- Electric bikes are typically made from aluminium or (if you’re willing to pay a premium) carbon fibre – lightweight materials that are corrosion-resistant, lightweight, and easy to work with.
- TechRadar spoke to Dimitri Philippou, CEO of ARTC GLOBAL, which is bringing the bikes to the UK, to find out why your daily rider should be made from timber.
- The non-wooden components, including the gearing, has a one-year warranty, and the warranty for the battery is two years.
Electric bikes are often composed of lightweight materials like aluminium or (if you’re willing to pay more) carbon fibre, which is corrosion-resistant, lightweight, and easy to work with as reported by Tech Radar.
However, they’re not the only options, and wood is a surprisingly practical alternative.
COCO-MATBIKE.UK is a Greek company founded in Athens that’s aiming to prove that lithium and timber are a winning combination.
It’s not just a proof of concept, either – COCO-MAT currently makes six bikes (Odysseus, Penelope, Telemachus, Mentor, Telegonus, and Argos), with various gearing options and two electric models.
The bikes are certainly striking – the entire frame is made from pale wood, from the handlebars to the fenders – and they could soon be rolling through a street near you.
TechRadar spoke to Dimitri Philippou, CEO of ARTC GLOBAL, which is bringing the bikes to the UK, to find out why your daily rider should be made from timber.
If you’re thinking ‘COCO-MAT’ sounds like an unusual name for a bike builder, you’re right.
“Paul is a little on the crazy side,” says Philippou.
He’s the one who’s big on the environment – In fact, he’s on the Amazon on a river ride now.
The first wooden bikes were built about six years ago.
At first, they were used as a marketing tool, but they proved surprisingly practical and people were so interested that the brothers decided to turn them into a proper business.
The bike frames are made of American ash from forests that are dedicated to growing trees for lumber.
Grit, wind and fire
Philippou says that riding the two-speed and seven-speed models feels just like a regular bike.
Drum brakes and automatic gears ensure almost a lifetime of operation without maintenance.
The use of wood raises a question about flammability, though.
“The frames, of course, are treated for fire so there’s no problem there and there is short circuit and thermal protection through the battery pack’s management system,” Philippou explains.
The current battery has a range of 40-50km, much like a conventional mid-range e-bike, but the company is currently working on a new model that will keep rolling for up to 100km on a single charge.
It’s also investigating the possibility of using Tesla batteries in future bikes.
The UK business will begin online at first, with the official launch happening around March 18 to tie in with Ride to Work Week. Later on, COCO-MAT hopes to open several stores in cities like Oxford, Cambridge, and London where riders will be able to buy and rent the bikes.
“You can have cycle tours, and that will be exciting,” Philippou says. “In addition to all the beautiful sightseeing locations around the UK, you get to experience it on an iconic, sustainable bike. The excitement is to see the bikes on the streets.”
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Source: Tech Radar