At the end of 2010 London based designer Andy Martin was asked by THONET to design and develop a concept road bicycle using their steam bending process developed in the 1930s. Andy Martin Studio developed three designs of which the final was selected because its beauty and modest connection with the heritage of the company.
Andy says ‘The challenge was to take on fairly low tech process of steam bending and then apply it to a 21st century bicycle with highly complex engineering’. With the many restrictions of hand bending the beech frame the final jointing and contours would be cut and adjusted on a cnc machine. Andy Martin has also developed a series of connectors and sprung rods to reinforce joints and the major stress areas in the frame.
The bike itself is a fixed wheel, which is the tradition of cycling; one has a greater connection to the bike and the surface one rides on. The bike comes with no brakes and has several interchangeable gear ratios. The seat is solid beech wood supported on a sprung rod supports. The wheels, not designed by Andy are carbon fiber HED H3’s.