The North American Handmade Bicycle Show, to be staged in February, will be full to the rafters with artisan bike builders but not all will be putting down welding torches to attend the Denver show, some will be downing planes and fret saws.
Unusual even for a show full of beautiful bespoke bicycles, the mahogany bicycle made by Sanomagic of Japan is bound to be a head turner. Made by a company which makes mahogany sailing boats, the Sanomagic road bike has been through a number of iterations since first being crafted in 2007. This isn’t a mass market bicycle: just a handful of the bikes have been made so far (there’s also a mini-bike version, with mini-bikes being popular in Asia).
The Sanomagic bike has a wooden frame, wooden seat post and even a wooden saddle.
The bikes are made by shipbuilder Sueshiro Sano, the owner of a 200 year old business that handcrafts wooden sailing ships for an international clientèle.
But it’s not the only wooden bike to be at NAHBS. There are also bamboo bikes from Boo Bicycles and Calfree Design. And there’s a hardwood bike from Chris Connor of Connor Wood Bicycles.
"You haven’t really ridden a plush ride until you’ve been on wood," says Connor. His Woody 29er Scorcher has a frame made from white ash and black walnut.
"Each frame is hand sculpted and shaped to be a unique work of functional art," said Connor.
"Wood is great for smoothing out a ride because the wood naturally absorbs impacts and vibrations making a ride which is unmistakably different from aluminum, steel or other materials."