UTB zero bicycle by vigore kataoka
UTB zero bicycle by vigore kataoka UTB zero bicycle by vigore kataoka
nov 17, 2009

UTB zero bicycle by vigore kataoka

the UTB-0 is a rather ‘primitive’ bicycle that strips away all the functions and equipment that have been developed until now, to just feature the wheels and the frame. design by maseto kataoka. the vigore kataoka UTB-zero bicycle won the japan good design award 09.

vigore kataoka UTB-zero bicycle in the japan good design exhibition image © designboom

vigore kataoka UTB-zero bicycle in the japan good design exhibition image © designboom

detail of UTB-zero image © designboom

style sheet of UTB-zero bicycle by vigore kataoka

  • this is just a fixed gear track bike built from scratch is it not?
    what is differentiates this?

    AG says:
  • How about thinking outside the standard configuration box?

    terbreugghen says:
  • ditto on AG’s comment. what is so “new” about this design?

    the first bikes (circa 1860) were fixed gear. and most of them probably didn’t have caliper brakes as shown above.

    Steven says:
  • I concur…what is so special about this bike? I have seen more numerous, and higher build quality, ‘primitive’ bikes on London’s streets.

    I love the idea of a stripped down fixie – as few moving parts and mechanisms as possible, but this bike just doesn’t cut it. For a start it’s a single speed, therefore needs brakes, a fixed gear option would prove more simple – if that is indeed what the designer is trying to achieve. Secondly the frame work is clumsy and bulky… 🙁

    toby00001 says:
  • erm. i think the way it says in the blurb “…strips away all the functions and equipment that have been developed until now, to just feature the wheels and the frame…” is sort of the idea behind it.

    but its also trying fit regulations so it can be sold?

    If its not, then someone, somewhere needs a schlap! its really bulky, probably very heavy, and pretty pointless. actually, the whole thing is pointless. its really ugly, minimal for minimals sake. not for me at all.

    thewhodio says:
  • What ever happened to the concept of bikes with Hydraulic drive system instead of a chain? I had a go on one about 8 years ago but have never seen one since.

    Simbob says:
  • this is a bike for people who love fixed gear bikes, (which i believe it is.. i don’t see where it says it’s a single speed with a freewheel.. )
    i’m positive that it is not heavy as thewhodio suggests..
    it’s aluminum with chromoly forks.. not as light as carbon but much less expensive..
    i basically pitched a tent when i saw this thing.. this is exactly what we need more of.. beautiful bikes without needless hydraulic chain/electric assist/solar panels.. whatever..
    it’s about the freedom of racing through rush hour traffic!
    loooooove it!!!

    rnrjc says:
  • it doesn’t say it is fixed, and I can assume that it’s not because it has front and rear brakes. So it would be a freewheel with track drops and other poser qualities, at least its not covered in anodized colorful junk parts.
    The not so aggressive top tube and geometry of the bike is not very appealing either.
    However if your into it great, to each there own, you could do a lot worse.

    velovillain says:
  • Having brakes does not make fixed gear any less fixed gear.

    Anyway, many of you seem to be missing the point: This bike won a design competition while being NOTHING new except for a rather pointless fork design that basically looks like a Brooklyn Machine Works fork with an added brake bridge.

    Fixed gears are pretty big thing in Japan and track bike racing in the form of Keirin has a long history over there as well so that’s why it’s difficult to understand how this could be considered innovative.

    leftblank says:
  • This is universal. Everybody likes it.

    Celeste Raposo says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

(6 articles)


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

design news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
492,661 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample