We’ve featured lots of interesting concept bicycles over the years, from those that fold to those that generate their own electrical power, but none has the striking look and simplicity of the SplinterBike.
As a joke, designer Michael Thompson bet a friend he could build anything out of wood, including a bike. Thompson made good on his claim, and last summer, the SplinterBike was viewed by over 320,000 visitors to the Power of Making exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. It also set a new speed record for 100 percent wooden bikes in August 2011. Now, Thompson has constructed a special SplinterBike Quantum (SBQ) edition that will be available for public test drives during the 2012 London Olympic Games.
True to its claim, the SplinterBike is built entirely from wood (most of it reclaimed) and glue. There isn’t a single bit of metal or rubber on the entire bike…even the tires! As you might imagine, there are some drawbacks to this design, namely a lot of weight. Unlike the super light racing bikes you’re likely to see in the Tour de France, the SplinterBike weighs in at a whopping 71 pounds.