Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Japanese shipbuilder creates wooden bicycles

Here's some handmade wooden bike loveliness that will be shown at the Japanese Handmade Bicycle Fair [2010 ハンドメイドバイシクルフェア] which begins this Friday.

Shipbuilder Sueshiro Sano is the owner of a 200 year old business that handcrafts oceangoing wooden sailing ships for an international clientèle in Japan. In the fall of 2007, Sano began to experiment with a mahogany laminate bike. This initial build was a mostly solid bike with an aluminum seat tube wrapped in thin laminate, a big honkin' wooden head tube with a metal sleeve for the steerer, a solid wooden fork with metal fork ends, and wooden seatpost.

Bike number 2, built in 2008, was their first hollow frame with a goal toward bringing the total bike weight under 8 kg (17.6 lbs) built up with wooden saddle, wooden drop handlebar, and Shimano Dura Ace components.

Sueshiro SANO has only built a small handful of these wooden bicycles for sale. If you can't afford the complete bike, you can get mahogany laminate handlebars, seatpost and wheels for your minivelo bike.

There's a tremendous amount of information on how these bikes are designed and built, including details on the craftsmanship and thinking going into these bikes at the SANOMAGIC website. Several movies are also available for download as WMV files.

If you understand Japanese, there's this interesting talk with the bike designer and ride along on the SANO MAGIC mahogany bike on Youtube.

Yohei Morita visited SANO MAGIC last weekend. See his Flickr photos here.


jwm said...


Yokota Fritz said...

@jwm: Do itoshimashite.

Mumbleboy said...

If I'd stayed there just a few more days, I'd definitely have gone to that! Maybe next year.

Erik Orgell said...

He really does create a beautiful machine. Would love to have him make a few for me.