$70,000 Thonet Bike is Crafted from Bent Beech Wood
With a challenge to take on the moderately low-tech process of steam-bending, a woodworking technique where wood strips are heated using a steam box to make it bend around a mould creating a specific shape, and then apply it to an ultra-advanced bicycle with intricate engineering, London-based architect Andy Martin has designed an extraordinary bike for furniture manufacturer Thonet. Crafted completely from bent beech wood, this fixed-gear, elegant road bicycle actually blends the Thonet’s ‘bentwood’ designs with Andy Martin’s design prowess for the use of natural light and playfulness with materials. However, we have also earlier seen some of the other class-apart wooden bikes like the one from Lagomorph design featuring titanium hardware, the Ricor’s wooden bike, the art nouveau-styled wooden bike, Michael Thompson’s SplinterBike, Renovo R4 Pursuit wooden bike, and the beautiful mahogany bikes by Sueshiro SANO.
The bicycle’s beautiful, sweeping frame has been composed of beech wood, which was steamed and bent using the steam-bending process developed back in the 1930s to craft Thonet’s iconic chairs.
Further, the counters of the bike’s body were masterly cut and adjusted using a high-tech CNC machine and then was reinforced with a collection of connectors and spring rods especially created by Andy Martin for crafting this wooden bike.
Interestingly, the bike’s seat is also composed of beech wood, and comes mounted with spring rod supports, while the advanced carbon-fiber HED H3 wheels helps keep the bicycle light in weight and aerodynamic.
Notably, this $70,000 artistic bike doesn’t carries brakes, and is made available with various gear ratios that are interchangeable.
With a price tag to match, this limited edition bike is one of the world’s most expensive bicycles for uber-rich riders.