A new innovation is on its way aimed at amateur cyclists wishing to distinguish themselves from their peers: Wheel’n Wood bikes. They’re exquisite wooden-framed bicycles, made to an original design and sold as kits that can be assembled in less than 20 minutes. It’s also possible to get the bikes already fully assemble thanks to the company’s partner l’Entrepot du Vélo. They’re highly customizable, meaning that riders can tailor them to their precise specifications.
In a world where the aesthetic appeal of a bike is almost as important as its performance, this seems like the perfect opportunity for people to get hold of bikes that have a bit of exclusivity to them. We’ve certainly never heard of anything like this before, and are looking forward to them hitting the market. The question is, “Will they meet our expectations?” That remains to be seen.
The wood that Wheel’n Wood’s frames are constructed from comes from responsibly managed forests, and the companies involved are recognized in their fields for the quality of their work. The benefit of wood as a material is that it can be easily decorated by drawing on it, painting it, or even adding engravings. Wooden surfaces lend themselves beautifully to a plethora of different finishes, which makes Wheel’n Wood perfect for people who wish to give their bikes a personal touch.
The fact that wood is one of the main materials used for these bikes is also a plus point when it comes to green issues. It means that more parts of them are renewable, which should hopefully lessen their impact upon the environment. Cycling is already seen as an ecologically sound alternative to other forms of transportation. Perhaps Wheel’n Wood marks a move towards an even more environmentally friendly method for getting from A to B.
Wheel’n Wood’s durability and weight are equal to those of conventional bicycles, so there’s no difference in terms of the way they handle. The steel steering column and bottom bracket come in standard sizes in order to offer you the widest possible range of options. The wooden frame has been finished with water repellent varnish and was designed for 26” wheels. The bikes are currently being financed via the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter.
The fact that the weight of these bikes is equal to that of their conventional equivalents means that they may even be used by serious sportsmen at some point rather than remaining the sole domain of amateurs. This would enable competitors to not only excel in terms of speed, but also in terms of the appearance of their bikes.
Will these bikes be a flash-in-the-pan novelty product, or enjoy longevity? This all comes down to how polished the finished product is. What I can say for certain is that we’re eagerly awaiting their arrival so that we can see for ourselves. We commend Wheel’n Wood for trying something new, and can’t wait to see if whether or not they manage to fulfil our hopes for them.