Below are a selection of questions we regularly get asked at shows, or indeed, when we are commuting to work. From time to time we post more detailed answers to these questions on our blog.
Why do you make your bicycles from wood?
· Excellent strength to weight characteristics comparable to typical bicycle materials.
· Improved ride quality through the ability of wood to absorb shocks.
· Natural beauty. Every bike is guaranteed to be unique!
· Robust finish resistant to dents and scratches.
· A sustainable material with low energy requirements for both extraction and processing
· Finally, on a personal note, we hope to change perceptions, and encourage people to think about using wood as a raw material for new applications.
How does it differ from a bamboo bike? A BEAMZ hardwood bike can be grown in the UK thus negating the environmental cost of importing the bamboo and has a beautiful distinctive surface finish. In addition wood is stronger across the grain than bamboo, resulting in a stronger shear strength. There are many similarities in the build techniques to a bamboo bike with the main difference being that the main tubes on a BEAMZ bike need to be hollowed.
What is coppiced woodland? Coppicing is a forest management practice that has been used for millennia to create a steady supply of straight wooden poles, which have typically been used in building and fencing. In the winter months (when the sap is down), young (generally 5-20years) hardwood trees are cut to the ground. In Spring a greater number of shoots emerge to replace those felled.
Why do you prefer to use wood that has been coppiced?
· Creates straight poles with fewer side branches (and hence fewer knots) as the new growth rushes upwards towards the light.
· Increases wildlife diversity by up to 400% compared to other forestry practices.
· Increases the life of the tree. A coppiced lime in Westonbirt Arboretum is over 2000 years old.
· Supports jobs in the countryside.
· Easier to fell and extract the trees as they are smaller.