Even though they have their critics, wooden bicycles are nevertheless beautiful to behold. And there's no doubt there are some advantages that wood has as a bike-making material over metal: wood absorbs vibrations better, and it's relatively less intensive to harvest and process it. Proving that wood is a suitable material, Jan Mucska and Jan Vidlicka of Prague's Jan Bike Studio created this gorgeous, handcrafted, unibody specimen using forty layers of wood.
The bike's frame is a continuous whole, modelled after an avocado, and has no joints or disruptions for firmness and flexibility. The lower part of the frame is designed to be larger and more firm, while the top part works like a spring to equalize forces during use.
The designers say that their approach was to see and design a "holistic frame":
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. For the production of our bicycles we chose the material of wood mainly because of its beauty and potential for continuous transformation. 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.
Weighing 3 kilograms (6.6 pounds), the frame is lightweight but made to be durable. Its sculptural curves make a statement, but also lends the bike better performance. It's still a prototype, but Jan Mucska and Jan Vidlicka plan to custom-make more wooden bikes in the future, and will alter frames to suit regular road or off-road biking. Find out more over at Jan Bike Studio.