Thonet Bike by Andy Martin
by Harry / October 3, 2012


To highlight chair-maker Thonet's steam bending process, London-based architect Andy Martin was asked to design a concept bike made of bent wood.



(Click the images below for full sized images)


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Thonet's steam bending process was originally developed in the 1930s to make chairs. Andy Martin Studio used the same process to make a unique sinuous bicycle frame out of beech wood.

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Of three designs developed for Thonet, the final was selected because of its aesthetic beauty and modest connection with the heritage of the company.
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Says Andy Martin, "The challenge was to take on fairly low tech process of steam bending and then apply it to a 21st century bicycle with highly complex engineering".


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"With the many restrictions of hand bending the beech frame the final jointing and contours would be cut and adjusted on a cnc machine." Martin has also developed a series of connectors and sprung rods to reinforce joints and the major stress areas in the frame.


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The bike itself is a fixed wheel, "which is the tradition of cycling; one has a greater connection to the bike and the surface one rides on." It comes with no brakes and has several interchangeable gear ratios.


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Even the seat is solid beech wood supported on a sprung rod supports. The wheels, not designed by Martin are carbon fibre HED H3's. The bike will be available in limited edition and cost £43,000.

+ andymartinstudio.com


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