Bay Area local William H. Holloway migrated from San Francisco to San Jose in the early 1980’s and for the last eleven years has been creating top of the line doors, arbors, furniture and unique hand carved wooden elements out of his shop Masterworks Wood and Design.
As an art enthusiast and self taught wood worker, William has always been interested in pushing the limits of his craft. So when a friend of his asked him if he could craft a bike frame from wood, William took things three steps further.
With the help of his collaborator Mauro Hernandez they have began creating not just wooden bicycles, but beautiful hand crafted creations, each with its own unique look and feel, from their mahogany wood Defender, to their intricately detailed pirate themed black walnut Interceptor.
Most of their creations have been single speed cruisers, though their Interceptor is the first to incorporate a shifter to allow for three speeds. But William isn’t stopping yet, he plans to create a commuter bike next, with up to eight speeds and eventually he would like to work on a mountain bike version.
Masterworks’ current bikes take anywhere from 80 to 125 hours to create, depending on the level of detail. While William says he could easily create basic frames to reproduce quickly, part of why he spends so much time on the high level of detail of each bike is that he’s not building just a bike, he’s building a piece of art that you can ride.
And he doesn’t need to cut down a forest to do it. Some of Masterworks’ Bikes, and most of Masterworks’ wood, is Urban Wood. Wood reclaimed from city areas where trees have been uprooted or fallen over due to heavy rains or other environmental changes; it’s eco-friendly and environmentally conscious.
Currently the Masterworks’ bikes run between $4,500 and $8,500, typically taking around three weeks for production, though William says the commuter bike will be designed with a lower budget in mind. You can usually see one of William’s crew riding the bikes in San Jose during the San Jose Bike Party event or during local festivals.