“Simple is Best” is the motto of Jinbei Yamada, founder of Japanese bicycle maker Arrow Bicycles. I love this motto for its elegant phrasing, completely devoid of pretention and utterly consistent with its own meaning. There is no false dichotomy of “form versus function” to drive a pointless wedge between functional and decorative simplicity and pure visual design elegance. Who needs ten complicated laws when one law sums it up so well?

Arrow makes less than 1,000 bikes per year, and most of them are custom-ordered to some degree. As for the bikes themselves, I’ve not had the pleasure of seeing or riding one, but they look lovely. There are no logos to be seen, either, which is something I deeply appreciate.


6 responses to “Simple is Best”

  1. Maaike Avatar

    That’s a very handsome bike. But, as a daily bike-user, I feel it’s a bit too simple: some parts are missing that would make riding the bike a lot more enjoyable. Such as hand brakes and a chain guard (hope I’m using the right words).

  2. I like that plain approach to the bike. I don’t own a car and don’t plan to own one soon. But I’ve always fantasized that if I do get one, I’ll remove all of the logos from the car, leaving the license plate as the only piece of typography on the whole vehicle.

  3. One aspect of japanese design that I’ve appreciate is the emphasis on a single simple function and doing it well.

    in a word of too many choices, bells and whistles, simplicity stands out with its uniqueness. brings to mind the film of shinji iwai.

  4. Andrew Avatar

    I’d hate to pedal that thing up a real hill. In fact, I’m not sure I’d feel all that safe coming down the hill on the way home, either. I think even Amsterdam-style bikes which are optimized for flat roads and city traffic have a few more features (fenders, perhaps?).

  5. ♥ Monokuro Boo! ♥

  6. This Bike is very good we like this we want to buy this mayi know your adderess please
    reply me