Subscribe » Issue #50, Mar-Apr 2014 Mag Cover
Idealog—in the ideas business

A bike made of 100% wood? You bet

We’ve seen examples of wooden bikes before, like the award winning bike by Kiwi company Wishbone Design Studio. But a bicycle made entirely out of wood, with no nails, no rubber tyres, no chain? Now you’re talking. 

This wooden transporter is the result of a £1 wager between creator Michael Thompson and his friend James Tully. From the wheels to the gear (of which there is only one), the pedals to the seat, everything about the Splinter Bike is wooden. Thompson has even managed to overcome the issue of the drivechain—a quintessential component of any bicycle, surely. To do this he replaced the need for a chain with a 128-tooth cog that connects the chain ring and the gear with the back wheel (also made of wood, of course). 

Now that the design concept is a reality, the British friends are gearing up make an attempt to set the world land-speed record for the fastest 100 percent wooden bicycle. Tully will be the one in the hot seat attempting to break the record,  but should he reach that ambitious goal, stopping the bike might prove a tad difficult as it’s been built with no breaks.  We love it, and you can keep up with the progress on the Splinter Bike blog.

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