Not long ago, we heard about how Dutch artist Jurgen Kuipers built a version of his Sawyer wooden-framed bicycle that could be sold flat-packed, like IKEA furniture. While that particular bike was intended as a one-off art piece, it turns out that we may soon be able to own a flat-packed wooden Dutch bike after all – the Sandwichbike, created by Amsterdam-based industrial design studio Bleijh, is now available for pre-order.
The Sandwichbike was first conceived in 2006 by a team at Bleijh as a concept. Due to the enthusiastic feedback they received, the designers set about making it commercially available. In 2011, with the help of some business partners, they founded the spin-off company The Pedalfactory to produce the bike.
Now, they’re at the point of lining up prospective buyers.
The single-speed bike gets its name from the fact that its frame is made from two weather-coated layered plywood plates, that most of the custom-made components are sandwiched between. A series of aluminum “smart cylinders” connect the two plates to one another, while also serving as mounting points for things like the seat tube, headset and bottom bracket.
Buyers will receive everything (including the necessary assembly tools) by mail in a flat cardboard box, and put it all together themselves – there are less than 50 parts in the entire kit. The designers inform us that in the final production version, a complete bike should weigh around 13 kilograms (28.7 lbs).
Sandwichbikes can be pre-ordered now via the first link below, with prices starting at €799 (US$1,043). Deliveries are expected to begin in October.
The assembly process is illustrated in the following video.
Update: We originally credited Ite Kingma with the design of the Sandwichbike. Ite informed us he is an engineer at Bleijh who knows a lot about the bike but isn't responsible for the initial idea. The story was updated on April 19, 2013 to reflect this.