15. Juni 2018
The design of the award-winning bikes reflect the unique way in which they are produced
In 20 years time the bicycle manufacturing industry has disappeared almost completely from Europe. Besides some manufacturers of bicycle components the vast majority of European bicycle manufactures have either relocated their production to Southeast Asia or ceased to exist. Mokumono is founded by twin brothers Bob and Tom Schiller (image at the end of the story). Together with a small team and a network of strong industry partners they are hard at work to revive the Dutch bicycle industry.
At Mokumono we believe that it is a shame that our rich history of bicycle manufacturing just ends here. Above all, we think that dragging all those frames half way across the earth is unnecessary and extremely wasteful. So, we decided to do something about it.
Two years ago we started the process to reinvent the way a bicycle frame is produced. We wanted to make it suitable for the production in the 21ste century Europe and succeeded, inspired by the European car industry. Cars are still produced in Europe because of constant innovating and automating of production processes. We took the lessons learned here and applied them to the production of bicycle frames.
The production process we developed reinvents the way a bicycle frame is produced. With this process we believe we can reach our goal of bringing bicycle manufacturing back to the Netherlands.
A Mokumono frame starts out as two flats sheets of aluminium, which are pressed in to a mould form the two frames halves. The halves are then, together with the bottom bracket, head tube, and seat post, laser welded together to form the frame. The whole process can be automated and is therefore extremely suitable for production in Europe.
That initial idea of reinventing the way a bicycle frame is built was the starting point of our bicycle brand. We pre-sold 62 bicycle via Kickstarter in May 2016 to gather the funds to start the development of our first frame. Now, just over 2 years later, we are almost ready to start shipping the bicycles to the Kickstarter backers. Next week the frames will through painting and we can start building them up and start delivery. We currently also take order for the next batch of bikes, which will ship around the end of July. Starting price is €1690 for the Mokumono Delta. Every bike comes standard with hydraulic disk brakes, Brooks saddle, and a Gates Carbon Belt Drive system. Gears (8 or 11) are optional and shipping is free throughout Europe.
Our future plans: we really see Mokumono as a proof-of-concept for the production process we developed, which in the next few years will become our main focus to develop and market further. We’re already in advanced talks with other European bicycle brands to develop and produce a frame for them. The main advantage of our production process is that we can bring the production time down from 6-7 months, which is the norm for frame production in Asia, to just 30 days. The second advantages is that with our production process, because you start out with a flat sheet, your form freedom is almost endless while with standard bicycle frame production you are pretty much limited to using round tubes.
We’re excited for what’s coming in the next few months, especially the delivery of the first batch of bikes! We’re very proud of the finished product and think our customers will like it very much.
Images: Courtesy of Mokumono