Wood-carbon fusion casual bicycle
Wood. For centuries, we've constructed homes, fashioned furniture, and built monuments with it. The sinewy tendrils of trees have borne witness to human civilization's growth, taking the test of time and elements, and yet, evolving. In Japan, where buildings with wooden frames have elegantly weathered earthquakes, the material isn't just about tradition; it's a testament to resilience.
And so, when I came across the Moccle, a brainchild of the Japanese designer Masateru Yasuda, I was intrigued, to say the least. Here was a bicycle, a seemingly simple mode of transportation, but elevated to an art form that merges craftsmanship with modern aesthetics. Yasuda's Atelier Kinopio doesn't merely shape wood. They blend the age-old wisdom of woodcraft with the modernity of carbon fiber, producing a hybrid material that's both sturdy and flexible.
Now, I've been on many rides, felt the vibration of terrains under my feet, and yearned for a design that could make the journey smoother. The Moccle promises just that. Its unique construction, born from bent plywood sheets strengthened with carbon fiber, absorbs the brunt of uneven roads, much like how traditional Japanese buildings absorb the tremors of tectonic shifts. There's poetry in that parallel.
For those wondering about the longevity of such a bicycle, Yasuda has thought it through. Wood, in its essence, is carbon, as alive and intricate as any high-tech material. By sandwiching thin sheets of carbon fiber between the wood, Yasuda ensures the frame remains resistant to the wear and tear of time. This is a bicycle designed not only to be ridden but also to endure.
Yet, the Moccle isn’t just about function; it’s about the experience. Imagine a leisurely ride to your favorite café, dressed not in sports gear but in your everyday clothes. This isn't a bicycle built for races or mountain terrains; it's crafted for those sweet moments of tranquillity in between the rush of life. An ode to simplicity, it forgoes the complexities of gears and dashboards. No bells and whistles, literally. It stands as a reminder that sometimes, all you need is the wind in your hair and the road ahead.
It's been a journey for the Moccle. What started as a dream in 1999, saw its first incarnation in Osaka, took a new form in Nagano by 2012, and by 2023, had taken Tokyo by storm at the Wood Collection Show. Winning the Gold at the A’ Design Award only solidified its place in the world of design.
In a world cluttered with noise, the Moccle stands out. Not just as a bicycle, but as an art piece. So beautiful, in fact, that Yasuda envisions it gracing the living rooms, not just the streets. Customizable in walnut or cypress, it's not just a mode of transport, but a statement.
To ride the Moccle is to embrace a philosophy – one that celebrates life, the environment, and the sheer joy of living in the moment. It's not just a bicycle; it's a lifestyle. And if you're someone who seeks the blend of tradition with modernity, of function with art, then the Moccle might just be your next ride.
- Material Innovation: The unique blend of traditional wood with carbon fiber provides an age-resistant frame that promises longevity.
- Vibration Absorption: Drawing from the principles of Japanese architecture, the wooden frame offers excellent vibration absorption, making for a smoother ride on uneven terrains.
- Aesthetic Appeal: The design is sleek and artistic, making the Moccle not just a mode of transportation but also a potential showpiece for your living space.
- Customizability: Customers can choose between different wood veneers like walnut or cypress, adding a touch of personalization to their purchase.
- Eco-Friendly: The use of natural and regenerative material like wood makes it a more environmentally friendly choice compared to entirely metal or plastic bikes.
- Simple Design: Lack of complicated gears or dashboards ensures that even those not familiar with advanced cycling tech can easily ride the Moccle.
- Legacy and Recognition: The Moccle has been in development since 1999 and has been recognized with the Gold Winner of the A’ Design Award for 2023, adding to its credibility.
- Not for Rugged Use: The Moccle is designed more for casual cruising rather than performance or challenging terrains.
- High Price Point: Priced at €6,000, it might be out of reach for many potential buyers.
- Lack of Advanced Features: The bike doesn't come with features like gears, dashboards, or even a bell, which some riders might miss.
- Weight: At 11.5kg for the cypress/walnut model, it's not the lightest bicycle on the market.
- Maintenance Concerns: While the combination of wood and carbon fiber provides durability, wood may require more maintenance and care than metal frames, especially in varying weather conditions.