Wood is generally associated with furniture and not vehicles. However there have been designers who have made innovative use of wood to create attractive two wheelers. The latest example is the creation of Australian architect Andy Martin who has used steam bending technology to make the Thonet Bicycle. It was way back in 1859 that the German-Austrian furniture maker Michael Thonet first designed the now well-known bentwood No. 14 chair. It has been over 150 years now and the ever green design has inspired the creation of the most expensive bicycle. Yes, the Thonet bicycle carries a price tag of $70,000.
The Designer has Used Steam Bending Technology
There have been quite expensive bikes created earlier but none at this price point. The designer has very cleverly taken design elements from Thonet’s bistro chair. There is a simplicity in the design that is very appealing. And what is remarkable that the designer has very effectively used the company’s steam bending technology a little over 150 years after the now well known chair was originally designed. The technique is simple where strips of wood are heated using a steam box. Martin has used this low tech process with the help of a CNC machine and created a sleek frame with beech wood.
The Bike is Unique but Ridiculously Expensive
The frame and the seat are directly inspired by Thonet’s bistro chair and looks very similar to the popular piece of furniture. The bike has no braking system that makes it more like a vintage bike. It is, no doubt a unique bike but it is ridiculously expensive and it is difficult to project as to how many pieces can be sold at this price point. It is safe to say that very few people would be willing to pay this kind of money for a vintage bike with a wooden frame. We have seen experiments like this by other companies but none of them have been as expensive as this. If you are curious to know more about the bike you can visit the Andy Martin site which has more details available and will also guide you about how to pre order this designer bike.