There comes a time in most automaker’s lives when they branch out their product line to include various things such as hats, t-shirts, mugs, etc. It’s all about the bottom line and these little knick-knacks make for just a tad more profit.
Road bicycles also fall into that category. BMW, McLaren, RangeRover, and many other brands have fallen into the single track vehicle segment. Hey, it’s all about making that money and providing that much more brand recognition.
We appreciate a funny parody when we see one; this particular creation, called the Fahrradi Farfalla FFX certainly ranks among the funniest we’ve seen in a while. From afar, the vehicle looks every bit like a Ferrari FXX supercar, but once you take a closer look, you discover that the only thing "super" about it is its design.
What lies underneath the specially constructed aluminum frame is, for lack of a better term, a bicycle that runs on the leg strength of the one riding it. For good hilarious measure, folks behind this piece of work decided to turn the skit to a whole new level by producing a video that mocks Michael Schumacher’s SLS "tunnel" commercial, complete with a ridiculous visual effect of the Farfalla FFX driving on the walls and ceiling of the tunnel.
Check out the video (after the jump) and a few photos of a true one-of-a-kind vehicle...err...bicycle. Let the hilarity ensue!
If you’re in Frankfurt basking in the atmosphere of all those concepts and supercars and you happen to see a futuristic-looking bicycle in the showroom floor, don’t be confused because that bicycle is actually part of Ford’s Frankfurt line-up.
The bike is called the E-Bike and its being touted as an electric bike concept that could very well be the future of bicycles as we know it. Apparently, bicycles of the future will have motors of their own. Go figure.
In any case, the Ford E-Bike comes with an aluminum and carbon frame that weighs just 2.5kg (5.5 lbs). This frame comes with a Giant SLR Carbon 110mm stem and a Selle Italia SLR XC saddle. It also has a Shimano Alfine 11-speed internal gear hub, a 2012 Shimano Rapidfire shifter, and where the old bicycle chains used to be, the E-Bike now has a Carbon Belt Drive System.
We never thought we’d associate the word ’bicycle’ with ’powertrain’, but unbelievably, the E-Bike Concept is powered by a front-wheel hub motor that produces an output of 350W with a top speed of 25km/h (15.5 mph) on electric power. The electric motor is joined by a 340Wh, 36V, 9.3Ah Lithium-ion battery that offers a driving range of up to 85 km (53 miles) with the battery capable of being re-charged to 85% capacity in just two hours, and 100% in three to four hours.
Ford has given no indication on whether this concept bicycle will be given the go-signal for production. Considering all the technologies present in the overall set-up of the bike, we’d venture a guess that we won’t see a production version anytime soon.
After McLaren and Audi, Porsche has announced today the launch of two innovative bikes: Bike S and Bike RS (Rennsport).
The Porsche Bike RS features a special carbon frame which offers high stability and extraordinary damping properties thanks to its newly developed modular monocoque construction. The bike is also equipped with 20 speed Shimano XTR gears and 29" Crank Brothers wheels that ensure maximum power performance. Maximum safety will be ensured by the latest generation hydraulic Magura disk brakes.
The S version comes with a high performance aluminum 7005 frame that improves rigidity while providing unmistakable rider comfort. Next to it the bike will also get toothed belt drive system and 11 speed Shimano Alfine IGH, hydraulic Magura disk brakes and a special set of 29" wheels with tires optimized for rolling and road holding characteristics.
The Porsche RS and S bikes will be launched in worldwide markets from autumn 2011 in sizes S, M and L.
Somehow, we’ve gotten used to automakers releasing special edition bikes so it doesn’t surprise us anymore when another brand comes out with their latest two-wheeled offerings.
We’ve seen Maserati, Audi, McLaren, Range Rover, Mini, and even Shelby come out with their own bicycles in the past few months, and now German automaker Mercedes is getting ready to jump on the bandwagon. Best of all for Merc, they’re actually releasing a number of products instead of just one.
Some of the new products that have been released range from a full-suspension mountain bike to a high-end carbon fiber racing bike, to fitness bikes, and yes, even kid bikes with their own set of training wheels.
The full-suspension mountain bike weighs only 12.8 kilos and comes with a Fox Racing F32 RL suspension fork, a DT Swiss suspension strut, a 30-speed x.9 gear shift system from SRAM, hydraulic AVID Elixir 5 disc brakes, and DT Swiss X1900 wheels. All in all, the Mercedes mountain bike, and all the trinkets that come with it, will cost you an exorbitant sum of €3,299, which is about $4,650 based on current exchange rates.
Hit the jump for more of these two-wheeled creations.
When the name Carroll Shelby is brought to our attention, the first thing we all think of is the legendary Shelby Cobra, a car that has to be considered as one of the most popular and iconic in automotive history.
That car propelled the name Shelby to staggering heights. So much so, in fact, that Shelby has become a licensing juggernaut within the industry, having been involved with a number of companies - Classic Recreations and Superformance come to mind – who specialize in building replicas of the iconic vehicle. The latest company to strike a deal with Shelby is Felt Bicycles, which released a special edition line of cruiser bicycles called ‘the Shelby Cruiser’.
The bicycle is made from Felt’s very own hydro-formed aluminum tank frame that also comes with a three-speed Shimano Nexus internal gearing and 36-spoke wheels wrapped in “blue dot” tires to assimilate the look of racing tires. Each of the limited edition bicycles will also come with its own individual badging and serial number to ensure its authenticity. And to ensure that the Shelby image exudes in the “Shelby Cruiser”, Felt decided to splash the iconic Wimbledon White paint finish and accentuated by Guardsman Blue racing stripes in honor of Shelby’s iconic two-tone finish.
If you’re interested in scooping up this limited edition bicycle, you can get one through Felt Bicycles and its retailers for a princely sum of $999.
What’s the deal with all these automakers each coming out with their own set of new bicycles? In the last two months, we’ve seen something new from Audi, McLaren, Range Rover, and Maserati, none of which can be described as anything close to being a four-wheeled vehicle. Bicycles. That’s been the ‘in’ thing these days, and lo and behold, another brand has decided to jump on the bandwagon with the launch of their new – and collapsible – bicycle.
The irony of the bicycle’s uninspiring name given by a brand that’s usually the most creative of the lot isn’t lost on us. But nonetheless, here it is: the MINI Folding Bike. The bicycle is built around a lightweight aluminum frame that can be folded in mere seconds to be stowed inside the car’s trunk – preferably a MINI, we suppose. In addition to the frame, the bicycle’s crossbar, handlebars, and pedals also fold up while the gel seat retracts to save up even more space for when the bicycle is ready to be stored in the trunk. To add to the convenience of it all, the bike only weighs around 11 kilos, which is somewhere around 24 lbs, making it extremely lightweight even relative to the other new bikes we’ve seen in recent months. And to top it off, the MINI Folding Bike also comes with eight gears, a pair of 20-inch wheels with mud guards, an under-seat pouch, and a Teflon-coated chain.
We’ve seen some nicer looking bicycles, particularly the Audi Duo. But in terms of overall style, performance, and ease-of-use, this MINI Folding Bike is one that’s definitely right up our alley.
It seems that a trend has been developing among automakers that has nothing to do with the four wheeled vehicles they produce. More and more brands are coming out with their own bicycles. Yeah, we said bicycles and we don’t mean motorcycles. McLaren and Audi have recently flashed their new products and now Maserati is joining the bunch with their new 8CTF.
The Maserati 8CTF was designed to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of Wilbur Shaw’s victory of the 500 miles of Indianapolis behind the wheel of a Maserati 8CTF and it will be limited to only 2000 units. Each bicycle is hand-built to the driver’s specifications and will be on sale at a price 3600 Euros, or $5,200 at the current exchange rates.
The bike will be distinguished by unique and distinctive details including the silver Trident on a grey background on the hubs, inspired by Maserati’s supercharged three-liter engine. The Maserati logo is found in a 1930s-style chassis plate and trident emblem.
A while ago McLaren unveiled the S-Works Venge Bicycle and now Audi of America has joined the ranks of automakers selling bicycles with their new creation, the Audi Duo. Audi, in cooperation with Renovo Hardwood Bicycles has unveiled this exclusive bicycle in three different models: City, Sport, and Road.
The new bicycle features a monocoque frame made of hardwood that provides a smoother ride. This feature will ensure that the new Audi duo bicycle will be recyclable and biodegradable. Audi is the first automaker to recognize the benefits of, and offer a bicycle made from, wood.
The first model - Duo City - is priced at $6,350 and features an upright position for short distances, comfort, and traffic vigilance, wide puncture-resistant 32mm tires, LED lights, fenders, and a rack.
The next one is called the Duo Sport and is a model priced at $7,350 that comes with the Shimano Alfine 11-speed internal gear hub, drop bars for long distances, minimum fenders, medium width, and puncture-resistant 28mm tires for less rolling resistance.
The last model is the the Duo Road and is priced at $7,460. This last option features narrow tires, no fenders, minimal accessories, and an SRAM Red, compact 20-speed gear train.
This week, we saw BMW release the Carbon Racer and Land Rover introduce the Range Rover Evoque bicycle. Kind of odd to have two automakers release bicycles in the same seven-day span, isn’t it?
Apparently, though, there’s still another automaker – a luxury supercar brand – that also has a new bicycle scheduled for release. We don’t know what the deal is, to be honest, but it seems that these car brands are branching out more than we thought.
McLaren, one of the foremost and esteemed supercar brands on the planet, has just launched their very own sports bicycle, the S-Works Venge. Who would’ve thought?
Built in collaboration with American manufacturer Specialized and designed by Chris D’Aluisio, the head of research and development for Specialized, the S-Works Venge is a high-end performance bicycle that has an aerodynamic frame built completely from carbon fiber and weighs at a ridiculously light weight of less than 1 kg, which is about two pounds if you’re keeping score. Add in all the necessary parts and elements of the bike, including the fork, the seat, the crankset, and the electronic gearshift, and you have the whole thing weighing in at just 2.07 kg, or about 4.5 lbs.
The bike will be available in two different specifications, the McLaren and the S-Works Venge. Both versions are expected to hit the market no later than 2011 with the latter scheduled to hit stores in the UK next month with the former following suit later this year, possibly around September.
We don’t know how this is going to affect McLaren’s rep as a purely exotic automaker, but given that so many other brands seem to share the same train-of-thought these days, launching your own high-performance bicycle isn’t a bad idea.
While the whole concept is something that we’ve come to see in the past, we still raised a curious eyebrow on what appears to be a growing trend among automakers these days.
Not content with producing four-wheeled vehicles, some of the most esteemed automakers in the world have gone the route of building two-wheeled modes of transportation, i.e. bicycles.
The latest to dive in to the bicycle fixation is Land Rover, which is introducing the road bicycle extension for the Range Rover Evoque. Built in cooperation with Karbona and designed by the Land Rover design team headed by director, Gerry MCGovern, the Evoque bicycle uses Formula One-derived technology, featuring a carbon fiber frame with an integrated seat tube, alloy handlebars, black chrome trim, a leather saddle, and a 20-gear Shimano Ultegra system. The Evoque bicycle is expected to be a light, nimble, and clean-looking bicycle that doesn’t compromise its performance capabilities.
Having said that, those interested in the bicycle might as well go ahead and place an order for the whole package, SUV included. Having one without the other just doesn’t seem right, at least as far as we’re concerned.