When Car Manufacturers Make Bicycles

Monday 26th June 2017

Car manufacturers are not stupid. They know what sells and they know what markets to pitch to. Obviously like most of our audience, we are lovers of pedal power so when car companies dive into the cycling industry with their tech teams, it does turn heads. The famous Lotus 108 which Chris Boardman rode on his way to his Olympic title is legendary in cycling folklore and is an example of a successful collaboration of when different worlds merge. But the guys at Merlin Cycles would like to remind everyone that a match made in heaven could sometimes turn out to be a match made in hell! (Words by the MC guys).

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It may not come to anyone’s surprise but in the wild world of bicycles, car manufactured bikes exist, many designed by car brands we are all familiar with. But why did they make them? Whatever the real reason, you can be fairly certain that for the majority of these they weren’t bothered about anyone ever buying them, let alone actually riding them.

Jeep 

If in doubt, don’t give your bike a brown and cream paintjob.

Audi 

Some really nicely executed details but one great big horrible whole.

BMW

A Whyte PRST-1 mixed with a Cannondale Headshok. And sold on through ASDA.

Lamborghini

This bike comes to you from the same brand that brought you the Gallardo. It just doesn’t make sense does it?

Lancia

It’s not exactly a Delta Integrale.

Spyker 

Sometimes too much is too much.

Lexus

Okay so they’re not exactly amazing but it is nice to see some more sedate designs from a car company.

Volvo

Yep, it’s a Cannondale really. From the days when mountain bike racing attracted some serious sponsorship money.

Kia 

The whole aerobike craze is spreading into about-town shopping bikes now. Bonus points for the red chains.

Aston Martin 

So tragically near and yet (look at the fork) so, so far.

Ferrari

Who doesn’t lust after a Ferrari? Hmm… we’ll get back to you on that.

Ford

Now there is some debate here as to whether this is an official Ford item or not. Initial observations suggest not but this bike does come up a few times in different places when Googling for it. So, maybe it is real. Ford have produced dozens of other similarly ropey looking bikes over the years anyway.

Maserati

Some desperate hipster wannabes may possibly think this is a stylish looking bike. It really isn’t. Those rims. Those seat stays. That brake. That chain. Ugh. Nice pedals mind.

Saab

We do secretly quite like this one. BMX stylings meets folding bike utility meets Slingshot bikes from the 90s.

Honda

Not a pretty bike but one of the most race-winning DH bikes of all time. Cool to have a ‘top secret’ drivetrain design hidden away in the middle of the bike too. What was in the box? The first incarnations of the Honda DH bike had some sort of CVT design (constantly variable transmission) but the UCI didn’t really approve of non-indexed gear systems so the latter designs had what was essentially a derailleur-in-a-box.

Peugeot

The only company who have managed to use a chequered flag motif in a stylish and effective way. Their iconic black-and-white jersey is well known. As is their grey, orange and white bikes of the 1980s. This yellow and chrome affair (above) is simply one of the prettiest road bikes ever.

Audi 

This only looks acceptable because your eyes have just experienced the two bikes above. Wood veneer effect = Atari console from the 1980s.

Renault 

What is the most ugly bit of this bike? It’s actually quite hard to decide.

BMW 

Folded up and ready to put into a skip.

Hummer 

A re-badged Montague bike and as such is very probably an okay bike as a leisure sort of bike. But it’s got HUMMER slapped all across the top tube. Naff-ola!

Mercedes-Benz

We particularly like the optimism of fitting a toddler’s balance bike with a kickstand.

Porsche

Just look at it.

Yamaha 

You gotta love the idea of this bike (from the 1970s no less). But you can’t deny it’s a ugly hunk and must have been a dog to ride.

Caterham 

We’re not anti-disc brakes by any means but how nice is it to see a super-modern road bike that still has rim brakes on it?

Delorean 

Bike To The Future.

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