A bicycle made of wood is the 2018 ISPO BrandNew overall award winner. The awards recognise innovative new products and start-ups in the sport market and provide a platform for the winners to reach a wider, international audience, via promotions and a special exhibition area during the ISPO show.

My Esel’s bicycles are custom-made and are even individually adapted to the customer’s individual geometry by means of software. It can be adjusted either at the consumer’s home (online) or together with a specialist dealer. Enter a few basic measurements, choose the design and order … all from a smartphone, tablet or computer. The software was developed in cooperation with the Orthopaedic Hospital in Vienna-Speising, who are proven experts in bicycle ergonomics, says My Esel founder Heinz Mayrhofer.

The concept originated because fellow-founder Christoph Fraundorfer, a tall guy, often got back or knee problems from cycling. Configuring a bicycle took a long time, deliveries even longer, and the costs were very high. This led him to research and develop the perfect bike, together with the My Esel team.

They decided on wood, because it springs, but is still stiff. “With the right workmanship, it is absolutely suitable for everyday use in any weather,” explains Mayrhofer. Of course, it looks unusual too, which draws added attention.

The winners in the individual categories are:

  • Accessories Winter: Tubolito – a bicycle tube made from a new material that weighs 65% less, but has twice the lifespan of standard tubes. It can be compressed for easy packing, is reusable and is available for mountain and racing bikes.
  • Apparel Winter: TEMPLA – outdoor performance apparel for the fashionable.
  • Fitness: BIOROWER – a rower for home-use that’s based on the design of an actual rowing boat, with independent oars that produce the same resistance as you would find in water, and sensors that send biometric data to a tablet.
  • Hardware Summer: Fiftyten – an universal travel cabin, that has a roof tent made for double-cab bakkies. It consists of a base platform with a storage area instead of the regular loading surface, a box as a living space and a large, comfortable roof tent for sleeping.
  • Hardware Winter: Boardie – a ski tow frame for a more comfortable ride with a wider, ergonomic and durable frame that can be replaced easily.
  • Wearables: Microsfere – a respiratory mask for high air pollution areas that can be worn during physical activities. It also works together with a mobile device to track data based on the wearer’s breath (previously only available from a lab).
  • Social Awareness: The Social Mercenary – Ghanaian craftspeople create clothing and accessories from hand-woven ‘royal fabric’ called Kente. Items incorporate western elements as well, with YKK zippers, laptop or cell phone pockets, extra-strong yarns and traditional, waxed cotton fabric for backpacks and caps.

All winners will be exhibited in a special area at the 2018 ISPO Munich held 28-31 January.