Sunday, 8 April 2012

Axalko - the wooden bike

 A quick search of the Internet will throw up a few different people's take on wooden bikes from Bamboo frames in place of steel through to some workshop built creations. There is however one company, Axalko, making some sublime bikes using Ash wood to great effect.

The small firm from the Basque region build incredible hand-built frames using a technique they have developed themselves including four specially designed finger joints holding the frame together. These joints ensure the frame is lightweight, the road bike comes in at 6.5kg when built up, but rigid enough to deal with the forces put through the frame when you push the pedals round.

I had the chance to try one out a few weeks when I met Enrique from Axalko at Bespoked Bristol. This frame was set up for 'city mode' which was very responsive and the acceleration was great. I had a quick ride round the train station over the cobbled streets of Bristol and was amazed at how little vibration was passed through the frame. The bike itself has been tested on both Paris-Roubaix and Bastogne - Liege so it can certainly cope with the pave and I just wish I could of took some time riding it round some twisting country lanes.

Every bike is fitted to the customers exact measurements and the whole process takes 3 months from initial consultation through to delivery. Much like a hand made suit from Saville Row the Axalko is the pinnacle of bike building and the sort of bike you hope to hand down to the next generation. The bike is a truly beautiful piece of craftsmanship and you get lots of admiring looks from people as you ride it around. With prices starting from £3,500 it would be an investment worth if you are thinking of spending a big amount on a bike.