Put the pedal to the metal

MAKING TRACKS: The BMW M Carbon Racer, priced at US$2,799, wears the "M" logo of the German carmaker's high-performance division. In black and red, the bike is meant for demanding use.
Put the pedal to the metal

SLEEK: The US$8,000 Porsche Racing Sport is inspired by the 911 sports car. It weighs less than 9kg and has a 20-speed gear system
Put the pedal to the metal

SEXY: The Impec Lamborghini 50th Anniversary Edition costs US$32,000, and is loaded with carbon-fibre components. Only 50 will be built.


    Jul 01, 2013

    Put the pedal to the metal

    IMAGINE your new Lamborghini racing down the road, the wind tousling your hair, the tyres straining through a corner, the adrenalin pumping.

    And then it starts to rain. This is a problem: Your Lambo is a bicycle. A US$32,000 (S$40,600) bicycle, no less.

    Through the decades, cars and two-wheel (or one-wheel) conveyances lacking motors have co-existed, usually peacefully.

    And today's race cars and racing bikes have some technology, engineering and style in common. So it's perhaps not surprising that some of the most advanced premium bicycles are designed by, or sold by, car companies.

    While bicycle engineering is generally one way, borrowing on the vehicles' colours, logos and material textures, sometimes the sharing filters up from the bike manufacturers to the car engineers.

    Take the very-limited-edition Aston Martin One-77, created by Bf1 Systems, which devises electrical systems for Formula One racers. The One-77 (only 77 were made) has a touchscreen integrated into the handlebars; sensors provide data on speed, power and cadence.

    Be warned: One won't find high-end models in the local bike shop or at mass-market merchants. They are available usually in limited editions, through the carmakers' lifestyle boutiques and online accessory catalogues.

    Here's a closer look at some bikes sold though carmakers:


    The company says it borrows design engineering from the motorised side of its business and has been refining its bikes for more than six decades.

    The US$2,799 M Carbon Racer in black and red - the "M" signifies BMW's Motorsport division - is meant for demanding use. Specs include a full-carbon frame weighing just over 7.3kg, a Shimano Ultegra 20-speed derailleur system and sizes of 21, 22 and 24 inches. There's a sassy children's bike as well, for US$353.


    The Impec Lamborghini 50th Anniversary Edition, built by the Swiss company BMC, costs about US$32,000. Incredibly sexy, the bike is loaded with carbon-fibre components and suede-covered handlebars and saddle. Only 50 will be offered on a build-to-order basis.


    For US$548, a bike built by Dahon, which has been producing folding bicycles for about 25 years, collapses to fit in the trunks of Mini cars. The contraption is fairly light, at about 11kg, with an eight-speed shift system and 20-inch wheels.


    The sports-car company offers RS (Racing Sport) and S (Sport) models.

    With a sleek style inspired by the 911 sports car, the RS is the pro model at US$8,000. Constructed with carbon fibre - it weighs less than 9kg - it has a 20-speed Shimano gear system and custom pedals.

    The US$4,500 S, framed in aluminium and offering 11 gears, is slightly heavier and comes in three sizes.

    Although the pair of Porsche-branded bikes released last year are built by German bike-maker ADP, they were designed in a Porsche studio in Austria "to incorporate the Porsche genes of weight and styling", according to Mr Adam Miller, product manager in North America for Porsche's Drivers Selection goods.