When you think of materials used in bike manufacturing it's predominantly metals with the exception of carbon and the odd bit of rubber for tires and seals. Steel, alloys, and carbon fiber are dominant as the main materials for all frames and components. Wood, on the other hand, is far less common.
Atelier SUJI is a French brand run by Edouard Delbove, which has been making wooden mountain bike frames for five years now and has used this experience to branch out into other components, specifically two handlebars; a moto-style riser and a flat handlebar.
Both handlebars are made from French Ash that is sourced from eco-managed forests and chosen specifically for its vibration absorption and strength characteristics. Edouard claims this vibration absorption from the natural materials makes his wooden handlebars significantly more comfortable than the metal alternatives.
Handlebars are a high-stress component and one that you don't want to fail, Atelier SUJI has put its handlebars to the test and says its wooden handlebars are capable of meeting the current ISO tests. This corresponds to 100,000 cycles in phase and 50kg on each side of the handlebars out of phase. While the handlebars are rated for mountain bikes, city bikes, and trekking bikes, the standard does not apply to downhill or enduro bikes so these aren't for the gravity shredders.
Sourcing natural materials for its products, it's not surprising that Atelier SUJI ethos is rooted in sustainability. Using locally sourced production and the most environmentally friendly methods when possible including bio-epoxy glue and eco-labeled varnish from France.
Both handlebars come in a 25.4mm clamp size with 31.8mm diameter sleeve. The flat bar comes in either 760 mm or 660 mm widths and weighs a claimed 290g. The riser comes in a little wider at 780mm or 680mm, weighing in at a claimed 320g.
Pricing is in Euro's with the flat handlebars retailing for €200 and the risers for €320.
How will these wooden handlebars compare to the best MTB handlebars? Stay tuned as we are getting a set in for review soon.