Amsterdam-based designer Paul Timmer has created a wooden bicycle from solid ash fitted with 3D-printed aluminium parts.
Weighing only 11 kilograms, the single-speed bicycle is designed to be ridden on a variety of terrains.
The designer strengthened the vehicle's frame by using custom-made 3D-printed aluminium parts, instead of a veneer or plywood that's typical of other wooden bicycle prototypes.
"The main advantage of the wooden frame is the exceptional comfort," explained Timmer. "All vibrations, due to bumps in the road, are instantly absorbed".
The forks – typically two blades that hold the front wheel – are fixed on bearings outside the frame. This allows for the wooden forks to be extended upwards to the handlebars, keeping the wood grain intact and stronger.
"Wood is the best construction material available," said Timmer. "This bike can be as strong as a steel one, but it has to be designed better than a steel one".
The fork legs form a triangle from the axle to the handlebar, which is mounted where the legs meet.
The 3D-printed aluminium parts include dropouts – a type of fork end that allows the rear wheel to be removed easily – and headset components – parts for the bicycle's steering mechanism.
Instead of using a chain for propulsion, Timmer employed a belt-drive system that is lighter and more durable. Additionally, the belt doesn't require grease – something that could spoil the bicycle's wooden finish.
Currently the bicycle is a one-off, but Timmer plans to redesign it to make it more suitable for mass production.