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l’Histoire de Sandwichbikes
Would you have believed that two wooden panels could deliver the funkiest ride there is? We did, and we dubbed it the Sandwichbike. A Dutch Design original that was inspired by the concept of flat packing, home assembly and our never-ending drive to create exceptional products. To enable you to build it yourself, we engineered a ‘sandwich’ of two weather coated frames of layered plywood. Bonded together by ‘smart cylinders’, the frames and components become a durable rock-solid piece of technology.
It all began in 2006 when Bleijh industrial design studio competed in the International Bicycle Design Competition in Taiwan. Bleijh’s aim was to create a bicycle that re-examined materials, manufacturing and distribution of the common bike. Inspired by the concept of flat packing and home assembly, Basten Leijh of Bleijh, together with Pieter Janssen, designed a bike made out of two wooden plates. Apart from the obvious advantages flat packing has for shipment, the use of two wooden plates gives freedom of printing and cutting techniques, making it possible to give each bicycle its own unique identity.
With a prestigious fifth place and plenty of positive publicity the 1:3 scaled bicycle was used to create a full-scale prototype, which was exhibited in Milan. Again the global publicity was promising and it was clear there was a real demand. Unfortunately, Bleijh was not able to meet demand at the time as their prototype, and with it intrinsic knowledge of the bike, was stolen at the exhibition.
Bleijh tackled the issue of recreating a new prototype and readdressing engineering issues such as using fewer screws to assemble the bicycle. After completing the newest prototype in 2007, the Sandwichbike was put on hold as other interesting projects at Bleijh demanded attention.
At the end of 2010 Bleijh refocused on the Sandwichbike. The continuous buzz that the bike concept was still producing on Internet motivated them to take the concept and make it more concrete with the help of engineers from both the cycling as automotive industry. In the following year, a handful of prototypes were made, focussing on sturdy materials, sustainability, precision and, of course, travel comfort. At this time, the Pedalfactory was established to be responsible for the realisation and sales of the Sandwichbike.
The Sandwichbike Launch took place in Amsterdam on December 1st of 2013 at the Overhoeks tower. The bike was ready to be sold worldwide.
In the years after the introduction of the Sandwichbikes, the world showed its trust and appreciation. The design and concept were multiple award winning worldwide. In the years after 2013 there was, and still is, a daily discussion about these Sandwichbikes. Together with Basten, the Pedalfactory works continuous on improving the Sandwichbikes. New and improving technologies, innovative techniques and new designs are a daily part of the work.
For example, the Small Frame Wooden Fork Sandwichbike and Small Frame Steel Fork Sandwichbike were developed and introduced. And our ‘Printing on wood’ was developed.
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