Following on from Bene Mack’s wonderfully wild plywood prototype that we showcased late last week, today we take a closer look at another of the wooden constructions highlighted by the European Bike Project. This 150mm travel hardtail is the creation of Edouard Delbove who manufactures skateboards under the name Atelier Suji (Suji Workshop). This is not Edward’s first attempt at creating a bike, as his final project in his carpentry qualification was a gravel bike that won a design competition. Since then he worked on a number of prototypes until he finally released the Trail 27.5, which is perhaps the most durable mountain bike ever.

While most metal or carbon mountain bikes are produced from raw materials transported around the world and manufactured with processes that use varying amounts of fossil fuels, Edward takes a different approach. He sources ash wood from sustainably managed local plantations, then the bike is created with his own hands with the cleanest glues possible and finished with an eco-labeled varnish.

Edouard is a big fan of wood. He graduated in carpentry in 2017 and uses the material in his skateboard business based in Isère, France.

Let’s get into all the details of this unique wooden hardtail.
Edouard is a big fan of wood and he thinks using it as a construction material for bicycle frames is not even that unusual. He said: “In the old days everything was made of wood – car frames, cart wheels and sometimes even bicycle wheels and even today for tool handles. Wood is an incredible material, and it has proven it for centuries. For the semi-rigid Trail 27.5, Edouard used ash because it is a wood that deforms without breaking and absorbs vibrations. The biggest challenge is finding the right balance between strength and weight and Edouard has refined the joints and grain direction on a number of prototypes to arrive at the final product.

Edouard glues the boards together using a bio epoxy made in Portugal, then sculpts them to the desired shape. There are over 20 gluing steps involved in each build, so a frame takes around 3 weeks to complete.

“Imagined and made in Isère”. These details are etched into the wood with a pyrography tool.

The bike is a 27.5 inch hardtail with wheels designed around a 140 to 150mm fork. It’s a bike designed to be responsive and dynamic with a 65 ° head tube angle, 445mm reach and 74 ° seat tube angle. This bike is tilted among trail runners but Edouard is also currently working on a more hardcore version of the bike called Drop which has more aggressive geometry and will be revealed in a few weeks.

The bike can hold two 750ml water bottles and has a cork base protector. Each frame is finished with a varnish to protect it from impacts and UV rays.

Along with the enduro version of this bike, Edouard will design a snowboard and then a full range of single-speed city bikes, a women’s bike and a men’s bike. For more information on its full range, click here.

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