Day in and day out our screens are filled with inspiring photos of our favorite Pro riders and friends alike shredding their mountain bikes, but once in a while you stumble across some gold that's creative in another way. Tom Flemmig is a rider just like you and I. He loves bikes, but he also enjoys woodworking. These miniature wooden creations are the result of those two worlds colliding. Curious how they're made and exactly what they are, we reached out to Tom for a rundown. It's not quite what you'd expect!
Vital: What is a Räucherbike?
Tom: In the Ore Mountains in Saxony/Germany, it's a Christmas tradition to have little wooden figures that you can put small candles in to let them smoke. They are called Räuchermann. The german word "Rauch" or "Räucher" means "smoke." My friend Marcus Wagner and I are mountain bikers so we have "Räucherbikes," loosely translated as "smoke bikes." You can see the small black candle in the picture!
How are the bikes made?
The bikes are made entirely of wood and most parts are carved by hand.
What inspired you to start making them?
There is a simple "Räucherbike" hardtail for sale at our home and we had the idea to build up our own full suspension bikes: a YT Industries Jeffsy and a replica of my YT Industries Capra.
Which components are the hardest to create?
The hardest parts to create were the wheels due to the tiny spokes and hubs. Nearly two hours for one wheel with eight spokes. For the next wheels we are going to use 16 spokes! You see we have some more ideas.
How do you get such a fine level of detail?
Some parts like the disc rotors, the fork, or the rear shocks get more and more detailed with time...
How much time does each bike take?
In the end it took about eight weeks of long winter evenings to create the Capra, the most detailed bike with the finest paint job with a matte clear coat!
If someone wanted to purchase one from you, could they?
Due to the time involved it's not really possible to do it as a business. It's more of a hobby to build up the bikes of good friends. For example, we've made some for employees at YT Industries in Forchheim.
- Marcus, Manuel and Tom
Photos by Manuel Rohne