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Changing lanes

Cycling has become increasingly trendy, as enthusiasts look to stay fit, help the environment and save money on transportation.

Published: 07th July 2012 10:06 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th July 2012 10:06 AM   |  A+A-

Bicycles-W

Ordinary is the new revolutionary. In this greed-for-speed age, some maximum cities are moving towards a more minimalist approach. So in case you’re wondering what comes after the Prius, the answer is Copenhagenizing. That, for the uninitiated, is the slow bike movement, or biking around as they do in the Danish capital, at a comfortable pace, usually without a helmet.

Cycling has become increasingly trendy, as enthusiasts look to stay fit, help the environment and save money on transportation. The fact that celebrities and trendsetting hipsters have hopped aboard their own saddle seats doesn’t hurt either. Perhaps that’s what has got the fashion brands to take a ride into the territory. Consider Dolce & Gabbana’s limited-edition leopard printed bike, the Animalier ($2,048). Or the two-wheeled offering from Pineider, makers of superluxe stationary and leather accessories. The brand has created a cycle in collaboration with Olmo and named it 1774, the year the company was born. Both Hermes and Chanel (the latter with a quilted pedal casing and a bag at the back) have done bikes too.

Going for $14,000, Gucci’s bike has been designed in collaboration with Bianchi, the Italian manufacturer known for high-performance racing bicycles while Fendi has teamed up with Italian bike maker Abici to create the Selleria bike for $10,000. To give your bike additional luxe appeal, the marque lets you trick it out with a leather-covered thermos bottle, a GPS with a hand-stitched leather cover, rear packs fashioned from gazelle fur and a leather mini-trunk. Clearly, the It-Bag has been replaced.

Even iconic car makers like Ferrari and Lamborghini have got into the act. Their cycles, like many others, are built with carbon fibre, low-profile performance tyres and tight gearing rations. But they cost almost as much as a small car. While the Ferrari bikes start at $16,700, a Lambo costs $26,700. But that doesn’t seem to be deterring bikers. China, for long referred to as the ‘kingdom of the bicycle’, is witnessing a renewed boom in the demand for cycles—only this time they’re luxury cycles and the ask is coming from the nouveau riche. In the Wenzhous, Zhejiang province, a Lamborghini bike is reportedly sold every one or two months. The Mercedes-Benz cycle too has many takers, especially since it comes with a Smart badge and sells for $3,700, a reasonable price when compared to the Lambo and Ferrari.

Guess, sometimes, you have to spend money to save money. Or at least to save the planet— luxuriously.


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