With the festive season on us, the annual problem of ‘what to get for the dyed in the wool motor fan’ rears its head. You’ve already found the matching key ring, the boot liner, all the Autoglym a heart could desire. Last year you all went on a track day and the Goodwood Festival of Speed tickets are already booked. For the next seven years.
If that’s the case, what about a bike to match the car? And I don’t mean a Ducati or a Harley, I mean a good old fashioned push-bike. After all, Christmas is traditionally the day for every good boy or girl to find a bike under the Christmas tree - at least one year. Whilst this may seem a little off the wall in adulthood, the automotive industry is well ahead of you.
Several high end automobile manufacturers have produced matching bicycles - for one thing there’s a lot of engineering in a modern pushbike so plenty of scope for the automotive engineers to transfer their ethos to another dimension.
So, for our festive special, I thought I’d take a look at three pedal powered offerings from the motor industry.
How much is that Porsche in the window?
If there’s one thing that modern bicycles are, it’s definitely not cheap. With a featherweight carbon frame that needs to be tough enough to survive on the toughest terrains the Porsche Bike RX comes in at a cool £4,500. Before you exclaim “I could buy a car for that”, take a look at its swooping lines and its Porsche motorsport colour scheme. At 10kg - including suspension forks and hydraulic disc brakes this could be an off road racing weapon. With a Porsche head badge. Swoon.
You could equally go for the more budget aluminium version (a mere £2,500) or the eye watering RS in full carbon with bling components from elite suppliers like Crank Brothers and Hope which shaves the weight down to 9kg and pushes the price up to £6,200.
But in matt black with lava orange design elements - the colour of the Porsche 911 GT3 RS - who’s looking at the price tag?
Convinced? Check out the Porsche site here.
Land Rover has a good range (rover… badoom-tish!)
At the affordable end of the spectrum Land Rover bikes have been available in the UK for over a decade. The bikes are a collaboration between Land Rover designers and established specialist bike brands.
There is a much wider range available - from kids bikes (coming soon) to city hybrids and both hardtail and full suspension mountain bikes. These bikes are serviceable steeds kitted out in pretty decent kit at more affordable prices. City bikes and hybrids start at £325 with the reassuringly named ‘All Route’ and the top of the range full suspension alloy mountain bike, the Dynamic Air is (by bike industry standards) a very reasonable £1,299. This comes with contemporary 650B wheels, Shimano gears and RockShox suspension.
Whilst I’d have liked to see a bit more Land Rover in the mix - maybe a proper Defender Green paint job, a Camel Trophy beige or G4 orange - they look smart enough.
The full Land Rover range is here.
Before you relax into the ‘reasonable price bracket’ let’s quickly look at the ultimate drivers’ bike.
Fascinating Aston Martin
In the 1990s Aston Martin commissioned some bike frames from high end custom frame builder Chaz Roberts of Roberts cycles. They were sent to Aston Martin where they were given a 17 coat paint and clear coat job to precisely match your car. Whether ridden or not, I’m sure those bikes looked just great next to the Aston in the garage.
Fast forward to Aston’s latest collaboration. Markus Storck, founder of Storck Bicycles, has been at the forefront of innovation in carbon fibre for decades. Initially the collaboration between Aston Martin and Storck set out to incorporate some of Markus’ specialist knowledge into car design - however, at some point the two companies decided to expand their ambitions and create a bike. The limited edition (107 only) Fascenario.3 Aston Martin Edition sells for a cool £15,777.
Before the ‘how much?’ brigade pile in, this is an ultralight carbon race bike designed by engineers who really care about aerodynamics and building strength with the absolute minimum weight. Its svelte form is kitted out in the crème de la crème of bike componentry - from SRAM Red wireless electronic gears through barely-there THM Fibula 2 brakes to carbon Zipp 303 NSW wheels. This combination weighs in at a mere 5.9kg (to put that in context, it’s nearly a kilo less than the minimum weight of Tour de France bikes). Plus, of course, it comes in a custom colour. ‘Argentum Nero’ subtly shifts from grey to green to silver - and will feature on a future Aston Martin car collaboration with Storck.
OK, all those things sound mightily expensive and nothing with the Aston Martin name on it is going to be cheap, but I am still having trouble getting my head round it. That’s more expensive than most of the cars I was insuring with GAP insurance when I started out. And it doesn’t even have an engine.
Fascenario'd? More here.
Whilst these three bikes are pretty trick, it’s unlikely they would trouble the mind of the average - or dedicated - cyclist (even those happy to drop a few grand on their dream machine - and I have met these people so they definitely exist) I am pretty convinced they’d be something that the brand über fan would be happy to find under the tree.
by at 22 Dec 2017, 00:00 AM