there are front disc brakes.
posted by humblepigeon at 1:52 PM on June 13, 2007


Man, I hate dumping on people who are trying to "forge ahead" in what they see as a new frontier, but there's already a term for the "dual" bike they describe in the second linked article: cyclocross bike. You can race them, you can trek on them, you can use them to commute.

And drezdn, I think you're right. You can clearly see the seat tube poking down into the bottom bracket in these pictures. Makes me wonder if this is some sort of weird cryptroprank.
posted by cog_nate at 1:53 PM on June 13, 2007


So, squalor, are you working on a wooden mp3 player?
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 1:54 PM on June 13, 2007


Bah--give me Ti for my bike any day of the week!
posted by MrGuilt at 2:06 PM on June 13, 2007


And what about termites? Beavers?
posted by Flashman at 2:11 PM on June 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


So, squalor, are you working on a wooden mp3 player?

Right, because life without an MP3 player is out of the question. "No cell phone? But how will you set up your Vonage-over-packet-radio rig while you're driving?"
posted by enn at 2:20 PM on June 13, 2007


Actual beautiful wooden bicycles here, here, and here.
posted by Muddler at 2:24 PM on June 13, 2007


grrr. Forgive me my transitory Wednesday Afternoon Misanthropy. I've no mp3 player or cellphone, wooden or otherwise, but I did splurge for a Foley Food Mill at the Salvation Army this morning. So I'm killing the world too I guess....
posted by squalor at 2:36 PM on June 13, 2007


The trouble with bikes is that they're bad for the environment no matter what they're made of. Unless we can factor in a healthy culling of riders over time, we just going to live longer, still drive cars, and eat food that's travelled 4000 miles to get to your plate. Oh and we'll still post comments that have some server farm somewhere blowing another hole in the earth's resources.
posted by marvin at 2:39 PM on June 13, 2007


It's one thing to raise the Zero-Population Argument in a discussion, but another matter altogether when it comes to following through.

I trust you're not the type to actually lead by one's own example, eh marvin?
posted by Smart Dalek at 3:00 PM on June 13, 2007


Unless we can factor in a healthy culling of riders over time, we just going to live longer, still drive cars, and eat food that's travelled 4000 miles to get to your plate.

Which is precisely why I'm designing a beautiful cycling helmet made of mahogany.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 3:56 PM on June 13, 2007


The trouble with bikes is that they're bad for the environment

It's better for the environment if you ride a bike and don't go to the gym than drive a car and do go to the gym.

That paper is clever, but that's about it.
posted by pokermonk at 4:30 PM on June 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


This beautfiul bicycle built of wood is a sail.

I have been carried laterally by sudden, heavy gusts of wind while riding many times in commuting via cycle. It's scary and disorienting when you're suddenly a foot to the left of where you were a second before.

All I can picture riding this bike is being picked up and carried away ala Wizard of Oz twister sequence.

That said, what could be real interesting is to have the ability to rotate the wood "blades" of the frame to maximize or minimize your wind resistance; quite literally turning the bike into a wind sail. I don't know if the science works out, but it's fun to pretend.
posted by pokermonk at 4:41 PM on June 13, 2007


I love metafilter lately. Its like digg v2.0

It ain't worth posting if it ain't been on digg

Perhaps digg and reddit could be search options.

Wooden bikes have been around for a while.

Longer than 3d Studio Max anyways
posted by mattoxic at 7:01 PM on June 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


Wooden bikes have been around for a while.
Longer than 3d Studio Max anyways


BURRRRRN! You win.
posted by blasdelf at 7:32 PM on June 13, 2007


Is it just me or is that bicycle built out of pixels, because it looks like a render rather than an actual object....
Yeah and the photos of the prototype look a lot like a metal frame with some timber screwed around it.
posted by dg at 11:18 PM on June 13, 2007


As a design, OK, it's kind of atractive.

As a wooden bicycle, well, I must be a poly-cotton person because I'm wearing a t-shirt. Insert mumbo-jumbo about the tensile strength of poly cotton vs. collagen.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 5:47 AM on June 14, 2007


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