Friday Fun: Wooden Wheels
San Jose-based Masterworks produces bicycles Photo from Masterworks.

Masterworks produces a bicycle whose only non-wooden parts are its wheels and gears. Photo from Masterworks.

Bicycles are commonly made of a steel alloy, carbon fiber, and even bamboo, but San Jose-based  Masterworks was feeling wood in this case. The woodworking studio designed a bike composed principally of the material. It is made of 80 percent wood and 20 percent metal, requires 1,000 hours of manpower, and costs a pretty $4,000 a piece.

Recently, Bob Swaim, a bicycle collector and Penn State professor added a mahogany and maple version to his collection of more than 200 two-wheeled vehicles. Swaim purchased the unique cycle at a trade show in Las Vegas last September.

“Most people have never seen a wooden bike,” Swaim said. “I get to bring back a piece of Las Vegas with me, which contradicts the phrase ‘what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.’ ”

The wooden cycle was delivered today and joins Swaim’s eclectic mix, which includes a German-designed seven-passenger Conference bike and the two-wheeled two-person companion bike.

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