Who needs carbon fiber?
Master carpenter Raphael Much from Germany's famous Black Forest crafts bespoke wooden bicycle frames - with some help from tools specialist Mafell.29 Aug 2018
There's no denying that wood is a fantastic and universal material, but for all its versatility, there are still some things you'd never expect to see made out of it, such as false teeth and even bicycles. While dentists have nothing new to report on this particular front as yet, things are a bit different in the world of two-wheeled transport. Bicycles made from renewable raw materials such as wood and bamboo are becoming increasingly popular. When you take a closer look at them, you can see why. Not only do they usually look great, they also have amazing characteristics and can absorb shocks incredibly well, even without a suspension fork. What’s more, they shine as a beacon of individuality in day-to-day life. Like a tailor-made suit, a hand-crafted frame made of ash or another suitable wood is a one-off piece made especially for its owner.
Master carpenter Raphael Much is one of the creative craftspeople who are pouring heart and soul into these exquisite creations. With the support of tools specialist Mafell, he designs and produces bicycles that are like no other. A passionate craftsman, Much prefers to use the most beautiful wood he can, combining it with state-of-the-art materials to produce practical two-wheelers with stunning contrasts that can be appreciated by everyone who sets eyes on them - not just the rider. However, more importantly than aesthetics and status, these creations also deliver outstanding practical quality. For example, a highly developed resin coating and two-component UV-resistant lacquers ensure the intricate and yet stable structures will last a lifetime. The adhesives used also stay flexible once cured, thus helping to absorb vibrations. The bikes can even be repaired if they’ve been in a collision, as long as the structure of the frame has not been completely destroyed. And if, many years down the line, you decide you want a shiny new bike, all you have to do is sand down the frame and apply a few fresh coats of varnish - then the fun can continue.
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