Jan bike studio from the Czech Republic have unveiled a striking new bike made from maple wood.
“Over 40 layers of wood create this precisely shaped frame, resembling an avocado,” says Jan. “Firmness and flexibility achieved mainly because of the solid construction are the main qualities of this unique handmade model.”
The layers of wood are made into a single frame piece that fulfils the usual roles of the top tube, seatstays, chainstays, bottom bracket and down tube. The wood also curves around the front of the head tube.
“This construction enhances the overall durability of the frame and improves its performance,” says Jan. “The lower part of the frame is larger [to] achieve firmness, whereas the upper part of the frame works like a spring and balances the forces affecting the frame when being used.”
Why use wood when so many other materials are available?
“We chose the material of wood mainly because of its beauty and potential for continuous transformation,” says Jan. “We don’t want to produce another mass-produced product, our goal is mainly to create and transcend the limits, both technological and of common ideas and trends.
“Wood has [an] 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.”
The elements of the frame that aren’t made from wood are made from dural aluminium alloy. The makers say the frame weighs around 3kg. That’s heavy when compared to most other frames out there but you’d expect that because it’s solid wood.
Although the bike shown here is a disc-equipped flat-bar road bike, Jan says that the frame can be modified for many uses, both on and off road.
Ireland’s Woodelo have been making wooden bikes for years too.
Earlier in the week we told you about a Chinese DIY bamboo bike too. And, before anyone says it, we know that bamboo is a grass and not wood.
Although they’re usually stunning to look at, we can’t say that we’ve seen too many of them out on the road.
Photos Jachym Kliment www.jachymkliment.com
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.