The Aerone is the product of over a year’s design work from Australian wooden bike builders HTech, who say they want to "take wooden bikes down off the wall and onto the road".
They've designed the frame around UCI frame regulations, but with tube profiles and sizes to combine the best weight, strength, stiffness and aerodynamics. Despite being made of wood aero is very much the priority with the AerOne, and HTech say that it's aerodynamic drag, and not weight, that is the single biggest factor in slowing a cyclist down. The front of the fork dropouts is designed to create a large bulge to remove turbulent air from the quick release which causes drag. HTech claim their CFD testing shown adding a rear-mounted caliper reduces overall frame drag by shielding the downtube.
The versatility of wood allows HTech to create complex shapes and frame geometries that complement the frame’s appearance, while providing much structural strength to make it as stiff as carbon but without the road vibration.
HTech say they can't give an exact estimate of weight for a full build as their bikes are customised, but the frame itself will weight between 2-2.5kg. That's more than double the weight of a mid-range carbon version, but still impressive for a wooden frame.
Currently there is no price range for the AerOne, but they would look to sell it as a frameset (comprising frame, fork, brakes, seat post and handlebars) or a complete bike. Their Aeriform bike starts at AUD$3,000 (about £1,750) for the frame, going up to AUD$12,000 (around £7,100) for a full build with Sram eTap and disc brakes, and HTech say due to the greater level of customisation, the AerOne frameset cost would be higher than the Aeriform.
Though designed primarily as a concept to show just what can be done with a wooden frame, HTech say one of the key design points was making sure everything on the bike can be fully manufactured - so if they get enough interest it's fully possible that the Aerone could go into production soon.
After cobbling together a few hundred quid during his student days off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story), Jack bought his first road bike at the age of 20 and has been hooked ever since. He joined road.cc in 2017, having previously worked for 220 Triathlon magazine. Jack's preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking (the latter being another long story), and on Sunday afternoons he can often be found on an M5 service station indulging in his favourite post-race meal of 20 chicken nuggets, a sausage roll, caramel shortbread and a large strawberry milkshake.