Just when you thought things couldn’t get any better than this, you find out that car manufacturers have begun to branch out into bikes. In reality, carmakers have been producing and branding bikes for over 15 years. Mercedes-Benz started this trend by branding an AMP mountain bike.
The bike could be folded into a suitcase and put in the trunk of a car. Back in 1997, which was when this happened, the bike weighed 24 pounds. This wasn’t a bad weight at all for that day and age. The price wasn’t that out of this world either. It was just $3,300.
Soon, other car companies had begun to follow suit, with BMW creating an Olympic Games mountain bike that only cost $800. This was in 1997 as well. However, as car manufacturers began to rise in worth over the subsequent years, the cost of all their products increased as well.
Indeed, a Ferrari branded keychain soon cost as much as $30. This is a pretty big deal, considering that a keychain usually costs around $5. However, car companies actually began to make bikes for the wealthier consumer market.
They felt that this allowed them to promote their brand as caring about the environment. After all, it doesn’t get any greener than a bicycle. After a few years of creating mountain and road bikes, companies began to branch out into a relatively new technology.
This was the electric bike. The manufacturers did anything they could in order to appear environmentally friendly. Now, nearly all major automotive brands have manufactured bicycles that sport their logos. Sometimes, these bikes even share the same technology as the cars made by the automaker.
Of course, you aren’t going to find a bike from a major car company that costs $800 anymore. Today, most of the bikes from car manufacturers cost more than your family vehicle. They completely deserve the price tag, at times. Sometimes though it feels like the bike is only expensive because of the brand name.
Some people still go for these bikes as well, purely so that they can show off the flashy, premium logos that the bike features. While it is not recommended that you blow your retirement savings on a road bike made by Lamborghini that costs roughly the same as a mid-range sedan, you can if you want to.
Without further ado, here are 10 bikes made by car companies, in recent years that are among the most expensive and innovative in the world. You can always find many more to come in the near future, as there are a number of concept auto bikes out there that may or may not be shelved later.
1 – BMC Lamborghini Limited Edition Road Bike
Lamborghini has collaborated with BMC in order to design and produce this limited edition beauty of the streets. BMC is a Swiss company that is known for producing some of the best bikes in the world. One of their sub-brands, impec, is known for some of the best BMC bikes in the world.
Lamborghini has worked with impec to create a road bike that is definitely a step into the future. Exactly 50 of these premium bikes were made, in celebration of 50 years of Lamborghini. The bike is one of Lamborghini’s finest creations, and released with the Veneno supercar.
The frame, designed by impec, is made out of bespoke carbon fiber. It has been woven by robots and joined by their very own Shell Nodes. It features a 22 gear drivetrain, and Campagnolo Bora deep-section wheels. The bike is a truly sleek beauty, and is definitely one of the most exclusive out there.
It is true that the Lamborghini logo in itself is part of what imparts such a huge price on a road bike. However, it can’t be denied that the technology used to build the bike, as well as the branding on the build kit (Campagnolo Super Record EPS) make for a bike that is very nice indeed.
Price: $32,000 (on release)
2 – Porsche Bike RS
Porsche is one of the most famous brands of automobiles anywhere. It is the first bike with 2 accelerators to have been made by Porsche, which has actually been creating bikes for quite a while. Their bikes generally aren’t as expensive as you would expect, although they do still cost big bucks.
The bike frame is made out of high-end carbon, with carbon handlebars, stem and seat posts. All of these are ergonomically designed. The bike also features premium Shimano XTR drive, with 20 speed gears. The brakes are Magura MT8s, and the wheels are Crankbrothers Cobalt 3 wheels with Schwalbe Marathon Supreme Performance road tires.
It is a hybrid road bike, and is very beautifully made indeed. Although Porsche seems to have forgotten that roads have tiny bumps in them, leading to a noticeable lack of comfort, the lightweight fun to ride bike has definitely earned its place among the high rollers. The top speed of this bike has not been assessed, but it is definitely a speedster.
3 – Specialized S-Works McLaren Tarmac
Specialized is a very famous premium sport bike manufacturing company. They have consistently been rated as one of the top bike manufacturers in the world. The bike maker and the world famous McLaren car company have joined forces to create the S-Works McLaren Tarmac road bike, which is one beautiful machine.
It comes in as a big brother to the S-Works Tarmac, one of the faster road bikes you will ever have the joy of riding. It offers 10% less weight than the standard bike, and uses a McLaren patented carbon fiber layup technology (FACT construction).
The handlebars are custom made by AeroFly, and the wheelset is a specially selected CLX40R tubular wheelset. The hubs and crankset are ceramic coated to reduce friction and make for a sleek, superfast road bike overall. The bike is limited edition, so only 250 are being made by Specialized.
The painting is done at the same location where the McLaren P1 is painted, and comes with an exclusive McLaren branded paint job. The bike comes with a custom fitted helmet, cycling shoes, and a name plate and wall plaque that are personalized to each buyer. This is definitely a bike worth buying, if you have the money for it.
4 – Aston Martin One-77 Bike
The Aston Martin One 77 was one of the “sexiest cars ever made”. It sold out in record time after being released into the market. The British car manufacturer had truly outdone itself. Then, to celebrate the success of the car that was made famous for being James Bond’s ride of choice, they decided to go a step further.
Aston Martin partnered with Factor Bikes, one of the most premium bike makers in the UK, with a reputation for speed and elegant design. Together, they created and launched the Aston Martin One77 superbike. They called it the “most technologically advanced road bike ever”.
Like its namesake car, the One 77 bike also uses a carbon fiber build in order to minimize the weight, and features a high-end onboard computer to give riders a taste of the sheer luxury that the coupe offered when it was being sold.
The computer uses a range of sensors including those in the crank, rear wheel and GPS, in order to calculate and deliver accurate performance results to the cyclist. These results include a wide spectrum of calculations, including crank torque and force in each leg separately, along with wasted power, acceleration, friction, rate of climb and thrust.
5 – Montante Maserati
In 1940, Wilbur Shaw of the Maserati Racing Team won the Indy 500 with a crushing victory over 200 laps. 70 years later, Maserati decided to fly their colors by working with the Italian bike builders Montante Cicli to produce a truly retro road bike.
200 models of the bike were made, and all of them feature detailing that matched the Maserati 8CTF interior, as well as having a unique chassis plate for each example of the bike. The bikes aren’t even that expensive, for their carbon fiber frames and Maserati logo.
6 – BMW Cruise e-bike
BMW has been producing electric bicycles for a while now, and they have always been top notch. The latest edition of the Cruise electric bike features a Bosch 400Wh battery, which is used in conjunction with the pedaling motion.
The top speed of this bike is 54kmph, which for a bike is downright fast. It boasts a gorgeous design, with the BMW logo adding a premium feel to an already great looking bike. It uses a lightweight aluminum frame and Shimano BR disc brakes. The bike is shipped only within Europe.
7 – Ford Super Cruiser e-bike
This bike was built by Pedego, and was designed by Tony Ellsworth himself. It is a gorgeous example of classic Ford quality. It uses a 500W motor to cruise around all day in the epitome of luxury and class. The throttle and the gear selector both have a very premium look and feel.
Unlike most of the bikes built by car companies, the Ford Super Cruiser isn’t your typical road bike. While most of the company’s focus on sleek, lightweight sports bikes or technological advancements like onboard computers, the super cruiser is a more humble electric cruiser, with some very cool looking Schwalbe Big Ben fat tires on it and the Ford logo sewn into the seat and emblazoned on the bike.
8 – Smart ebike
Smart is a company known for its….well, its smart way of getting its cars to be the greenest anywhere. This company is quite well celebrated for its innovation. The smart ebike is a prime example of this grand thinking.
The bike features a 300W electric motor that works when you use the pedals. It weighs 57 pounds, and uses an aluminum alloy frame as well as a 3 speed SRAM gear system. The pedals are Ergon PC2 platforms, and the brakes are Magura MT4 hydraulic disc brakes. It is definitely a bike that is worth considering as a step into the future.
9 – Ferrari CX60 Mountain Bike
This is the perfect bicycle for any enthusiasts in the field of trail and MTB riding, who are also fans of the famous Italian automobile manufacturer. It comes with a Rock Shox suspension system, and Suntour Epicon forks. The derailleurs and shifters are Shimano LX, and the frame is made from aluminum.
The bike also features Shimano Deore hydraulic disc brakes and Continental Explorer 26 tires, along with high density Wellgo pedals, and a Ferrari design saddle made out of high quality microfiber. Produced by Turbo in association with Colnago, this exclusive Ferrari MTB is everything you will ever need for the trails.
10 – Volkswagen Bik.e electric bike
Volkswagen has come under a lot of fire recently because of “dieselgate”, a fiasco in which it was discovered that they had been using special devices to give false results on US emissions tests. The CEO of the company has already resigned, and it looks like there is no way out for what is the biggest automaker in the world.
Or is there? VW recently unveiled a concept electric bike in China called the Bik.e, which is a small, lightweight folding e-bike with rumored aluminum or magnesium construction and a weight of under 20 kilograms. Although not many details have been released concerning the bike, its release soon could coincide with the announcement of a new face for the company, one that is far greener.
Are car company bikes an advertising gimmick?
It is doubtful that the bikes produced by car companies will ever gain traction in a world where people are already struggling to make ends meet. The hefty prices of the bikes they make will make anyone have second thoughts about getting one.
However, it is perfect as a marketing strategy to make themselves look better in the eyes of the public. To companies like VW, this is very crucial right now. If you have the funds to buy one of these bikes, do so if you absolutely have to. And then send us pictures.