April, 2012

There has been a recent trend to go green all the way by creating electric bikes in wood, a bio dynamically sustainable and organic medium (it contains all those cool words).  Bamboo and wooden bicycles have been popular for a few years, and in 2012 wooden electric bikes started to creep out of the woodwork. It started with some really cool looking wooden bicycles, this one is all wood…even the wheel-rims:

 

 

I think people like the concept of wooden bicycles, but not necessarily the idea of pedaling them. So along came the wooden electric scooter:

 

 

Scooters? What about Vespas, do wooden electric  Vespas count?

 

No to be a wooden electric bike they have to have pedals. This  Gas powered steam burning wooden bike didn’t cut it for those Eco guys….what was the point?

 

There is one electric bike guy over on Endless-Sphere who is doing it the hard way, and  trying to build an entire drive line out of wood…he hasn’t figured out a wooden way to power it however:

 

Now this guy is getting the idea….although this is an electric bike the electrics are all used to power the build in sound system. Not only do you have the heavy wooden frame you have to pedal around, but also all those electronics. What this bike is really missing is a hub motor in the rear and a huge lithium battery pack, and he could win the wooden ebike of the year contest:

 

Learn from this  guy and do the simple conversion and  just throw a hub motor on wooden bike and make it into a wooden ebike and be done with it….the wooden battery box on the wooden back rack is a nice touch as well. This guy decided to just to a wooden frame and stick to all normal mountain bikecomponents. Great concept. Now he  has the nicety of a front suspension . If I had the skills to build an electric wooden bike, this is the bike I would create. This guy wins most practical wooden ebike award:

 

 

Now we are getting there…hub motors make an electric build easy.  How about a full suspension wooden electric bike? This ebike looks clean and snazzy, even better than the previous bike. But its missing one HUGE thing….the battery pack. Depending on where he decided to mount the battery pack will make a big difference on how the suspension performs on this ebike and how it looks aesthetically. Also this bike is missing the controller and all wiring that an ebike designer has to deal with:

Even easier if you skip the pedals.  The below bike is lovingly made in New Zealand: https://www.facebook.com/VElectricLtd

V-Electric

And then a wooden e-trike, notice this design allows the controller, battery and all the wiring to be sandwiched and  hidden between the two wooden panels that make up the frame. This bike features a tilt feature to make it corner better in turns :

The Mars Electric bike is not all wooden, but uses nice wooden panels hiding battery and controller. Thin plywood panels can be curved by applying steam, and then bracing them in the final shape while they cool.  The BMC rear hub motor is in the back. This E-bike features a beautifully straight chain line.

The winner for the best wooden electric bike ever goes to German design students Jirka Wolff, Andreas Patsiaouras and Marcel Heise . They named their masterpiece the  “Rennholz”, which is translated to “racing wood”. Taking up to 10 weeks from its design to physical conception, the Rennholz is driven by a standard Bosch cordless drill, using bent wood as its construction material of choice. Notice the power drill in the pictures:

Here is how it started:

 

And somehow transformed into this:

 

Worth a view from a different angle:

 

These guys definately win the prize for best wooden electric bike ever….so far.

Here is a tribute to the wooden electric bicycle, the trend that started the evolution of the wooden electric bike: