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Hold on to your wallet – the Aston Martin bicycle is here

The so-called hyperbike is just the thing to be parked next to your supercar

Cyclists take to the streets during Dubai Fitness Challenge. How many of them will feel a need for Aston Martin's luxury bicycle? Wam
Cyclists take to the streets during Dubai Fitness Challenge. How many of them will feel a need for Aston Martin's luxury bicycle?

In Dubai, we’re all used to the sight of elite supercars on the streets. But get ready: the superbicycle could soon be joining them.

Aston Martin, the British car manufacturer forever associated with James Bond, has saddled up with the British bicycle designer J. Laverack to produce what the PR says is “a road bicycle without equal”.

It was launched in the UK last week to some fanfare, and will be available in the Middle East just as soon as the orders are placed and the bicycles custom-designed in Aston’s legendary plant in Gaydon, Warwickshire, England.

How much? We’ll get to that later.

Marek Reichman, chief creative officer at Aston Martin, says the bike, branded the .1R, is “essentially a titanium hypercar on two wheels”, which strains the analogy a little.

But forget that as you marvel at the “integrated four piston brake calipers”, thrill to the “smooth unions of the lugs and tubes”, and wow at the “3D printed titanium tips on the carbon crank arms”.

Despite the titanium frame, the virtually bolt-less assembly, the customised specification and the colour-scheme matching the shades of Aston Martin’s supercars, the .1R is still, at the end of the day, a bike.

So how much? Price available on application, you’re told.

Regardless of how much you pay, the .1R will deliver a “viscerally exhilarating riding experience” that will “delight everywhere from the rough cobbles of Flanders to the soaring climbs of the Pyrenees”, a breathless PR man writes.

Frank Kane on Dubai Eye

I wonder how it will perform on my chosen cycling track – the pedestrian-dominated walkway that encircles the Dubai Marina?

Some backstory: I was given a bike as a Christmas gift a couple of years ago. Of course, it is nothing like the .1R, being a Taiwanese-manufactured Giant Talon (love the name) that cost less than AED2,000 ($540) and was delivered from Mall of the Emirates in a van with many other similar bikes.

The only customization was the addition of a crucial soft cover for the wicked-looking saddle.

But it has changed my life. At my age, exercise options become limited. Running is out with my knees, and anything more strenuous than swimming or walking (both ultimately boring, I found) was just too much.

Cycling, on the other hand, was perfect. It provides just the level of exertion to get my heart-rate elevated, according to the Apple watch, and make it feel like a proper work-out, especially in high temperatures and humidity.

So now, maybe five times a week, I do the 10k course around the Marina that takes around an hour, with stops for stretches and push-ups.

I know, that’s not exactly the mountain stage of the Tour de France, but it works for me, and gets me out of the house to play my favourite game: avoid the pedestrian.

A version of the Aston Martin/J. Laverack .1R bicycleAston Martin
A version of the Aston Martin/J. Laverack .1R bicycle

The number of ways the Marina’s walkway amblers can stymie a cyclist is almost infinite: the photo-taking tourist who takes that last-minute step back to get a better angle; the toddler who changes course erratically and without warning; the dog on an almost invisible lead; and – worst of all – the kamikaze hordes of electric scooterists whose one aim is to force me helmetless head-first into a lamp-post.

The .1R would get some admiring glances, I’m sure, but how the “integrated four piston brake calipers” would deal with all that is hard to say until I take one out on a test drive on the Marina track.

But how much, I hear you ask impatiently?

Aston Martin/Laverack makes you fill out an online form detailing what specification and customisation you want before it will answer that question.

However, the consensus on bike chatgroups after the launch was that you could think about $50,000 as an entry level. One advised: “If you have to ask how much, you can’t afford it.”

Which, on the scale of hyperbikes, actually makes it pretty good value. Certainly better than the 24 gold-with-diamond-insets Extreme Mountain Bike at $1 million, or the $500,000 Trek Madone Butterfly bike with – get this – “real butterflies embedded in the frame”.

I’m sure there will be a market for the .1R in the Middle East, if only for the show-off value.

Matching bike and supercar will be irresistible for those with more money than sense.

Frank Kane is Editor-at-Large of AGBI and an award-winning business journalist. He also acts as a consultant to the Ministry of Energy of Saudi Arabia

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