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A $70,000 Wooden Bike, Crafted Like A Century-Old Chair

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 A $70,000 Wooden Bike, Crafted Like A Century-Old Chair
topic by Brainwave - 10-08-2012, 04:58 PM

The Thonet Chair Company must have been astonishing to see at the 1851 World’s Fair. In presenting simple seats made of gracefully curved, steam-bent wood, they bucked centuries of convention, countless generations of heavy, formal, carved furniture. But it was in 1859 when the company introduced their most famous model that you’ll undoubtedly recognize today, the No. 14 chair. It became the quintessential cafe seat. So by 1930, 50 million No. 14s had been sold and the aesthetic of furniture had been changed forever.

Andy Martin is a London architect who was tapped to reimagine Thonet’s steam-bent heritage in a new light. His studio designed the Thonet Bike, an absurdly beautiful beechwood bicycle produced in much the same way as Thonet’s chairs were over a century ago. “Initially we designed something along the lines of a Dutch traditional bike, as we thought this to be more on-brand, but soon saw the parody in the proposal,” Martin tells Co.Design. “We started to develop concepts moving away from the tradition and focusing on the material and the bending process.”

What Martin eventually created is the bike you see here--not a kitschy nod to the good old days, but a complete reimagining of Thonet’s hand-bent wood construction. It’s basically a Thonet chair with off-the-shelf carbon-fiber wheels, and somehow, it’s entirely lust@ble. “The raw formed Beechwood is very tactile and has a slightly 'nud3’ feel to it,” Martin explains. “We wanted the bike to have a progressive aesthetic and still feel handcrafted.” Indeed, if the bike were made of metal, it’d be right at home in a sci-fi film. Instead, it just looks like a fresh and fast piece of art.

Of course, Martin did turn to a few modern technologies to craft the bike. While the wood frame is enitrely steam-bent, CNC machines finished contours while carving the critical reinforcement joints. But beyond these loose notes on the construction process, we’re told, “the rest is a secret.” If you’d like a Thonet Bike of your own, they’re available in a bespoke limited edition for $70,000 apiece.

A $70,000 Wooden Bike, Crafted Like A Century-Old Chair | Co.Design: business + innovation + design

26 comments for "A $70,000 Wooden Bike, Crafted Like A Century-Old Chair"

 10-08-2012, 06:10 PMaway - #2
Game375 42 heat pts42

$11,839 | POWERFUL
 10-08-2012, 06:12 PMaway - #3
youngd 13 heat pts13

$2,524 | 17764437
70k and no brakes
 10-09-2012, 04:45 PMaway - #4
Spartan 119 23 heat pts23

$2,473 | 19441257
I'd rather be stuntin in a GT-R
 10-09-2012, 05:54 PMaway - #5
MysticKJ 28 heat pts28

$13,036 | POWERFUL
Originally Posted by youngd
70k and no brakes
it has braking capabilities; it's a fixed gear...resisting the pedal's forward motion by trying to pedal backwards is how you stop...similar to a kid's tricycle...
 10-09-2012, 08:37 PMaway - #6
kaderg911 6 heat pts

$1,296 | 6710525
#### looks like it wud break in half
 10-09-2012, 09:28 PMaway - #7
Taste Maker 23 heat pts23

$3,328 | POWERFUL
70k? im gonna go with a range rover..
 10-09-2012, 10:22 PMaway - #8
iBoxden 24 heat pts24

$2,507 | 20663940
I'll take a Mongoose with the pegs and pocket the remaining $69,800

Last edited by iBoxden; 10-10-2012 at 04:30 AM..
 10-09-2012, 11:31 PMaway - #9
HATEWILL! 39 heat pts39

$18,571 | POWERFUL
Car > bikes are for kids
 10-10-2012, 01:10 AMaway - #10
RAZAH CUTS 3324 heat pts3324

$42,921 | POWERFUL
that #### is dope, but that ####ing price tag is nuts..
 10-10-2012, 03:26 AMonline - #11
franchise 57 heat pts57

$7,489 | POWERFUL
this thing is gangster.

lol at people talkin bout they would buy cars instead of this
 10-10-2012, 04:29 AMaway - #12
realgunta 677 heat pts677

$14,435 | POWERFUL

a grand smh
 10-10-2012, 08:03 AMaway - #13
gh3tto 3 heat pts

$1,752 | 5708173
Originally Posted by franchise
this thing is gangster.

lol at people talkin bout they would buy cars instead of this
for reals not like you can'tt have garages with vehicles plus this stupid a$s bike ?
 10-10-2012, 08:07 AMaway - #14

$1,392 | 1808385
looks nice but i need some type of comfort for 70K
 10-10-2012, 08:22 AMaway - #15
Bman409 20 heat pts20

$16,990 | POWERFUL
$70k? #### the bike, gimme the money.

I would be trying to double that or invest it into something to make more money.
 10-10-2012, 09:41 AMaway - #16
why? 9 heat pts

$4,205 | 10811863
If these boys get a hold of it

It's bye bye for that 70g'z someone spent on that bike.. lol
 10-10-2012, 11:42 AMaway - #17
Adwerdz 99 heat pts99

$20,861 | POWERFUL
where's the engine?
 10-10-2012, 11:54 AMaway - #18
escay_muzik 3 heat pts

$1,048 | 4013254
Originally Posted by why?
If these boys get a hold of it

It's bye bye for that 70g'z someone spent on that bike.. lol

yea its probably coated tho...hahaha
 10-10-2012, 02:24 PMaway - #19
Special Edd 87 heat pts87

$17,085 | POWERFUL
why do people put these prices on worthless ####?

just like paiting i never understood the point of saying oh some one spilled ink on the paper is worth 30million like really?
 10-10-2012, 07:58 PMaway - #20
modalee 4 heat pts

$12,865 | POWERFUL
Id rather get a Benz or Beamer with that money. $70K for a ####ing bike is the dumbest thing ive ever heard.


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