Bicycles

Mokumono's monocoque design catches the eye – and brings manufacturing home

The Mokumono's frame is made from two laser-welded sheets of press-formed aluminum
The Mokumono's frame is made from two laser-welded sheets of press-formed aluminum
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The Mokumono's head tube, bottom bracket shell and dropouts aren't part of the monocoque, allowing for them to be changed out without having to alter the rest of the frame
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The Mokumono's head tube, bottom bracket shell and dropouts aren't part of the monocoque, allowing for them to be changed out without having to alter the rest of the frame
The Mokumono's frame is made from two laser-welded sheets of press-formed aluminum
2/5
The Mokumono's frame is made from two laser-welded sheets of press-formed aluminum
While the technique does leave a raised seam all the way along the middle of the bike, it's incorporated into the design
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While the technique does leave a raised seam all the way along the middle of the bike, it's incorporated into the design
Besides its unique looks, some of the Mokumono's other features include a Gates Carbon belt drive, Shimano 105 hydraulic disc brakes, a Brooks Cambium C17 saddle, and puncture-resistant Continental Grand Prix 4season 32-mm tires
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Besides its unique looks, some of the Mokumono's other features include a Gates Carbon belt drive, Shimano 105 hydraulic disc brakes, a Brooks Cambium C17 saddle, and puncture-resistant Continental Grand Prix 4season 32-mm tires
A pledge of €1,150 (about US$1,307) will currently get you a singlespeed Mokumono, with €1,400 ($1,591) fetching an 8-speed
5/5
A pledge of €1,150 (about US$1,307) will currently get you a singlespeed Mokumono, with €1,400 ($1,591) fetching an 8-speed

No matter what they're made from, most bicycle frames take the form of multiple tubes that are joined together at the ends. It's a tried and trusted design, but according to Dutch designing brothers Bob and Tom Schiller, it's difficult to fully automate. As a result, bike companies tend to get their frames built overseas, in countries where the labor is cheap. In an effort to change that, the Schillers have created the Mokumono bike.

Instead of tubes, the main part of the Mokumono's frame is made from two sheets of 7000-grade aluminum. In an automated setting, these are pressed into shape, each one forming one side of the frame. The two formed sheets are subsequently laser-welded together down the middle, forming one monocoque unit – it's a process more commonly seen in the automobile-manufacturing industry.

While the technique does leave a raised seam all the way along the middle of the bike, it's incorporated into the design. The head tube, bottom bracket shell and dropouts aren't part of the monocoque, allowing for them to be changed in the future without having to alter the rest of the frame.

While the technique does leave a raised seam all the way along the middle of the bike, it's incorporated into the design
While the technique does leave a raised seam all the way along the middle of the bike, it's incorporated into the design

Besides its unique looks, some of the Mokumono's other features include a Gates Carbon belt drive, Shimano 105 hydraulic disc brakes, a Brooks Cambium C17 saddle, and puncture-resistant Continental Grand Prix 4season 32-mm tires.The bike is being offered as a ~9.5-kg (21-lb) singlespeed, or an ~11-kg (24-lb) 8-speed utilizing a Shimano Alfine hub transmission.

Bob and Tom have now turned to Kickstarter, to finance production of the bike. A pledge of €1,150 (about US$1,307) will currently get you a singlespeed, with €1,400 ($1,591) fetching an 8-speed – if all goes according to plans.

Sources: Mokumono Cycles, Kickstarter

7 comments
Harvey
That ridge along the top of the top tube makes me cringe just thinking about accidentally hitting it.
JimmyP
The frame is good looking but agree with Harvey the ridge is off putting and i am not convinced it is necessary I have a USA made Optibike which has two moulded aluminium halves welded down the centreline. It has a nice smooth weld line and form. No ugly ridge.
tapasmonkey
So 1150 euros is bringing back "cheap" production to Europe? I get that this has good components and all, but at over a thousand it's got a lot of competition from companies who still use Asian production.
Candide08
Many (most) bike riders say that aluminum is the worst frame material. It transmits more vibrations and has a harsh ride. Steel, carbon and titanium are far superior. The makers of the bike may know manufacturing but the missed on frame material.
unklmurray
I have an American made ''Marin, Stinson''low bar ,or step through cruiser that costed me $475.00,it came stock with a first gear that is 35% larger than the smallest gear on the front gears,meaning it takes very little peddle power to go up even the longest of hills,2nd gear is still 20% larger , with 3rd gear being the same size!! I think I'll be getting the ''Bimoz''Bottom Bracket gear-less peddle assist ebike add on.......LOL :-)
McDesign
I'll bet that black seatpost could telescope, allowing that cantilevered top tube to flex and absorb NVH.
unklmurray
Harvey and Jimmy P. You guys are funny when I read your comments I Laughed out Loud you don't seem 2B put off by the regular "Boys' Bike'' so why are you put off by an 1/8 inch seam down the length of this bike,Its' just barely noticable,this country has got it backwards the ''Boys bike'' is more dangerous to a mans anatomy,but most of you wouldn't be caught dead on a lowbar bike,I ride a ''Step-through'' bike for that reason and Yes it is an Aluminum frame bike and no I won't trade it for a steel frame bike!!......LOL :-)