While functionality is typically the top of the list priority for bicycles, it’s always fun to see outside companies take an artistic approach and create cool-looking concept bikes to tantalize our senses. Mazda recently created a series of artworks to emphasize the importance of aesthetic design in their products, including this awesome track racer.
The bike is known as the ‘Bike by KODO Concept’ and was recently released alongside a sofa, copper wine cooler and other works at the “Mazda Design: The Car as Art” exhibit in Milan, Italy during the art and fashion mecca’s design week.
Mazda focuses on ‘the representation of dynamic motion’ in its vehicle designs, drawing inspiration from animals in nature. With that in mind I’d have to say the shapely seat stays evoke a set of powerful hind legs, extended at full stride.
The design elements of the bike are also meant to express two traditional Japanese aesthetic sensibilities: Rin is a sense of self-restrained dignity, and En, an alluring sensuality that speaks directly to the senses. I’ll leave it to you to decide if you feel the sensuality, but there is a notable sense of restraint versus, say, the bejewelled Cipollini Luxury Edition road bike we checked out recently.
While the end presentation is simple, the construction of this bike was not. Mazda says the KODO Concept’s frame is made from a single hand-hammered sheet of steel, but logic would suggest they are referring to the red upper portion only. The saddle is hand-stitched with matching red threads, and bears a similar stitch pattern as the Mazda MX-5’s interior.
The bike is literally as minimalist as it can be, with the designers setting out with the goal of using as few parts as possible. Suitably so it’s a singlespeed track racer that doesn’t require brakes or derailleurs, which would merely be a hindrance to elegance in this application. The handlebar and stem are one smoothly integrated piece, with a low flattened top that keeps the front end looking aggressively aerodynamic. Despite its extreme simplicity, the KODO Concept has almost everything a bike needs- If you ever got to ride it, the only thing you might want to add is a pair of grips.
There isn’t much information available about the relatively few other components, but we can see a Mavic carbon wheelset in the photos. Not that the build matters much anyways… since this bike is just an art piece we’ll have to enjoy it with our eyes only.