Welcome to the home of the SplinterBike project
Holders of the 100% Wooden Bicycle Land Speed Record
No bolts or screws, just wood and glues!
A tale of two men... One more goal.
Due to public demand and at the request of the Adain Avion London2012 Cultural Olympiad, a new SplinterBike is born...
SplinterBikeQuantum (SBQ) is the third all-wood bicycle to come out of the rammed earth Norfolk workshop of creator Michael Thompson.
Following in the wheel tracks of the original SplinterBike (that found itself on display at the Victoria & Albert Museum London last September and viewed by 320,703 visitors during the four month Power of Making exhibition) and SplinterBikeTwo (that went on to set a new speed record for 100% wooden bicycles in August 2011), SBQ stays true to its original design principles and incorporates the menacing pliCog transmission gearing.
SBQ has various improvements over its predecessors, although there is no doubting that it comes from the same stable. Many a hard lesson was learnt during the 1,600 hours of designing, prototyping, building and testing of last year’s bikes. Mostly issues concerning durability because it soon became apparent that the chosen materials were not the most suitable for this type of vehicle. However, itʼs great fun to see just how far they can be pushed, albeit in the wrong direction?
"No bolts or screws, just wood and glues!"
Thanks to the enthusiastic support, skill and at times, patience of everyone at Quantum Industries Ltd, the 88 individual components that have come together to create this bike have been cut out using the latest CNC machinery. This machinery works from CAD drawings that took 120 hours to prepare and then a further 40 hours on the CNC machine itself. Once these components are cut out, they then take a further 400 hours to be built up and assembled upon and within the monocoque frame. Video here.
Despite efforts to reduce the overall weight of the SplinterBike design (including hollow wheels and a balsawood sandwich seat) the weight has actually risen by 6 kilos to 39 kilos on the SBQ. This is mainly due to the substantially bigger plywood gearing and bottom bracket that is machined from some reclaimed Ekki (aka Azobe) salvaged locally from the River Thurne in Potter Heigham.
Acle St. Edmunds Bowls Club came to the rescue in providing some old redundant wooden bowls for the bushings. These contain the magic wood Lignum Vitae. A naturally self lubricating hardwood interface where turning components rub against each other.
Old broom handles have once again been the main material source of the handlebars. Though this bike now sports the extended aero-bars that will enable No1 SplinterBike Pilot James Tully to adopt the “Superman” position during his next record attempt.
Adjustable heights on the seat and handlebars enable a greater variety of riders to experience the thrills and inevitable spills of riding this all wooden contraption, with fixed gears and no brakes!
The gearing has been dramatically changed as the high 4:1 ratio on the original SplinterBike was very aggressive on the small plywood gear teeth. SBQ has a much easier to pedal 2.5:1 ratio and the gear tooth size is also much bigger.
In theory, the 224 teeth on the six “pliCog” gears should propel the bike to a speed of 33.33 kph based on a rider cadence of 100 and 56.66 kph at a sprint cadence of 170.
The glue tyres now have an improved full radius profile thanks to a hybrid polymer adhesive from our glue sponsor Tremco Illbruck . This is one of the first jobs undertaken on the build programme as it takes five weeks for the glue to set hard enough to hold its shape whilst under load. Video here.
Testing for durability was conducted using a modified sack barrow loaded with 135 kilos of paving slabs. Video here.
The Quantum bike is the precursor to yet another SplinterBike to be revealed later summer/autumn 2012 – SplinterBikeThree will attempt to set the Hour Record for wooden bicycles once enough sponsorship has been raised to secure a suitable venue. Anyone can get involved and join us on this epic journey here: http://www.splinterbike.co.uk/Sponsor-Us
TopBox Media followed our story and have released the results for your delectation.
Follow the project and its comical eleven month journey to fruition, condensed into 51 action packed and often hilarious minutes!
(Broadcasting enquires via ScorpionTV.com)
What's happening in 2013?
SplinterBikeThree is being constructed and we have set our sights on the One Hour Record for 100% Wooden Bicycles.
Would you like to have your name, web address or your company logo on the side of the new bike?
We need your help to make this happen!
In creating a 100% wooden bicycle to set an Hour Record we are going to have to up our game and employ even higher standards in the design of SplinterBikeThree.
We will start testing the next generation of wooden components very soon with a view to having a fully ridable bicycle by early 2013.
We will attempt to set the Hour Record for 100% Wooden Bicycles, we will also attempt to break our existing Land Speed Record.
6 September 2011 – 2 January 2012. Power of Making celebrates the role of making in our lives by presenting an eclectic selection of over 100 exquisitely crafted objects. Curated by Daniel Charny, the exhibition is a cabinet of curiosities showing works by both amateurs and leading makers from around the world, presenting a range of skills with imaginative and spectacular results.