I have never really been able to understand let alone explain my fascination for wooden bikes, just finding them automatically attractive. The same applied to some wooden mudguards I spotted in Germany last year.
Here’s another wooden item, again from Germany: the “LENKR” wooden handlebars, in two versions, romantically named Type-A and Type-B. Both have a walnut “unibody” and an inner aluminium core, but with different shaped anodised end caps, though the main difference is the diameter that they fit: type A on 31.8mm and Type B on 25.4mm. Type A is also somewhat heavier at 285g compared with 160g for the Type B, part of the difference no doubt being down to the 440mm length compared with 400mm.
I accept the manufacturer’s comment that the grain of the walnut lends a distinct character to your handelbars, and it will change over time as it weathers, making it more unique. I can also see that the design is minimalistic and has something attractive about it.
But on this occasion, it isn’t for me. It’s not just that LENKR are targeting fixed gear, single speed bikes and that is not really my type of bike. (They do also suggest it would be great on a custom made bike, which is more likely to attract me.) The things that I would miss for my particular type of bike riding is the ergonomic shaping of the hand grips and in particular the bar ends, giving me different hand positions on longer rides, even commutes.
But, I do celebrate diversity of offer and so thought I ought to at least welcome the product for that reason. While my motto is “everybody has a right to my opinion”, I know that there are – thank heavens – lots of different styles of bikes, bike riders, and cyclists’ tastes out there.
Footnote: the German word “Lenker” can mean steering wheel or handlebars – something (or someone) that steers. Dropping the second “e” makes it a cool brand name and easy to remember in the large German speaking bike market place.
You can find LENKR on Kickstarter.