London based designer, Andy Martin collaborated with Germany’s Thonet, who were particularly known for their manufacture of bentwood furniture, to design a concept road bicycle, using their steam bending process developed in the 1930s. “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,” Andy commented.
The frame is constructed of beech wood that has been steamed and bent, the same processes which made Thonet’s chairs famous.Their best known piece was the No. 14 chair, the iconic chair of Parisian cafes. The contours of the body were cut and adjusted using a CNC machine and reinforced with a collection of connectors and spring rods created by the designer. The seat is also composed of beech wood, and it’s mounted with spring rod supports. The wheels, not designed by Andy, are carbon fibre HED H3’s to keep the entire cycle lightweight and aerodynamic.
Very interesting is that Thonet Bike is built without brakes, but is available with several interchangeable gear ratios. Only limited pieces of this bike are available from Andy Martin’s site for $69,000 (£43,000). Watch out and wear a helmet, seriously.