We get a lot of reasons when when you ask someone why they made a wooden bicycle. It’s beautiful. It’s strong. It has it’s own natural vibration damping. But, it’s light? That’s not typically included among the positives. Which is exactly why German Eslava set out to build the ultimate wooden bike. In addition to maintaining all those beneficial properties of wood, German wanted to tackle the weight. The result is a wooden bicycle that sits right at the 6.8kg UCI weight limit…
Now on his second generation of the frame, almost the entire structure sees some type of CNC routing to eliminate weight where possible. German claims the frame takes somewhere around 120 minutes of total CNC time which results in a number of puzzle pieces to fit together for the complete bike.
The resulting joints are beautiful and highlight the attractiveness of the wood. As a local of New Zealand, German chose to use native woods – either Rimu or Matai and Kauri or Totara. Based on the wood chosen, the price for a frame/fork/headset/seatpost topper varies between $6,950 and $7,950 respectively. Once in production, the lead time should run around 4 months. For reference, the bike above is built from Kuari which German refers to as the “finest wood in New Zealand.”
In addition to reinforcing the clam shell joint of the frame, carbon fiber and epoxy reinforcements are also found at key locations like the rear brake and dropouts.
Internal cable routing is both Shimano Di2 and SRAM eTap (no wires) compatible.
The split chainstay design was chosen to provide a very stiff, but light structure to handle pedaling forces. Weighing in at about 1.646 kg for the frame, German says the complete bike pictured hits the 6.8kg mark with a different set of wheels than shown. While the pricing may keep this out of reach of most riders, it appears that the beauty of wood and a (relatively) light weight frame are no longer mutually exclusive.