Following on from the wonderfully wild plywood prototype of Bene Mack
that we featured towards the end of last week, today we're taking a closer look at another of the wooden builds highlighted by the European Bike Project
. This 150mm travel hardtail is the creation of Edouard Delbove who makes skateboards under the name Atelier Suji (Suji Workshop). This isn't Edouard's first attempt at creating a bike, as his final project in his woodworking qualification was a gravel bike that won a design contest. Since then, he has been working on a number of prototypes until he finally released the Trail 27.5, which may be the most sustainable MTB ever.
While most metal or carbon mountain bikes are produced from raw materials transported around the world and fabricated with processes that use varying amounts of fossil fuels, Edouard takes a different approach. He sources the ash wood from local, sustainably managed plantations, and then the bike is created using his own hands with the cleanest glues possible and finished with an eco-labeled varnish.
Edouard is a big fan of timber. He graduated in woodworking in 2017 and uses the material in his skateboard business based in Isere, France.
Let's get into all the details of this unique wooden hardtail.
Edouard is a huge fan of wood and he believes using it as a frame building material for bicycles isn't even that out of the ordinary. He said, "In the olden days, everything was made of wood - car frames, carriage wheels, and sometimes even bicycle wheels and even today for tool handles. Wood is an incredible material, and has proven it for centuries." For the Trail 27.5 hardtail, Edouard used ash as it's a wood that can deform without breaking and absorbs vibrations. The biggest challenge is finding the right balance between strength and weight and Edouard has refined the joints and the direction of the grain over a number of prototypes to arrive at the final product.
Edouard glues planks together using a bio epoxy that's made in Portugal then carves them to his desired shape. There are more than 20 gluing steps involved in each build so a frame takes around 3 weeks to complete.
"Imagined and manufactured in Isere". These details are burned into the wood with a pyrography tool.
The bike is a 27.5" wheeled trail hardtail that is designed around a 140-150mm fork. It's a bike that's designed to be responsive and dynamic with a 65° head tube angle, 445mm reach and 74° seat tube angle. This bike is pitched at trail riders but Edouard is also currently working on a more hardcore version of the bike called the Drop that has more aggressive geometry and will be revealed in a few weeks.
The bike can hold two 750ml water bottles and has a chainstay protector made from cork. Each frame is finished with a varnish to protect it from impacts and UV rays.
Alongside the enduro version of this bike, Edouard will be designing a snowboard and then a complete range of city bikes with a single speed, a ladies' and men's bike. For more information on his complete range, click here