Builder Profile: Wood Bikes Nielsen

Karl Nielsen Wood Bikes Nielsen

PC: Karl Nielsen


Meet Karl Nielsen, the founder and designer of Wood Bikes Nielsen. Karl was one of the first wood bike builders we connected with on Instagram and we're so glad that we did.  

Karl is passionate about the change and freedom that being able to build your own transportation method can bring about.

"Wood bikes could change people’s perception of what a sustainable product is from being a compostable paper plate that you throw away after one use, to a vehicle you own for many years. Creating a product that encourages tree farming or urban harvesting so people can ride their bikes in the place that the bike was grown, not mined or drilled for, that is a hell of a thing! That completes the loop."  Karl Nielsen

Karl also happens to be an incredibly talented photographer and we were lucky have him do a shoot with Normal Bicycles after the North American Handmade Bike Show in February 2019.  You'll find some of his photos on our Instagram feed.

Karl Nielsen Normal Bicycles Wood Photo Shoot

Read on to learn more about Wood Bikes Nielsen and Karl.

WBS: What is your favorite wood bike that you have built so far?

Karl: The first wood bike I built, my bamboo commuter. There are a lot of things wrong with it, but despite my novice mistakes, it just works great and rides wonderfully!

PC: Karl Nielsen


WBS: How long did it take from start to finish to build the bike?

Karl: I’ve built two bikes so far and the actual built time wasn’t too much, maybe 40 hours. But I probably spent a couple of hundred hours designing the frame, the jigs, the templates and then building them all. Once the parts of the bikes were made everything went pretty quick.  

 PC: Karl Nielsen


WBS: What was the biggest challenge to overcome? What information / resources do you wish you had at the beginning?

Karl: I wish a lot of the parts were pre-made. I probably spent 100 or more hours just trying to figure out how to make wooden tubes. I spent probably 20 hours just designing my chainstays and seat stays with the proper curve in them. Now that I have the jigs to make them the second time around will be easier, but it just took forever to figure that all out and get the jigs laser cut.

  PC: Karl Nielsen

WBS: Do you plan to build any more in the future?

Karl: Yes, but things have gotten busy recently.

Bamboo bike wood bikes nielsen

 PC: Karl Nielsen

WBS: Any resources/websites you would want to make sure folks are aware of?

Karl: Instagram was the biggest resource for me. I followed and communicated with so many wood bike builders there.

Check out our list of builders, hashtags and other related social media sources.

Bamboo bike wood bikes nielsen

 PC: Karl Nielsen

WBS: Where people can learn more about your work?

Karl: Instagram @woodbikesnielsen


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