I spend a lot of my time fantasizing about cars that I could add to my garage. I also spend a lot of time fantasizing about having a bigger garage. While I appreciate cars and plan on owning many more in the years ahead, I don’t have much opportunity to actually collect them. They require appropriate storage space, insurance and regular maintenance.
I still love my cars though and regularly dream of them. I feel that owning a Ferrari would give me a deeper connection to Formula 1 racing. I want to drive an Aston Martin to live out some of my James Bond fantasies. Maybe if I owned a Range Rover people would think I was a celebrity. Lacking both the funds and storage space, it is unlikely I will ever own any of these fine vehicles.
Then I realized that all three of these companies also offer bicycles. It makes sense that car companies should also offer bicycles. It was Peugeot that changed the design of bicycles to have two equal sized wheels driven by a chain back in 1886. Since then, there have been variations on the design but almost every modern bicycle can trace its roots back to the Peugeot design.
While not as high profile as collecting cars, bicycle collectors can be found around the world. Within our own forums we can see Doc’s 1948 Whizzer and mklewis’ Evans 400 being proudly shared as part of their collections. A J.C. Higgins Flight Liner Bicycle was identified as a good find on the game show Picked Off.
So why not start a focused collection of bicycles manufactured by the car companies that I love? There are certainly plenty of options available fitting a huge budget range. This collection could bring some of the connections to the famous marques that I love so much.
My love of Alfa Romeo is fairly easy to accommodate. Compagnia Ducale manufactures a range of bicycles bearing the Alfa logo. For under $700 I could be riding a stylish Alfa Romeo Stradale Touring around town. With a bit of financing I could even have an 8C Competizione with it’s high tech carbon fiber frame designed for performance complete with Campagnolo wheels as found on so many of their cars.
Occasionally, I like to get a bit more aggressive with my bike riding and hit the trails so I would need something more rugged. Land Rover has a wide range of bikes available to meet the needs of just about any budget. But I prefer the Hummer bicycle developed by Montague. This bike is designed to fold for easy transport without sacrificing any of the strength one would expect from a product bearing the Hummer name. Given Montague’s reputation for building quality bikes, I would expect this to provide years of service in my collection.
Back in Germany, BMW has been developing bicycles for the past 50 years. Loving the M series of cars, I expect the same sort of performance to be found in an M series bicycle. Unfortunately, BMW states they cannot ship these 7.2 kg competition bikes outside of Europe. If I were to go through the effort of finding an exporter I would end up paying more than the list price of 2,750 Euros to obtain one.
Then there are the exotic cars I dream about. Ferrari has teamed with Colnago to produce the Ferrari CX 50 which seems like a nice enough bike to bear the prancing stallion badge but Maserati’s partnership with Milani resulted in an award for the best road bike by T3 magazine, making it the bike I’d rather get. Then I look at the competition beast that McLaren developed with Specialized, the Venge. Costing almost 5 times more than the Maserati, the Venge is held up as the ultimate bike for racing.
Of course, the Venge was last year’s ultimate bicycle. This year, Aston Martin, working with Factor Bikes, released the One-77 bicycle to compliment the One-77 supercar. Just like the car, the bicycle is being limited to a production run of only 77 units which only increases the collectibility factor. For £25,000 a lucky buyer gets their choice of seven different colors and some of the most incredible technology ever packed into a carbon fiber bike frame. While it’s not uncommon to have a speedometer or even EEG readouts of the rider, this bike also displays the torque being applied to the crank on each side of the bike.
There are far more partnerships between auto and bike manufacturers that the handful of examples I’ve provided so far. A number of car manufacturers have already produced electric bikes as well. In that alternate world where I get to collect everything that interests me there would certainly be a bike rack filled with exotic bikes mirroring my passion for cars.