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Bike Material of the Future: Wood

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Sojourner Cyclery
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Re: Too much time will always cost too much money
Sojourner Cyclery   3/13/2014 9:49:53 AM
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I have the highest respect for Ken Wheeler and Renovo. Renovo is one of the manufacturers that inspired me. Please understand that there are things in the article that made me cringe like the part about "hidden flaws" and I'm very familiar of the term anisotropic. Ken is dead right, my bikes are hobby bikes akin to an experimental aircraft. That doesn't necessarily make them inferior. As I said before, the finish is not maintenance free. My objective was to appeal to those of us with the engineering genetic defect that forces us to "make stuff ourselves". If you don't have that defect, buy a Renovo. I will be exhibiting and speaking at the NAHBS (North American Hand Built Bicycle Show) this weekend (March 14-16) in Charlotte NC. Ken, if you're there I would very much like to meet you.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Wooden Bikes by College Students
Rob Spiegel   3/12/2014 3:49:30 PM
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Thanks Mark. Jay's program has sparked quite a bit of interest among Design News readers.

MarkdWeinstein
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Wooden Bikes by College Students
MarkdWeinstein   3/12/2014 2:42:13 PM
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I have been intrigued by the creativity and engineering of the students and Professor Jay Kinsinger from Cedarville University. I've personally seen many of his wooden bikes and they're impressive. His tandem bicycle is in the United States Bicycle Museum in northern Ohio. Jay has done a great job with his students through their capstone project--I only wish other engineering faculty throughout the nation would be as creative in their teaching.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Answer about maintaing the wood
Rob Spiegel   3/12/2014 1:52:05 PM
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Thanks Ann. Interesting that we have two bike frame stories up in one week. Nice job on your 3D bike frame story:

http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1392&doc_id=272030&itc=dn_analysis_element&

 

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Answer about maintaing the wood
Ann R. Thryft   3/12/2014 1:18:40 PM
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This is fun--thanks, Rob. Looks like a smart material to make a more pleasant ride.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Answer about maintaing the wood
Rob Spiegel   3/11/2014 11:35:47 PM
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Thanks much for your comments on this story, Ken.. Your real-world experience adds a great deal. I've also invited Jay to join in. This is a great thread.

kenerator
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Re: Answer about maintaing the wood
kenerator   3/11/2014 11:24:56 PM
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It's important to recognize that Mr. Kinsinger appears to be making 'hobby' bikes for their education value and his material choices seem reasonable for that effort. He uses a wipe-on oil finish intended for interior use; easy and cheap to apply, typical on furniture and gunstocks which don't experience the outdoor hours a bicycle does. The oil finish looks good initially but according to the USDA Forest Products Labratory General Technical Report FPL-GTR-190, any oil finish has very limited Moisture Excluding Effectiveness (MEE). In their testing at 80 degrees F and 90% RH, linseed oil, on which all oil finishes are based, has a 12% MEE on day 1 and 0% MEE by day 7. 

That quality of finish would never be acceptable on a commercial product. Renovo has given nearly every commercial coating on the market extensive testing to arrive at the best possible finish currently available. Our bikes are finished with 3 coats of catalyzed linear polyurethane applied over three coats of epoxy sealer, or 6 coats total. The same FPL report shows epoxy at 91% MEE in 14 days, linear polyurethane at 74% in 14 days. We have never experienced a finish problem in six years in any climate. Our wooden bikes require no more maintenance than a carbon or metal bike. 

 

Ken Wheeler, Renovo

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Wood it work?
Rob Spiegel   3/11/2014 9:37:25 PM
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Good point, Ken. I've asked the program leader from Cerarville to respond so the comments here. I did get a quote from him about maintaining wooden frames. I posted it in an earlier comment.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Wood - forgotten but not gone
Rob Spiegel   3/11/2014 9:26:25 PM
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Thanks Stevejahr. This is a good point regarding the earlier question about the value of this program for college-level students. 

These comments are interesting, so I invited the program leader, Jay, to join the comments conversation.

Rob Spiegel
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Answer about maintaing the wood
Rob Spiegel   3/11/2014 9:21:04 PM
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I received this info from the program leader, Jay Kinsinger regarding finishes to preserve the wood:
The answer to the question is that the frames are sealed on the inside and the outside has the same finish which is used on gun stocks. The rule of thumb for a nice gun stock is: 1 coat of finish / day for a week, 1 coat a month for a year and finally one coat a year for a lifetime. In other words, it is not maintenance free. The finish is simply wiped on with a rag.....easy to apply. As is the case with wooden boats they will outlast their plastic/fiberglass/carbon-fiber counterparts but only if they are properly taken care of. 
 
Jay H Kinsinger


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