Wine barrels may seem like an odd material to make bikes out of, but Lance Rake doesn’t like the fact that wine barrels are often just thrown away. Instead, he wants use wine barrels to create cruiser bikes, and he’s already built one.
Rake is a professor of Industrial Design at the University of Kansas, and previously built a DIY kit that allows Indian entrepreneurs to build bamboo bikes using simple tools.
According to New Atlas, a trip to California inspired Rake when he saw furniture made from old wine barrel staves.
“The curved lines of the wood reminded me of a bamboo bike I did a while ago, and I thought, ‘I could translate that fairly easily into a bicycle frame,'” he told New Atlas at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show.
In response to his inspiration, Rake created a prototype of what he’s calling the Cooper Bicycle, made entirely from wine barrels. The discoloration of the bike’s wood comes from winemakers charring the inside of each barrel to add to the flavor of the wine. The wood also gets additional stain from the wine.
Rake designed the bike so it could be made in a DIY-format, where buyers would bolt the frame members together. The bike has a two-speed coaster-brake rear hub, and Rake wants to add a derailleur.
Rake wants this to be open sourced to woodworkers in wine regions so they can generate revenue by using old wine barrels and selling them as kits or assembled bikes.
“I could see how on winery tours or something, you should be riding on a wine barrel bike,” he said.
Filed Under: Product design