We’ve seen a number of different wooden bikes over the years from things like DIY bamboo kit bikes to sculpted, laminated bikes to super refined hardwood/carbon and bamboo/carbon composite solutions, but this bike looks to try to be even more accessible. Wooden Widget’s ethos is to provide various modes of transportation that can be easily fabricated at home out of wood by any moderately skilled wood worker with easy and affordable tools. Of course no home-made transportation company’s catalog would be complete without a bicycle, but Wooden Widget takes it even further with some other creative and useful applications…
Wooden Widget was founded in 2006 by a wood boat builder named Benjy who firmly believes that most modes of transportation can and should be crafted out of wood. While they do not sell any of their inventions per se, they do sell quite detailed plans and instructions for building their many wooden creations. The Hoopy is the name of their standard bicycle. Fabricated from 10mm or 3/8″ plywood and using 20″ wheels, the one-size-fits-all frame is purportedly comfortable for riders from 5’2″ to 6’4″. The padded bench seat can easily hold a passenger as well, with a pretty high rated load capacity of 200kg/440lb.
Wooden Widget say that a Hoopy can be built for about £250 (~$300) from scratch with about a 50-hour time investment. The completed bikes weigh around 14kg/31lb depending on the options (such as internally geared hubs), though most people build them as single speeds for simplicity. The folks at Wooden Widget are quick to point out that the plywood box-frame design is readily adapted to being an e-bike, with ample room for batteries and controllers in the hollow interior space.
What better compliment to your Hoopy than a camper trailer to match? The Foldavan is a modular wood and canvas camper trailer intended to be towed behind a bicycle. Featuring 3 modes, Camping, Road, and Stow, the trailer has a fixed length but is collapsible in width to get smaller when not needed, compressing to just 8.25″ wide when in Stow mode with the wheels removed for storage at home.
The trailer has a wooden base frame with a canvas/PVC upper structure, and weighs approximately 30kg/66lb. With endless options for customization, Wooden Widget can’t really suggest a typical cost for a Foldavan, but construction time is apparently similar to a Hoopy, around 50 hours. In addition to providing shelter, the Foldavan is rated to carry about 75kg of cargo so could do pretty well for hauling, besides the weekend camping trip. Neither the Hoopy nor the Foldavan are offered directly in kit form, but illustrated electronic plans for both (and several more wooden projects) are available at their website for £30 each. The even commit to planting 5 trees for every set of plans that they sell, so there will be something of a balance for future projects.