Wooden Bicycles

Sano Sueshirō (佐野末四郎) is a 9th generation wooden boat builder. He is also a designer and builder of wooden furniture, speakers and – since 2007 – mahogany bicycles.  In an interview for the company Cat Eye, Sano said he began making bikes because he saw the industry focusing on carbon fiber and other stiff materials in the belief that that technology would make bikes faster.  Reflecting on his own experience with wood, he thought he could do better. Apparently – according to this New York Times Magazine blog entry – he has done a convincing job of it.

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Tartaruga Folding Bikes

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Photo from the Tartaruga website.

Tartaruga is Italian for “turtle”.  I first learned of this brand from a post on the blog Folding Biker Japan.  Tartaruga’s originator, Yoshimatsu Naotaka (吉松尚孝), designed “amusement machines” (for game arcades) at Namco (ナムコ) before breaking out on his own to design bicycles.  The model seen here is the “Type Sport”, but the company also makes a semi-recumbant “Type Folding” model as well.

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