The concept of a wooden bicycle has captured the imagination of designers; manufacturers, however, aren’t sold yet. So, we’ve generally seen either concepts at this point, or handmade wooden bikes that are well beyond the budgets of most of us. If you want to ride something made of wood, a skateboard is still your best bet.
Portland, Oregon’s Ruphus has played the “let’s imagine a wooden bike” game: in fact, the design shop came together out of a project its founders participated in at the University of Oregon. While you can’t buy an award-winning Campus Mini Velo (yet, anyway), Ruphus has created a couple of accessories for your bike that will add the warmth and character of wood without breaking the bank.
- The Bowie: Many of us add fenders and racks to the rear wheels of our bikes – the Bowie combines both of these functions into one products, made of either maple or walnut.
- The Slim: Another rack/fender combo, the Slim (pictured above) also has an “easy snap fit” for a Kryptonite Keeper 12LS bicycle lock (which, unfortunately, doesn’t come included). Ruphus offers a bamboo version of this product in addition to maple and walnut.
These two products, along with Ruphus’ entire line, are produced with a waste-minimizing CNC router.
I’m generally not crazy about just plugging products, but there’s a lot to like here: small-scale, efficient manufacturing of wood (ideally, a well-managed renewable resource; Ruphus does use LEED-certified bamboo and some locally-sourced, urban salvaged walnut) into accessories that make bicycling even more attractive. If you’ve used one of their products, share your experience with us.
Image courtesy of Ruphus