Updated: Jun 3
Masateru Yasuda, a Japanese designer was inspired by the flexible and vibration-absorbing properties of bent plywood sheets found in traditional Japanese architecture and envisioned a two-wheeled marvel that could combine the best of both worlds. Drawing inspiration from the resilience of Japanese structures, which had withstood the test of time and earthquakes, Yasuda set out to craft a bicycle that harnessed the inherent characteristics of wood.
So, the remarkable Moccle came into being. The Moccle is a joyous creation with a distinctive appearance that emphasizes the pure delight of cycling. It is powered by a bent-wood frame with shock-absorbing prowess and is powered by conventional components like gears, dashboards, and shock absorbers.
The Moccle is a minimalist design that embraces simplicity, welcoming riders of all skill levels to pedal away. It does not strive to conquer rugged terrains or chase after speed records, but rather to indulge in the pleasures of life. The project sprouted its roots in Osaka, Japan in 1999, culminating in the birth of the first wooden bicycle.
Yasuda’s Moccle's bent plywood frame responds to pressure with a natural flex and undulation, mirroring traditional Japanese buildings' strategy of absorbing and mitigating seismic tremors. It mirrored the ingenious strategy employed by traditional Japanese buildings.
Masateru Yasuda's Moccle was a testament to the unyielding spirit of innovation. It pushed the boundaries of bicycle construction and paid homage to the wisdom of generations of Japanese craftsmen. Riders could not help but marvel at the harmonious dance between man, wood, and the ever-changing world beneath their wheels.
Yasuda presented a fascinating insight into the connection between wood and carbon fiber. He argued that both materials share a fundamental essence: they are carbon-based entities, intricately woven into the fabric of life. Yasuda's insight revealed the natural affinity between these two materials.
Formation of the Moccle
With this insight in mind, Yasuda embarked on a transformative endeavor to create a bicycle frame that would embody the durability and timelessness of wood and the resilience and longevity of carbon fiber. He created plywood, a symphony of materials entwined in perfect harmony, with thin sheets of carbon fiber interlaced between layers of wood, creating a unique composite that would defy the ravages of time.
Once the plywood was ready, Yasuda used his tools to shape the plywood into the desired profiles. The transformative power of steam allowed the plywood to be molded into elegant and purposeful forms. With each bend and curve, the frame came alive, embodying the perfect synergy between wood's organic charm and carbon fiber's strength.
To complete his opus, he integrated a wooden frame into a metallic embrace, creating a bicycle that was a testament to human ingenuity and sturdiness, destined to endure the test of time. It is a fusion of natural beauty and industrial precision.
Yasuda's creation was not merely a bicycle; it was an embodiment of his unwavering commitment to craft, an integration of nature's wisdom and human innovation. This wooden marvel would take riders on a journey through the realms of possibility, powered by the symbiotic relationship between wood and carbon fiber. It would carry passengers to horizons yet unseen, whispering stories of age-old forests and the dance of carbon within them.
At the respected A' Design Award event in 2023, the magnificent Moccle took the prestigious Gold Winner title. Its achievements say much about its flawless craftsmanship, establishing it as the pinnacle of design brilliance. As the Moccle gracefully cruises along the paths of time, it captures the attention and admiration of onlookers, each one captivated by its timeless allure.
All photo credit from A’Design Award.