If IKEA made a bike, it might look like the Sawyer
By Ben Coxworth
April 3, 2013
There was a time when wooden-framed bicycles were quite the oddity. While you still don’t see them much in stores, it’s now not that unusual to come across models such as the Lagomorph or Renovo’s duo bikes on the internet. The Sawyer, however, is a little different – it’s a lowrider cruiser bike, that’s quite obviously built from flat sheets of beech plywood.
The prototype bike was created by Dutch artist Jurgen Kuipers, and it won him an award at this year’s International Bicycle Design Competition. In its present form, it tips the scales at 25 kilograms (55 lbs). Although he created it as a one-off, there are now plans for commercial production.
“I received a lot of questions from people that are interested in buying, producing or distributing the Sawyer,” he told us. “At this moment, we are doing an inventory to select the right professional partners for that. The expectations are that we will succeed in that and be able to start production of the Sawyer on a short term ... The concept of the Sawyer as it is, makes it a very exclusive piece of functional art and I would like to give customers the opportunity to have a fully customized hand build version of the Sawyer.”
That said, he added that he’s also looking into selling a modular assemble-it-yourself version. In fact, there was initially some confusion in that regard.
Along with the full, functional version of the Sawyer, Kuipers also created a 1:1 scale non-functional model kit of the bike as a piece of art. The non-wooden parts of that kit were made from injection-molded plastic, and were all attached to a central plastic frame – just like the parts of a model airplane. Unfortunately, some media outlets thought that buyers would be expected to build the functional bike from the model kit, leading readers to rightfully wonder how things like injection-molded plastic shocks and chains could possibly work.
So, how much would you have to pay for a Sawyer of your own?
“Since we are still in the process of inventory, we haven’t decided yet or made the final pricing,” said Kuipers. “Therefore, we would very much appreciate any feedback from people who are interested in purchasing a Sawyer ... We are also considering an auction-type of selling, given the amount of time, the extreme high quality and the attention for detail we are going to put into producing the custom-made Sawyers.”
Interested parties can contact Jurgen via the first link at the end of this article. They might also want to check out the plywood-framed Bonobo, built by Polish artist Stanislaw Ploski – it will reportedly soon be available for purchase.