This blog is no stranger to wooden or, indeed, bamboo bicycles. The "Splinter Bike" by English craftsman Michael Thompson, however, is a very different animal. Barring a touch of glue and lick of paint, this beast is made entirely from wooden parts—not a nail, screw, nut or bolt in sight...not even a chain or rubber tyres.Apparently the fruit of a friendly wager, Michael now hopes his creation will set a land-speed record for wooden bikes, raising money for charity Shelter Box, with friend James Tully at the salvaged broom-handle handle bars; perched on the wooden saddle.
The Splinter Bike's biggest achievement—making this a real engineering marvel—has to be the 128-tooth cog that replaces the need for a drivechain.
The bike has yet to be tested, owing to a difficulty in finding a suitably smooth surface to ride it on—but we'll be sure to keep you updated on how the bike holds up. Be sure to check out Michael's blog to see the bike coming together in the workshop.
Here's the stats:
Weight: 31 kg Gear Ratio: 4:1 Cog: 128-tooth Top Speed: 31 mph (estimated)
Frame: Birch Ply Wheels: Birch Ply Cog: Birch Ply Axle: Ekki (hardwood) Bearings: Ironwood Handle Bars: Salvaged broom handle
Man hours for production: more than 1000 Amount James bet Michael that he couldn't do it: £1
(via The Guardian Bike Blog)
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That's exactly what I thought as well. Except I won't be reading the manual...nor ride it.
Not everything we do as designers has to be useful on its own. Who knows, there may be something to walk away from this with to apply to other bikes. Maybe not. Either way, it's awesome!