Cycling is fun but it can be expensive if you want to ride a bike that boasts high-end craftsmanship. With escalating fuel prices and increasing environmental concerns, wealthy consumers are now choosing to buy custom-made, high-end bicycles to experience the joys of cycling.
Whether it is a two-wheeler bike that comes gold plated, studded with dazzling Swarovski crystals, made with real butterfly wings, custom made with carbon fibre and chrome or with high-tech features, it is definitely meant for the discerning. Check out some of the most impressive and expensive bicycles that have ever been designed and sold.
1) Damien Hirst “Butterfly” Trek Madone
The Butterfly Trek Madone is listed as the most expensive bicycle in 2015. This exclusive bicycle was a one off creation designed by British artist Damien Hirst and ridden by Lance Armstrong during the 2009 Tour de France. It features real butterfly wings rather than pictures or artificially made wings. The butterfly wings were beautifully placed and lacquered onto the actual framework down to the Bontrager rims of the Trek Madone so the bicycle glimmers in the same way as a butterfly shimmers when light catches it.
2) Trek Yoshitomo Nara Speed Concept
A custom built time trial bike, the Yoshitomo Nara Speed Concept was designed by Trek and decorated by the renowned Japanese artist Yoshimoto Nara.
The bicycle sports a carbon fiber frame for lightweight and maximum speed and was designed for extreme competitions and racing. It is embellished with a cartoon motif of children and flying UFO’s along with Nara’s own take of the Livestrong symbol.
Lance Armstrong rode the bike during the 18th stage of the 2009 stage of the Tour de France. The bike sold at Sotherby,s auction for $200,000.
3) Aurumania Crystal Edition Gold Bike
This bicycle is exclusively handcrafted and almost entirely plated with 24 carat gold. Even the wheels and spokes are gold plated and the bike has over 600 dazzling Swarovski crystals adorning the body. The seat is from the traditional saddle maker Brooks and is made of the finest leather while the handlebars have grips made with hand-sewn, chocolate brown leather.
The gold leaf that is encrusted on a leather badge on the front of the bike sports the limited-edition number. Aurumania also sells a gold plated bike rack for more than $6,000.
Only ten of these spectacular Crystal Edition gold bikes were made by the Swedish manufacturer Aurumania. The first to be sold was to a man in London who wanted it to hang on one of his walls as an art piece. They are hand delivered worldwide to the buyer in specially designed packaging that exudes extreme luxury, like the bike itself.
If you don’t like the crystals or the $101,400 price tag is too much for you, Aurumania make the gold plated bike without the crystal adornments.
Aurumania means “preoccupied with gold”.
4) Chrome Hearts x Cervelo bike
The special edition of the standard Cervelo P4 TT was designed with the American luxurious leather and jewellery brand –Chrome Hearts.
The plain Cervelo P4 TT model usually retails around $6,000, this special edition Chrome Hearts edition goes for $60,000.
The bike features lots of leather, Chrome Hearts custom graphics and is encrusted precious metals and rhinestones.
5) Aston Martin One -77 Cycle
Based on the One-77 car, Aston Martin’s most advanced and expensive model ever, the British car manufacturer teamed up with Norfolk based bicycle manufacturer Factor Bikes to create the One-77 bike.
From its frame and forks to the handlebars the bike is made from carbon fiber to keep the weight low, and has hydraulic disk brakes, an electric gear mechanism and integrated LED lighting plus a high tech on-board computer system with touchscreen display detailing information such as speed, temperature, rate of climb and power. It also measures ECG, respiration rate and core body temperature.
The bike even has Bluetooth technology to share data with your smartphones and other devices. This bike has been described as “the world’s most technologically advanced road bike”.
6) Koga Spyker Aeroblade
Koga-Miyata and the Dutch based prestige supercar manufacturer Spyker built a custom-made titanium frame complete with striking orange tyres, a matching coloured quilted leather saddle and handlebar grips by Hulshof.
The Aeroblade’s features also include an aluminium fork, wheelset and mudguards in carbon and a special version of the Rohloff hub gear transmission. The bike is sporty and comfortable and available for $15,850. Only 50 of these bikes were made.