Cyclists like to talk about the ride quality of various materials from which bikes are made. Of course, there is steel, aluminum, titanium, and carbon fiber. There are even bikes made from bamboo.
But how about wood? To me, it seems that wouldn’t be a great material for a bike frame because it would crack, warp, and get soggy from water exposure and just age. But Jay Kinsinger from Sojourn Cyclery claims there’s nothing quite like a wood bike.
A Cyclist Who Loves Wood
Building bikes is not a new thing for Kinsinger. Before his foray into wood bikes, he built steel bikes. But because of his love of wood and his background in making furniture and wood sculpture, he wanted to combine his love of cycling with woodworking.
So, with that experience as well as his background as a mechanical engineer, he started crafting bicycles out of walnut. With only a set of hand tools and a 400-hour investment, Kinsinger made his first wood bike.
Wood Bike Ride Quality
Kinsinger, whose father was a woodworking teacher, also swears by the ride quality of a wood bicycle. And overall, he says that wood is an excellent source material for bike frames.
Wood “absorbs all of the road vibrations and delivers a smooth ride.” Not to mention that whenever he is out on a ride, his bike becomes a conversation starter.
Beauty Plus Functionality in a Wood Bike
Jay Kinsinger says that wood allows for a lot more design possibilities than the traditional materials available to bike builders. He says he can do “steam bending and curves” and probably other things as well.
And because of its innate and organic quality, a finished frame can take on a look of elegance. Whereas other materials bikes are made of can seem a bit cold, industrial, and plain, wood, according to Kinsinger, exudes warmth. He claims people naturally feel a connection and are visually drawn to it.
Current Wood Bike Offerings
Sojourn Cyclery currently offers an all-around road bike, a “Duo” Wooden Tandem, and an E-bike. However, as mentioned in this article from Men’s Journal, Kinsinger also has built mountain bikes. In fact, I’m sure if you asked him, there probably isn’t any type of wood bike project he’d not take on.
Build Your Own Wood Bike
Sojourn Cyclery is located in Cedarville, OH, and it offers workshops on how to build a wood bike for $2,300. Kinsinger says all materials are supplied as well as assistance to help complete your project.
Combining wood with cycling sounds strange, but it is definitely not the strangest material a bike has been fashioned from. Bamboo always seemed odd to me, but then people rave about the great ride quality.
Would you build a bike out of wood? What kind of bike would you make? Please like, comment, and share and let me know your thoughts.
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