Monday, February 18, 2013

Top Five Bicycles Made By Folks Who Make Cars

For some reason car brands seems compelled to show the world they can make bicycles too. Mostly they have been rubbish, but there have been some gems...

TOYOTA - Prius Parlee PXP … 2011
Toyota worked with bike makers Parlee to come with this astounding concept bike. The way you change gears on this carbon fibre aero machine is not with your fingers, but with your brain. Human/digital interface specialist Deeplocal built a special “neuron” helmet that uses wireless technology to transfer brainwaves to a micro-control.

MCLAREN - Specialized McLaren Venge … 2012
According to bicycle reviewers, road bikes don’t get much better than the than Specialized S-Works Venge. “Oh really? said the whitecoats over at McLaren’s Applied Technology division. They didn’t mess with the frame geometry or components, but these boffs from the F1 team’s R&D arm were able to create a frame 14% lighter and 15% stiffer. You can buy one too. It costs as much as a new car. But not a McLaren car. Obviously.

FORD - E-Bike Concept … 2011
Taking trad bicycle design, crumpling it up into a little ball and binning it, Ford came up with this two-wheeled carbon and aluminum girder for the Frankfurt Auto Show. Thanks to a motor in the front hub and a lithium-ion battery hidden in the frame, a rider can seamlessly move between muscle and battery power thanks to an “integrated controller and magnetorestriction technology”. Looks sort of steam punk... without the steam bit.

SPYKER - Spyker Aeroblade … 2006
The Dutch makers of odd, but beautifully made supercars teamed up with Dutch cycle brand Koga to make this odd but beautifully-made bicycle. From its handmade titanium frame, and carbon composite wheels, to the Rohloff 14-speed internal rear hub, the attention to detail on this R130 000 machine is gobsmacking. Only 50 were made back in 2006.

MASERATI - Montante Maserati 8CTF … 2010
The automobile aristocrats opted for some old school cool when they teamed up with cult Italian bicycle builders, Cicli Montante. Built for the Paris Motor Show to celebrate the 70th anniversary of their Maserati 8CTF winning the Indianapolis 500, this is a finely detailed homage to the traditional art of bespoke, steel-framed, leather-saddled, single-gear track bikes. Yes, yes... calm down hipsters, calm down.