Bike Furniture Design is a design and manufacturing studio specializing in modern furniture made primarily from recycled and upcycled steel, aluminum, and carbon fiber bicycle and motorcycle wheels, handlebars, and frames.
Working within the vernacular of classic modern furniture design, BFD founder Andy Gregg has continued to refine this comfortable and durable furniture since 1990.
Since the original Bike Chair, Bike Furniture Designs have grown to include a wide-ranging collection of high-quality tables, bar stools, benches, and more chairs. Some designs, in addition to utilizing the bicycle, also utilize components from other transportation industries.
These designs use train and automobile windows for tabletops, and surplus automotive seat-belt webbing for seating upholstery.
Bike Furniture upholstery options are unlimited. Some options include leather, rubber, cork, clear and colored acrylic, and vinyl.
Many of our designs are well suited to withstand the abuse of commercial use.
BFD founder/primary designer Andy Gregg has been influenced by his years spent in bike shops, and on bikes.
Check out our Press Page for articles with more information about Bike Furniture Design.
Bike Furniture Design World Headquarters is located in the mountain biking, and nordic skiing mecca Marquette, Michigan, on the south shore of Lake Superior.
Winters are long here in Marquette, and we make the best of it. This video is a nice chronicle of the history and making of our 'Snow Bike Route' (SBR). Some of us involved in BFD have been doing this winter riding thing a very long time. Some vintage riding footage and pics start at around 3:50 in this video.
New Spin on Old Bikes
Story by FRIDA WAARA
UPPER PENINSULA MAGAZINE May | June 2007 www.upperpeninsula.biz
Andy Gregg can’t remember life without a bike. He grew up wheeling
around Marquette and by the time he was 10, he was learning how to fix
bikes, or at least scrounging parts from the scrap piles behind local bike
shops. At 14, he saved enough from his paper route to put a down payment
on a Mongoose Supergoose BMX bike. At the same age he officially
landed a job as mechanic in a bike shop. Life was good and now decades
later he still gets his hands dirty stretching tires and repairing rims, but not
just to ride or race, this entrepreneur has put a new spin on old bike parts
by remaking them into furniture.
From his one man shop in the warehouse behind Lakeshore Bike near
McCarty’s Cove, he forges found objects (junked rims, tubes, handlebars,
forks and frames) into furniture (chairs, tables, barstools, coat racks and
mirrors). His eco-friendly and fun useable art starts at $80 for a mirror, $200
for a table and $350 for a chair.
His route to furniture making has as many climbs as the South Marquette
Bike Trails. “At one time I was going to build bike frames,” admits Gregg.
“But it was too meticulous and regimented.” Instead, his spirit craves play.
Looking back he credits his creativity to games that began in Colorado. “I
started collecting old inner-tubes at the bike shop where I worked at the
time,” remembers Gregg. “I was living above the ski shop at the base of
Aspen Highlands near some tennis courts where I would ride my
skateboard with friends. At some point that summer we started stretching a
bunch of tubes across the courts to use as a slingshot on our skateboards.”
And that’s not all his imagination would launch from that summer’s sport.
During his stay in Aspen, Gregg also volunteered at the annual
International Design Conference. In exchange for his time, he was able to
attend workshops and lectures. The events buoyed this future inventor.
In 1990, he moved to Boulder to open Quick Stop Bike Shop and again his
stash of tubes came in handy. “In the spring we’d float down Boulder Creek
on large inflated truck inner-tubes,” says Gregg, who details how necessity,
or in this case, comfort, becomes the parent to innovation. “Boulder Creek
is very cold so to keep my butt out of the water, I made a seat by stretching
some of my stockpiled punctured bike tubes over the big truck tube.”
Form merged with function and it worked. Better yet, when not floating
down the river, the truck tire chair became the favorite seat in the house at
the bike shop. “It got me thinking,” admits Gregg, who blames all his
success on riding his bike because, “Time on the bike provides a good
space for quality thought.”
The following spring, 1991, Gregg studied art at Northern Michigan
University, but of course he still tinkered at a Marquette bike shop, by the
way, also named Quick Stop Bike Shop. “I was still pack-ratting tubes and
rims when I made my first true chair for an assignment in a sculpture
class.” His designs were making the grade.
With a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Photography he was hired in 1994
byThe Resource Center, (the oldest and largest independent, non-profit
recycling company in Chicago) to start a bike shop, Blackstone Bicycle
Works. Gregg was a perfect match for BBW’s mission: to rescue bikes out
of the waste stream and teach inner city youth how to repair them. In
exchange, the kids not only learned job skills, but they also had a chance to
earn a bike.
During that eight year stint, Gregg soaked up inspiration and a commitment
to recycling from Ken Dunn, the Resource Center founder, and Dan
Peterman, an internationally known Chicago conceptual artist and sculptor
whose work investigates recycling systems and material waste.
He also studied furniture designers and architects from the early to midtwentieth
century: Marcel Brauer, Mies van der Rohe, Warren
MacArthur,LeCorbusier, Charlotte Perriand, Pierre Jeanneret, and Charles
From that immersion, Gregg’s focus sharpened. “It makes you look at
everything else from bridges to automobiles to other furniture.” He
continues, “And not only how it is made, but what it’s made out of, and how
it’s joined together.” Surrounded by a readymade supply of bike parts at
BBW, his imagination flourished. Inspired by Eames, who believed, “Design
is the appropriate combination of materials in order to solve a problem,” his
And like Eames’s design philosophy that, “The details are not the details,
they make the design,” Gregg believes. “It’s not my desire to make pieces
that look like they are bike parts or that they are necessarily bike-related,
but to make well designed pieces that utilize the simple components —
extruded/tubular steel and aluminum — that also happen to be used to
make bicycles.” Whatever the cause and effect, Gregg defines a true “recycler.”
On April 25, 2001, fire shut down Blackstone Bicycle Works and Gregg
moved back to Marquette while the shop rebuilt. What he thought would be
a couple of months took longer than expected (BBW officially re-opened
October 14, 2006 at 6100 South Blackstone Avenue in Chicago). Spoiled
by the easy access to world-class bike and ski trails in Marquette, Gregg is
content to manufacture here and market through the internet.
Since January 2006, a feature on his furniture has aired twice on HGTV’s “I
Want That” and he was also featured on ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home
Edition.” His designs also popped up on Yahoo.com’s front page. Via the
web, he’s been publicized in Bulgaria, China, England, Germany, Korea,
Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Mexico, Russia, Spain, Sweden and the United Arab
Emirates. “My furniture is on websites that are in languages I don’t even
recognize,” says Gregg, who has shipped furniture as far off as Singapore
and the United Kingdom.
Because shipping is so expensive, he’s working on redesigning some of his
pieces so they can ship in smaller boxes.
Last February, he shipped his largest order, 13 pieces in four wheeled
crates to San Francisco for the eight stage Tour of California bike event.
“My pieces were used in a hospitality tent set up at the finish line of each
stage from San Francisco to Long Beach,” explains Gregg, who got to go
along to set up the furniture.
Exposure to such a select audience of professional cyclists is good for
business, but no matter where his chairs are on display, even non-riders
have to take a turn and try them out, particularly the low slung and
whimsical Milano Lounge Chair.
You not only lighten your load, but you also lighten your mood plopping into
the stretchy rubber upholstery. Playfully sparked with racer-red armrests
made out of tires, the Mini Deluxe model also uses bright red grips on the
handlebar base. It can also be ordered with a horn at your heel. One
blogger wrote, “This chair has inspired me to want to do more than just
recycle. I actually want to ride a bike again.”
Eric Shepard and Vince Labolito at the web’s Cardboard Monocle, agree,
sort of. “These are truly amazing works of functional useable art that I
would be proud to have in my home, if for no other reason than so I could
feel like I was exercising without getting out of my chair.”
That’s probably not what Gregg intended. Fit and trim at 41, he’s addicted
to exercise, or rather, play and motion. He reserves plenty of time for the
“wheel deal” and you can catch him pedaling Marquette nearly year round.
Ten years ago he began cyclocross racing in Chicago. “I really like
cyclocross bikes because they are road bikes with the capacity to go just
about anywhere,” he says, coming as close as this reserved and humble
artist can get to gushing.
He honed his cyclocross skills racing in Chicago where years back he won
the Tour da Chicago, a series of “Alleycat” events. Bred from the bike
messenger culture, “Alleycat” races are often held at night with a
personality all their own. “They are typically run through live traffic on city
streets, and thus not legal,” admits Gregg, who confesses “Alleycat” racing
was a big part of his life for several years.
One early morning epic race was captured in a chapter of Travis Culley’s
“The Immortal Class: Bike Messengers and the Cult of Human Power.”
Gregg came in second behind Culley, which according to Gregg is a good
thing, “because he probably would not have written about it otherwise.”
It’s clear, Gregg’s passion for bikes hasn’t run out of heat, maybe just
space. When pressed about how many bikes he owns today, he asks
arching a dark eyebrow, “In my house?” Last count he figures he may have
eight in his house, “But I think in total I’ve got 12 or 14 bikes in Marquette. I
had to sell some when I moved from Chicago.”
His website displays photos and descriptions of his all-time 17 favorites and
some he admits he will never sell. “I’ve got a rare BMX racing cruiser from
the early 80’s,” says Gregg distinguishing, “That bike was given to me. I’m
really not its owner, just its steward for the time being.”
Other bikes, like his Schwinn Cruiser, had to be cannibalized for furniture.” I
turned over the original steel rims into bar stools,” confesses Gregg, who
still uses the ride as, “My current foul weather commuter/town bike.”
To a guy like Gregg it’s obvious, the design, function, motion and lasting
usefulness of its parts make a bike more than two wheels on a frame. And
his work, in faithful step behind one of the world’s great furniture makers, is
testimony to the Eames philosophy, “Take your pleasures seriously.”