If you fancy a new DIY project and you’ve got a weekend to spare, this could be right up your street: making a fully functional wooden bicycle.
The Hoopy is a simple bike, made from 10mm plywood that weighs around 12kg and can be fitted with a single speed or two-speed gears. It runs on 20-inch wheels and uses a back pedal coaster brake.
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The French designers, Wooden Widget, have a background in boat building. They say the Hoopy is comfortable to ride, and the box section plywood frame means it can be fitted with an internal drive system – saving your clothes from dirt and grease. The box frame can also be used to store tools, spares and shopping.
What you’ll need
You’ll need some confidence with a jigsaw and drill though as only the plans are supplied for the Hoopy, at a cost of around £30. The team behind it says a complete bike can be built for approximately £250, including the plans, £100 worth of parts (mainly for the drivetrain), plus wood.
The plans for Hoopy are supplied as a downloadable PDF, and contain over 130 pages and more than 200 photos. There’s also a bonus section full of useful information, such as selecting the right wood and using epoxy glue.
As well as including a lot of further information on all aspects of the build, Wooden Widget will plant five trees on your behalf when you buy the plans.
How long will it take to build?
The whole frame for the Hoopy can be cut and glued in a couple of days, but it will take some time to varnish, modify and fit the drivetrain parts. A simple Hoopy can probably be built in around 50 hours, say the designers.
- Overall length: 170cm
- Seat height from ground: 900mm
- Max load: 200 kilos
- Frame material: 10mm plywood
- Weight of frame: About 3 kilos
- Total weight of bicycle: From about 12 kilos
- Wheel size: 20″
- Max tyre width: 2.2″
- Brakes: Back pedal (coaster)
- Crank system: Modified BB30
- Chain: 1/8″ 100 links minimum
- Gears: Single or two speed automatic
- Gearing: Suggested 44F 17R (single speed) 44F 19R (2 speed)
- Q factor: 220mm