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Deciding to design and build your own bicycle is a daunting task. Not only do you need to be able to have an eye for design, but also the technical ability to back up your vision.

Generally when somebody decides to delve into the world of bicycle building, more often than not they feel the need to put their mark onto the bicycle word. Maybe because they have been unsatisfied with what is on offer and feel they can do a better job or maybe just a childhood desire.

Occasionally, just very occasionally something very special happens in the bicycle world and we all need to stand up and take notice.

Coming from a 200 year old eighth generation established ship yard in Tokyo, Sueshiro Sano has been constructing wooden ships since the age of thirteen. After graduating from the Naval Architecture Department of the Kogakuin University of Tokyo, Sueshiro completed yacht after yacht and yet again received accolades from publications such as ‘Wooden Boat Magazine’. The first at aged 15 years old, for his mahogany ketch (sailing craft with two masts) which the magazine reviewed in detail. After his 1984 schooner, the magazine used the title of “Sanomagic” of which he still uses the title today.

In order to further his skills Sueshiro worked for the Royal Huisman Shipyard in the Netherlands which is celebrated as the number one shipyard for building yachts in the world. Here Sueshiro acquired a deep knowledge of European furniture and interiors as he engaged mainly in the interior furnishing for high grade yachts.

From the mid nineties he established his own yacht building company where he has continued to manufacture yachts and exhibit them at boat shows all over the world.

In the autumn of 2007 Sueshiro started a new project, not only to help improve his shipbuilding techniques, but to create a wooden road bike that is just as light as if using carbon.

After three months, the first prototype frame was completed which was assembled with laminated bodies formed by combining mahogany thin plates.

The frame was lighter than Sueshiro had expected from its appearance and according to a bicycle engineer the frame had an impressive rigidity.

The completion of the first frame and fork was matched with a wooden seatpost, but the rest of the components were standard.

Next to come were the installation of wooden rims.

Then integrated handle bars and stem.

Then some of the fine details like a stem cap.

and bottle cage.

All coming together to create the first complete bike.

From starting the first bike on the 13th October 2007 Sueshiro continued to develop each bike, improving on the last until in November of last year number seven was finished.

A little collection of photo’s leading up to the Bicycle No.7.

Just over two years later from starting the original bike.

The finished article and as it looks above, coming in at a weight of 7.80kg (15.6lb).

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