Will the wheel ever be reinvented?

"Synthesis of the highest technology"

What was at the very beginning of their company history for Opel, Peugeot and Chevrolet is still a tradition today for many car manufacturers: As before, a number of manufacturers offer a range of bicycles, some of which are extensive, although this is probably also a matter of prestige.

In any case, a look at some top models reveals a true arms race, with exclusive components and extravagant design increasingly also the subject of hybrids and the promising market with electric bikes playing a role.

A Ferrari for 12,400 euros
Peppered with "innovations from Formula 1", the new Ferrari flagship bike, the Di2, built in cooperation with Colnago, was recently presented.

The promised "synthesis of the highest Italian technology" is not only strictly limited - with a price of over 12,000 euros, Ferrari remains true to its company philosophy, which is geared towards exclusivity.

"Reinventing the wheel"
But not only Ferrari apparently attaches great importance to proving that apart from the car business, they also know something about building high-quality bicycles. Quite the opposite, for example at Mercedes-Benz: "You could almost say that Mercedes-Benz reinvented the wheel."

There is no question that the Stuttgart-based car company is not afraid of competition with Ferrari and Co. not only in Formula 1. In the bicycle business, too, they want to stand up to the competition with the limited edition racing bike "developed for top-class sport".

Award-winning Maserati bike
Maserati also offers strictly limited vehicles
"Sporty elegance, paired with style and luxury" for cyclists, whereby the Italians leave nothing to chance and rely on the know-how of the traditional bicycle manufacturer Milani.

The cooperation comes from the Veloce model, which was named the best road bike of the year by the British technology magazine "T3" in February.

"Strong emotions" promised
Since 2006, Alfa Romeo has also been taking part in the car manufacturers' arms race, which is taking place outside of the main business, and according to its own information, only the "best technological components of the last generation" are used.

As with its cars, Alfa Romeo wants to arouse "strong emotions" with its wheels, which is why the 8C Competizione is deliberately reminiscent of the sports car of the same name.

BMW M with pedal drive
Meanwhile, BMW is promoting its Cross Country model as a sports car among mountain bikes. The Bavarians also want to enrich their wide range of bicycles this year with a limited model from their motorsport department known under the abbreviation M.

Porsche relies on hybrids
The range of bicycles from the German sports car manufacturer Porsche could also continue to grow in the near future. With the prototype of the RS Hybrid mountain bike presented this year, the know-how acquired so far in the field of hybrid drives is also to be transferred to the bicycle. According to the online car magazine Classic Driver, the project sounds promising, which is why series production does not seem unrealistic.

Like Porsche, the Japanese luxury car manufacturer Lexus has so far left it open as to whether that futuristic-looking hybrid bike should ever come onto the market, the development of which, according to the online magazine Gizmag, should also have taken into account technology from the motorcycle of the series world champion Valentino Rossi.

"Not that we get ourselves wrong"
VW works council chairman Bernd Osterloh was far more specific when asked whether a Volksrad should be expected in addition to the Volkswagen in the face of the Bik.e presented at Auto China and already described by "Auto Bild" as an "electric replacement tire".

From Osterloh's point of view, electric bicycles are certainly a possible new business area. At the same time, however, Osterloh made it clear to the "Stuttgarter Zeitung": "The automobile remains our core business, not that we get it wrong".