Monday, June 15, 2015

Mazda Builds A Bicycle

Last month I took a look at a lot of car companies making bicycles -- and somehow I missed this one from Mazda. Unlike the other examples I've shown, it doesn't appear that Mazda has partnered up with any bike companies, and the bike they've produced isn't likely to be for sale. Rather, the company's design team has crafted the bicycle, along with other non-automotive products and artworks to highlight their particular design aesthetic. The bicycle, a sofa, a copper wine cooler, a traditional lacquered box, and some other works, were displayed as part of the event "Mazda Design: The Car as Art" in Milan.

According to a Mazda press release, the "Bike by KODO Concept" is a track racer that "seeks to express the inner beauty of the bicycle." Mazda goes on to say that the minimalist design was constructed from the least possible number of parts, with a frame "painstakingly formed by hammering a single sheet of steel." I'm not sure how that would be possible -- but perhaps they only mean the upper portion in red, which does, indeed, look like one-piece construction. The lower part looks for all the world to me like carbon fiber tubing.

Mazda goes on to mention the hand-stitched leather saddle with red thread, intended to mimic the interior of their MX-5 sports car. Other than that, there aren't a lot of details about the bike. It has carbon-fiber wheels, and an extremely low-profile one-piece bar and stem combination. It's a single speed track bike with no brakes. That's about all one can tell from the photos.

According to Mazda, the Bike by KODO Concept is supposed to reflect "the expression of two key sensibilities rooted in Japanese aesthetics: RIN, a sense of self-restrained dignity, and EN, an alluring sensuality that speaks directly to the senses." I suppose it does have a certain minimalist look, but is it beautiful? I'll let readers form their own opinions on that.

Love it or loathe it, don't bother looking for it at any bike shop, or even at the local Mazda dealer. The Bike by KODO Concept is just as the name implies - just a concept project. and is unlikely to be for sale.


  1. I'm calling B.S. on that frame being "painstakingly formed by hammering a single sheet of steel".

    That aside, this is one of the better looking of these sort of things. I even kind of like the handlebars.


  2. I think they mean that thickness of the sheets were hammered as opposed to butted.