While electric bikes take the most time to build and ride, woodworking has always been a guilty pleasure of mine. And maybe that’s why I was so excited when the woodworker Evie Bee presented her impressive looking electric wooden bike that combines these two fascinating yet different areas.
Evie’s passion for woodworking goes beyond the manual process and encompasses the life cycle of wood.
As she explains:
“My interest in the area grew when I volunteered as a ranger with the National Trust in Osterley Park and worked with a tree house builder in India who knew about trees, ecology and silviculture. Through this experience I felt a lot more connected to the forest and I enjoyed being the end in them much more than I was In a workshop! “
Evie has long been interested in classic cafe racers and scrambler motorcycles. Her passion for these vintage designs helped her combine design aspects of bygone days with modern electric bike components, using a medium rarely found in the DIY e-bike scene.
As a woodworker with a passion for sustainable design and the combination of modern manufacturing methods with traditional construction techniques, this project was a perfect and challenging opportunity for me to bring all these interests together and to push my design skills to the limit. One of the other motivating factors for me to build this bike was the desire to fulfill my dream of owning and riding my own e-bike. An experience that I rode on a rented bike along a beautiful coastal road convinced me that I have to make one for myself.
The bike became known as Electraply because of the multiple styles of sustainably sourced plywood that were laminated together.
Poplar makes up most of the center of the frame, with more visually appealing birch plywood on the outside of the frame.
A lot of sheet metal had to be cut with a CNC router to achieve Evie’s design.
In some areas, stainless steel has been used for added strength, such as the dropouts (where the rear wheel connects to the frame).
For the electronics, Evie used a 36 V and 12.5 Ah battery with 450 Wh capacity and combined it with a Smart Pie electric bike motor that houses an internal controller. This has helped reduce the number of external parts mounted on the bike and simplify wiring.
The design and construction of the Electraply bike forced Evie to rely on many of her non-wood skills as well. She built the frame for the seat from brass piping and sewed her own synthetic leather seat cover with hand stitching.
To share the design with others and teach people how to build their own Electraply wooden e-bike, Evie has written two free e-books that are available on her website.
The first covers the design process for creating the bike, while the second describes the construction process to turn the design into a really working e-bike.
For anyone who wants an electric wooden bike but doesn’t have the time or resources to build one themselves, Evie is planning a future crowdfunding campaign to commercialize the design.
See the Electraply e-bike in action in the video below.
All image rights are owned by Evie Bee Designs
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