Wood working03.08.2017

Riding around town on a birch bicycle

Wiilubike made from Finnish birch is suitable for riding around town.

Wiilubike made from Finnish birch is suitable for riding around town.

Have you ever admired the whitewashed beauty of Finnish birch? Buds emerging in a single day in spring, bright green foliage in summer, vibrant colours in the autumn and tones that blend beautifully with the wintry landscape. The makers of Wiilubike have, and they want to share the feeling with you. With Wiilubike, Finnish birch is given new life as a bicycle that has roots.

Wood Innovations Finland Oy is the company behind Wiilubike. They develop and productise Finnish wood innovations. Five of the company’s six founders are Finnish forest owners, and they wanted to make something out of their birch trees that they could enjoy. Cycling is also a common pastime of the company’s founders, which explains why a wooden bicycle was quickly chosen as the company’s first product.

The wooden bicycle, made from Finnish birch, celebrates the value of Finnish wood and forests, and draws on the high standard of Finnish timber industry know-how and design. The bike’s timeless and practical design is pleasing to the eye, just as birch is throughout the seasons.

The first Wiilubike frame prototypes were made by hand in 2015. It wasn’t long before the founders partnered up with industrial-scale co-operation partners, which helped get the bike’s manufacturing lead times and quality in order. The owners sold birch logs from their forests to Koskisen Oy, which peeled and processed the logs into veneer and plywood. The bike’s final frame is machined and finished by the Lahti-based company LK-Taivute. 

Riitta Ahokas and Timo Eskelinen from Koskiselta consider the best possible structure for the bike.

Riitta Ahokas and Timo Eskelinen from Koskiselta consider the best possible structure for the bike.

The original intention was not to make a technically unparalleled bicycle, but the experiences of the test users came as a very positive surprise.

“Thanks to the wooden frame, there is less vibration, which is something that is especially apparent when riding on cobblestone. However, Wiilubike is also lighter than a similar steel-framed bicycle,” says the company’s CEO, Ilari Alaruka.

Koskisen and Wiilubike share the same values. They both encourage people to be active and to use wood-based products, also in applications where wood is not traditionally used.

“Koskisen’s experts provided invaluable support in the bike’s product development, helping to make the structure sufficiently rigid and consistent,” praises Alaruka.

“Every bicycle is a one-of-a-kind natural work of art, thanks to the veneer surface,” he adds.

For more information about Wiilubike and to place an order, please visit the company’s website: www.wiilubike.fi.