menu

World’s First Electric Wooden Bike Debuts At NYCxDesign

World’s First Electric Wooden Bike Debuts At NYCxDesign
Design

Mixing innovation and sustainability, a Dutch bicycle company aims to entice people away from driving cars.

Dave Pinter, PSFK
  • 14 may 2014

Bough Bikes is a small Dutch manufacturer of unique wooden bicycles. To date they have produced over 300 hand crafted pedal powered bikes in use around Holland. During NYCxDesign 2014, the company staged the world premier of two prototype electric wooden bikes at GGrippo art + design in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. They chose NYC to show support for the rapid growth in cycling in the city over the past few years in part due to the expansion of bike lanes and bike share programs.

bough_bikes_electric_01.jpg

PSFK spoke with Piet Brandjes, Bough Bikes CEO and co-designrer who said that the bike came to be based on a challenge he posed to Jan Gunneweg, Bough Bikes other designer and master fabricator. Ideas were sketched and refined and soon a frame, forks, handlebar and fenders were developed all from sustainable French Oak.
bough_bikes_electric_06.jpg

Recent advancements in more powerful electric motors, smaller batteries and charging systems made it possible to create an electrified version of the bike that supplies the rider with pedal assist power. As you can guess from the photos, the bike is not lightweight, in fact it gets close to the heft of a moped, but remarkably the Bough electric will get to a top speed on flat ground of 15 mph with a range of 30 miles.
bough_bikes_electric_11.jpg

So what is it like to ride? We got to take one of the bikes out on a quick spin around Williamsburg and it is surprisingly easy to control. After a single pedal rotation, the electric motor kicks in and the effort required to cruise along is minimal. It feels a bit like perpetually riding downhill. Somehow the weight of the bike magically disappears as well, steering is quite sharp and maneuvering around road obstacles at speed wasn’t scary on a bike that used to be a tree.
bough_bikes_electric_02.jpg

Under the handlebars is a speed regulator on which low, medium or high can be selected. This functions a bit like cruise control on a car except that here you select how much pedal assist you want the bike to add. High is actually quite fast and on city streets, makes it possible to basically ride at the same speed as traffic.
There is also a battery charge display showing how much electricity is available. Bough says that the bike can be fully recharged in 3-6 hours. They are already working on a next generation version which will have energy harvesting capability from the hubs to recharge the battery as the bike is ridden.
bough_bikes_electric_04.jpg

Attached to the frame is the Abus Dutch locking system which secures the back wheel of the bike using a key.
bough_bikes_electric_09.jpg

In person, the bike has a beautiful finish and because it is all wood, it is kind of like riding around a piece of furniture. There’s no cold (or sunbaked hot) metal to touch the skin and nothing on the bike rattles. It feels comfortable to ride within about five seconds. A sentiment expressed by Jan Gunneweg himself:

If you design from nature it will always bring you something that people feel comfortable with.

Wooden bikes might not dethrone steel, aluminum or carbon bikes in terms of popularity and sales, but Bough Bikes are offering a premium alternative that functions just as good with a host of planet friendly production bonus points. The bikes also show there’s still plenty of possibility for innovation with materials as common as wood.

bough_bikes_electric_07.jpg

bough_bikes_electric_08.jpg

bough_bikes_electric_10.jpg

bough_bikes_electric_12.jpg

Bough Bikes // GOED – Good Stuff from Holland
Photos: Dave Pinter

Design
Trending

DIY Kit Lets You Build Your Own Wooden Bike, Boat Or Caravan

Design & Architecture
Culture Yesterday

Messaging Add-On Helps You Correct Your Friends’ Bad Grammar

An iMessage sticker pack will help you copyedit text messages

Automotive Yesterday

Mercedes-Benz Introduces A New Electric Mobility Brand

The separate entity aims to simplify the identification of Mercedes EV products to customers

Trending

Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Mobile Yesterday

Tinder’s New Feature Makes Swiping A Group Effort

The dating app wants to democratize its gestural interaction by buying in to the social polling trend pervasive among millennials

Related Expert

Ayah Bdeir

Technology, Making, Education

Syndicated Yesterday

Autonomous Garbage Drone Prevents Trash From Reaching Deep Ocean

The solar-powered WasteShark collects refuse closer to the source: the harbor

Automotive Yesterday

Aston Martin Reveals Its Own Luxury Powerboat

The sleek AM37 echoes styling elements from the British brand's sports cars

Advertising Yesterday

An Escort Website Fights Violence Against Sex Workers

The advocacy campaign from McCann aims uncover the human toll of the exploitative industry

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry
NEW

PSFK Op-Ed september 28, 2016

Energy Expert: How American Consumers Are Taking Control Of Their Power Use

Jennifer Tuohy, green tech expert at The Home Depot, discusses green home technologies and developments for renewable technologies in US homes

PSFK Labs september 29, 2016

The 10 Steps To Discover, Hire, Develop Your Next Leader

PSFK's Future of Work report outlines key steps in the employee development path to empower next-gen leaders

Culture Yesterday

LIFE Magazine Relaunches In Pure VR

The general interest periodical, which ceased publication in 2000, has turned into a portal for virtual reality content

Mobile Yesterday

Reorder This Detox Drink With A Simple Text Message

Dirty Lemon is streamlining its communication by letting customers place orders, ask product questions and request help exclusively through chat

Op-Ed Yesterday

The Future Of The American Workforce Requires Unbundling College Education

President of JetBlue Technology Ventures: developing corporate education programs for non-traditional students

Retail Yesterday

Gilt’s Pop-Up House Is The Kind Of Store You’ll Want To Live In

The New York City townhouse plays host to the latest in retail inspiration, curation, and lifestyle activation (and some libations, too)

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders
NEW

Mobile Yesterday

Registering To Vote Is Now Just A Text Away

A new bot aims to mobilize underrepresented groups this election season through SMS and Facebook Messenger

Africa Yesterday

Virtual Reality Game Gives Lessons About Emergency Birth Care

LIFE is a serious tool that takes advantage of new technology to help save lives

Luxury Yesterday

Shoe Repair Has Moved Onto Your Phone

Cobbler Concierge is an on-demand service to get your footwear fixed online

No search results found.