Andy Martin approached Thonet with interest in their hand steam-bending capabilities developed in the 1830s, which were originally used to build furniture. The materials of the bike are beechwood, titanium and aluminum—an interesting contrast of materials.
The designed elements had to be scanned into 3D in order to be combined with structure-reinforcing elements. Certain stress points were resolved at this juncture in the process. Martin has also worked to engineer a series of connectors and rods to reinforce the bike’s joints. Wood is actually more rigid by weight than fiberglass or steel. The seat also has a core of solid beech.
Martin studied architecture at the Sydney University of Technology and completed his education at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London. He is based in London and established his practice in 2000. Its model incorporates architects, interior designers, craftsmen and product designers to promote interdisciplinary research.
I love this concept of combining a low-tech process and applying it to a modern urban experience with complex engineering. The resulting sinuous form and “fixed” configuration known for drawing cyclists into being totally attuned to their bike is a stunning combination. This limited edition road bicycle illustrates that people outside of bike culture are also passionate about experimenting and pushing the bicycle form forward into new realms and materials.