Still very much an ongoing project, industrial designer Brendyn Rodgers of Brenvelo (@brenvelo) in Australia recently revealed version two of his Woodworker Bicycle, an evolving wooden bicycle design rooted in a philosophy of stripping away as much complexity as possible, taking cues from Scandinavian and Japanese furniture design.
Some potential benefits of using wood as a frame material include the possibility to use production offcuts and recycled materials, quick customization, and the fact that conventional woodworking equipment can be used to construct frames—no special tooling required. Plus, adding mounting points for bikepacking bags and cargo cages is as simple as drilling a hole and screwing things on.
According to Brendyn, “Conventional wood frames burn up 50 to 100 hours manufacture time, consequently demanding a high sale price, limiting the market. A steel bike can be constructed in five hours, including finishing, up to 20 hours. My aim with Woodworker is to reduce manufacturing time to 10 hours. While I’m sure wood frame bikes will always be a niche product, it would be nice to reach a more budget-constrained market.”
Brendyn says the Woodworker prototypes are fast, even if they don’t look it, and that they’re compliant in a comfortable way. One thing is for certain: the Woodworker is sure to be a conversation starter for curious cyclists and non-cyclists alike, and Brendyn says it’s an aspect he particularly enjoys about riding a wooden bike around town.
Pricing for a Woodworker frame will likely be roughly $1,000 to $,1500 USD, depending on options, and the weight is around 2.5 to 3 kilograms. Brenvelo is still in the serious hobby phase and has yet to be turned into a business, but Brendyn hopes to launch a production version of the Woodworker within the next year or two. Instagram is the best place to follow along for updates and behind-the-scenes process shots, and you can find Brendyn there @brenvelo.
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