It’s not the first wooden bike – but it’s the first to be made completely from wood, with not a single metal or plastic element in sight.
Indeed, the Splinterbike doesn’t even have tyres – which, combined with a wooden seat, could make for some unpleasant injuries. It weighs in at 31kg, and has only one fixed gear, and no brakes.
It’s made from a variety of woods, ranging from a broom-handle for the handlebars to oily ironwood for the bearings.
The bike started life as the result of a £1 bet between British joiner Michael Thompson and his friend James Tully. After claiming that he could make anything from wood, Tully was challenged to produce a functioning bike as the pair watched the cycling Tour of Britain.
The aim is to set a world speed record on the thing.
“It’s taken longer than first thought to get to this stage – and I suppose we’re only half way there, as James has yet to mount the bike and complete his part of the deal, which is, of course, setting the land speed record!” says Thompson.
“I am looking at letting James loose on it from next weekend onwards. We just need to find a local venue to do some testing and get the final fitting to James’s particular riding style.”
Unfortunately, the pair have discovered that setting a world speed record is a little more complex than simply riding along with a stopwatch. They’re now trying to raise funds for the attempt through corporate sponsorship, and reckon they’ll need about £7,500 – you can donate here.