Compact, versatile, artistic, bike mount
I've wandered the world, seeking artistry in every corner. I've seen it in the brightly coloured streets of Portofino, the snow-covered peaks of Mount Fuji, and even in the graffiti-laden brick walls of London's East End. But rarely have I found it in such an unexpected place – right here, in the René, an inventive take on the mundane, everyday bike mount.
Crafted by the skilled hands of London-based designer, Tomoko Azumi, René is not just a functional piece – it's a statement. A testimony to the old saying that beauty can indeed be found in simplicity. With its steam-bent wooden arms, reminiscent of a traditional sledge, it's as if Azumi has reached into the past, reminding us that elegance doesn't have to be complex. It can be as simple as three dowels joined together.
Then there's the fabric shelf, slung effortlessly between the top two dowels. Azumi offers this in four distinct colours, each a nod to the unique, vibrant aesthetics of Italy. Aesthetically, it's delightful, a celebration of minimalist design.
But as they say, the devil is in the details. Flatpacked for ease of delivery and installation, this piece is a testament to practicality. There's just one thing that nags me a bit. A place to hang gloves or other small items would have been a nice addition. But then, where's the fun if everything is served on a silver platter? A little rigging can take care of that.
Produced by Italian furniture manufacturer Zilio A&C, René is more than a bike mount. It doubles as a luggage hold and coat hanger when not cradling a bicycle, truly embodying the versatility inherent in great design. The compact dimensions (W. 310 mmD. 340 mmH. 280 mm) ensure it fits in neatly, whether in a cramped apartment in Manhattan or a spacious loft in Berlin.
In a world often obsessed with the newest, flashiest thing, the René is a breath of fresh air. It's not just a product, it's a philosophy – simplicity and functionality served with a dash of elegance. It's proof that the artistry I seek is not limited to painted canvases or sculpted marble – it can be found right here, on a wall, holding a bike.
- Unique Design: Crafted by renowned designer Tomoko Azumi, the René boasts a unique aesthetic that combines practicality with a minimalist, artistic appeal. Its steam-bent wooden arms and fabric sling give it a distinctive look that sets it apart from typical wall-based bike mounts.
- Versatility: The René serves multiple purposes beyond just storing a bike. It can be used as a luggage hold or coat hanger when not in use for bike storage, enhancing its overall utility.
- Compact Size: With dimensions of W. 310 mmD. 340 mmH. 280 mm, the René is designed to fit neatly on the wall, making it an excellent space-saving solution, especially in smaller apartments or homes.
- Variety of Colour Options: The fabric sling comes in four different colour options, allowing users to choose one that best suits their decor or personal preference.
- High Quality Material: Made of ash and textile, the René promises durability and a high-quality feel.
- Price: At £219, the René is a high-end bike mount option. For some, the cost may outweigh the benefits, especially when there are more affordable bike mounts available on the market.
- Lack of Additional Storage: While the design is minimalistic and sleek, there is no dedicated space to hang gloves or other small biking accessories. Users might need to get creative to make use of the lower dowel or the valley of the arms for this purpose.
- Complex Assembly: Being sold flatpacked implies assembly is required, which could potentially be challenging for some users.
- Limited Weight Capacity: Although it's not explicitly mentioned, the delicate design and the use of dowels to hold up the bike suggests there might be a limit on the weight it can carry. Those with heavier bicycles may need to consider this before purchase.