There is a wonderful parallel that can be drawn between bicycles and boats, when they are both coursing along their paths, but the kinship is all the more prevalent when they are drawn from that most classical of materials: wood. Ken Piper, hailing from Australia’s capital of Canberra, has constructed what could be the finest, and most modern, example seen on the pages of Cycle EXIF.
Eucalyptus marginata is one of the most common species of Australia’s favourite tree, the Eucalypt. A versatile hardwood, it is commonly known as Jarrah, an Aboriginal word and it, along with Queensland Silver Ash, was the basis for Ken’s frame. Jarrah is the deep red-coloured wood which, because of its density, is fire resistant and ideal for outdoor use.
Ken works as a designer in the Science Department of the Australian Defence Force Academy and spent six months creating his project. He’s ridden 1500kms on it so far, describing it as a beautifully smooth and solid ride, aided by Shimano’s Di2 Ultegra groupset — the battery is hidden craftily inside the frame. Ken mounted the rear brake under the chain stays, resulting in an ultra-clean silhouette.
Ken is a daily rider, the Ash and Jarrah roadie replaces his moto two days a week as his commuter. He has built a steel-framed bicycle before, and admits that this was a lot more work but far more satisfying to ride. Built up with a Ritchey wheelset and Easton forks, it weighs in at a healthy 9.7kg. He’s already planning a second frame, which will be lighter yet and, I’ll wager, equally as magnificent.
Anyone want to place an order?