Aspiring Woodworkers Build The Ultimate Wooden Bike

Aspiring Woodworkers Build the Ultimate Wooden Bikes

What do you do with condemned trees, these aspiring woodworkers build the ultimate wooden bikes from them.  While most people cut the trees down and turn them into firewood or shred them for mulch Bill Holloway and Mauro Hernandez are taking trees nobody wants and turning them in rolling works of art.

The pair are owners of Masterworks Wood and Design in San Jose California and build these wooden bikes primarily using tradition hand woodworking techniques. You can buy one that they have already build to tell them what you would like and they will custom make on for you.

As Bruce Newman of MercuryNews.com writes:

Aspiring Woodworkers Build the Ultimate Wooden Bikes

Aspiring Woodworkers Build The Ultimate Wooden Bikes
Two aspiring woodworkers build the ultimate wooden bikes from condemed trees. Photo by Gary Reyes / Mercury News

But a pair of San Jose woodworkers — one a self-taught genius, the other his interpreter to the real world — are turning recycled Honduran mahogany, cherry and maple hardwoods into cycling’s most splendid splinters.

At Masterworks Wood and Design, Bill Holloway, 49, and Mauro Hernandez, 33, are an artistic odd couple who have carved out a unique place for themselves in cycling’s peloton. They have built 10 bikes — all cruisers, with a pedicab in the works — that are made almost entirely of wood, and look like a Harley enthusiast’s idea of an elaborate weathervane. The original sapling in this fleet fleet, called the Defender, is their entry-level model and costs $5,500. Other models, such as the Interceptor, which has a pirate theme, and the Cherry Bomb, with flames carved out of wood, run as much as $7,500.

The bikes are considered “green” because the wood used to make them is not. The pair spend countless hours tracking down the most beautiful used woods they can find and repurposing them for…

In this video from Gary Reyes of Mercury News they discuss there wooden bike designs

Kimberley Mok from treehugger.com writes about their use of condemned urban trees:

There’s no doubt that we have a definite soft spot for wooden bicycles, but these hand-crafted bikes made from condemned city trees give these otherwise stylish bikes a more poignant history than you might imagine. Made by San Francisco-based carpenters Bill Holloway and Mauro Hernandez of Masterworks Woodworking, the material for these beautiful vehicles come from ‘unsafe’ trees that have met an untimely end — often from family properties, now inherited by grown children who…

In a article and video produced by Jeff Diehl of spotsunknown.com Bill Holloway talks about his woodworking background and how he started to build wooden bikes. He also discusses how the wood bikes ride and how they use tradition hand woodworking techniques.

They’re self-taught, and the custom bikes are an offshoot of their larger woodworking and detailing business. Bill is a native San Franciscan, and his family has deep roots here. The dynamic between him and Mauro is a compelling, friendly rivalry.

I fist encountered Bill while shooting him at Bay Area Maker Faire. This time around, it was great getting to know him and his work better, and setting him and Mauro loose to ride their creations in some stunning San Francisco locations. (Watch for the daredevil downhill stuff – these bikes are decidedly NOT made for that kind of terrain!)

These wooden bikes are beautiful. As a cycling enthusest and woodworker I can apreciate all of the time and effort that goes into building them. These California aspiring woodworkers build the ultimate wooden bikes!

Wood has played a large part in bicycle history, from the wooden bike to wood wheels to racing velodromes made of wood. For more about bicycle history including the wood bike you might want to read Bike Cult: The Ultimate Guide to Human-Powered Vehicles, by David B. Perry. This book may be the ultimate bike database!

 

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