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Mystery of the wooden bicycle

June 24, 2014


Wooden bicycles are rare but not unheard of. There are bamboo-framed bikes, which are cool and there are the SanoMagic bikes made by Japanese boat builder Sueshiro Sano, almost completely from mahogany — frame, seat, wheel rims. Those are nothing short of a revelation.

On the other hand, the wooden bicycle pictured above, which is somewhere in Vancouver,  is a complete mystery to me. I’ve only seen the photo, which was taken by my friend Murray with his phone last week. I believe he took it somewhere along Commercial Drive, during a work-related swing through East Vancouver.

So I can’t say whether it’s a bespoke home-build or a commercial product. Your guess is as good, if not better, than mine.

The bike Ikea would make if Ikea made wood bikes

The frame appears to be made mostly out of thick sheet wood cut out using a jig saw. The exceptions being the front forks, the steering column and handlebars as well as the  axles, drive train, seat-post and seat.

It’s nicely finished and made to be a light-duty neighbourhood bicycle (I’m pretty sure the frame would snap from side-to-side twisting with heavier use).

The fat, cushy seat and seeming one-speed transmission says “cruiser” and the cup holder and what appears to be a built-in audio system (front-mounted speakers) says “hipster.” The less said about the way its locked up the better. Click the image to enlarge it.


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