Good News At KIT

Andy Dix is making some serious moves in SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND INNOVATION and has MADE  BICYCLES FROM TREES – Who wouldn’t love that?

Cardiff-born Dix spent seventeen years as a furniture maker. In his downtime, Dix found the ideal playground for his mountain bike adventure: Brecon Beacons and began to explore sustainable development and innovation when it came to bicycles.

He explained his genius idea:  ‘It’s great to push for more bikes and fewer cars on the road, but you can’t escape the fact that the bike industry is pretty energy intensive.  Rather than relying on processed metals, or layers of plastic that will one day end up in landfill, I’m building bikes from captured carbon, in a process powered by sunlight’

Dix selects ash planks from a local sawmill, before joining them by hand. Planks are shaped and hollowed by computer-controlled machinery to create the bicycle’s familiar front triangle. Dix adds the other frame elements in his workshop. To the doubters, who may be concerned about the durability of a bike made from ash, Dix is quick to point out that wood has a better weight-to-strength ratio than steel or aluminium. He’s clocked up more than 3,000 miles on his own wooden bike, ‘riding it hard in the mountains and on routes it’s really not designed for’, and Dix has had the frame subjected to fatigue tests, which simulate high impact crashes and a decade of riding – ‘the frame passed with flying colours!’



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By Sophia Collins