Velo City: Bicycle Culture and City Life

Stoke: A wooden bicycle guaranteed to turn heads

Stoke wooden bicycle

If you’re a follower of the custom motorcycle scene, you’ll probably enjoy today’s offering twice as much as our usual fare. Canada’s Martin Aveyard has built himself a pedal-powered short-track wooden bicycle that’s guaranteed to turn heads on the commute.

Martin tells the story: “My original idea for the bike was to build a cruiser with a real café racer influence, but almost a 2-dimensional interpretation for the frame with flat panels for what would be the gas tank, airbox, and seatback areas.

Stoke wooden bicycle

“I think I had wood panels in mind almost from the get-go, which led me to make a wooden seat to carry the wood theme through the bike. A friend of mind laminated a blank up for me out of alternating walnut and poplar strips.

I took the block and milled the rough shape from both the top and side and then used a disc sander to sculpt the seat into a copy of a seat I already have. It’s not all-day comfortable, but fine for the trip to work. 4 coats of Tung oil have left a nice matte glow to the wood. The panels are walnut laminated hardboard to match the seat. The final touch was the Stoke name—a nod to my birthplace in England, Stoke-on-Trent.

Stoke wooden bicycle

“A lot of the components came from an electric bicycle I built a few years ago. Marzocchi Jr T forks, Sun 24″ downhill rims, Avid BB7 8” discs. I filled in the other bits with some leftovers from other projects, no fancy vintage gruppos unfortunately.

The tires are Electra Fattie-Os—24″ x 3″. The headlight came from Café Racer Dreams in Portugal—just the perfect size for the forks. I added an internal 9V battery and switch to light it up and made the headlight ears to mount it to the fork tubes—actually the first time I’ve welded aluminum with my TIG welder.

Stoke wooden bicycle

“Overall the bike has a pretty relaxed feel, with the geometry, forks, and tires combining to slow everything down—definitely a cruiser, but I only do short rides or commutes to work which is on pretty much level ground.”

Like all of us, Martin’s legs are the pistons that drive the transmission of this wooden bicycle. He’s basically created a café racer without the fumes—and that’s a real winner.

Head to Martin’s Instagram to check out the build process of the Stoke bike and his other projects, including the full restoration of a Triumph Spitfire and a Locost Midi.