Wooden bikes from Audi (no foolin’)

Commuter, Concept, E-bike, Road 10 3

Espresso brown Audi duo city

I am off to China for work again tomorrow, so new posts will be infrequent for a few weeks. I’ll try to write a few quick ones when I can find some free time though, so keep checking in.

Before I leave, I want to quickly just pass along a few links of interest.

Serran red Audi duo road

At first, I thought this might be an April Fool’s joke due to the timing of the press release, but tomorrow, Audi of America will launch “the duo – an Audi-inspired bicycle collection that embodies the best of both worlds: luxury and performance.” Bikes from automakers have been discussed on this blog before, but these are a little different. The bikes from Audi will be wooden…handmade in Portland, OR by Renovo. The three new models will be available in hardwoods selected to match Audi vehicle interiors.

Basic features and prices (including shipping & handling) are outlined below:

duo City – A cafe/leisure bike, urban explorer and all-weather commuter; the most approachable bike for casual cyclists.  Features include an upright position for short distances, comfort and traffic vigilance; wide puncture-resistant 32mm tires; LED lights; fenders; rack; and Shimano Nexus 8-speed gear train. Price: $6,530

duo Road – A performance road bike, good for club and century rides. Features include narrow tires; no fenders; minimal accessories; and SRAM Red, compact 20-speed gear train. Price: $7,460

duo Sport – A fitness, long-distance all-weather commuter, perfect for cyclists seeking long-distance comfort and safety.  Features include drop bars for long distances; minimum fenders; medium width, puncture-resistant 28mm tires for less rolling resistance; and Shimano Alfine 11-speed gear train. Price: $7,350

Two of the new Audi models will feature the Gates Carbon Drive CenterTrack belt drive system. Recently, Gates, along with Fallbrook Technologies, announced a concept pedelec e-bike that uses the NuVinci N360 hub, which features an infinite number of gear ratios within it’s 360 degree range.  More on that bike here.

I mentioned the Nectar and Elixir seat clamp bottle openers from Swarm a while ago.  Since that time, they have been able to hook up with new manufacturers and lower their costs, so they have a new Kickstarter project underway.

Speaking of Kickstarter, Nubia Rahim is working on a bike related film that sounds pretty cool. Check out the page for her project here.

If you are not already familiar with ‘Roll Over America’ (ROAM for short), check out the website. It is a coast-to-coast velomobile race that will take place July and August of this year. This race should draw some pretty interesting machines, so you can bet that I will be following the site as the start in Portland draws near.

Finally, I’ll mention that Cycling Satin Cesena is continuing to post about the Taipei Cycle Show. You can find an updated post about the 2011 IBDC “Excellent” and “Merit” award winners here, and a post about the Innovative Products Competition here.

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10 Comments

  1. Nate April 1, 2011 at 1:08 pm -  Reply

    The Duo Sport appears to have STI style shifters for the Alfine 11… Could this be true?

  2. Marc April 1, 2011 at 4:52 pm -  Reply

    $6,530 for a commuter bike? Really?

  3. Jami April 1, 2011 at 5:51 pm -  Reply

    Since Audi Drives tend to be some of the most aggressive and inconsiderate to cyclists (in my experience), I wonder how their bicycles will compare?

  4. Ted Lewandowski April 1, 2011 at 6:06 pm -  Reply

    You think they would include a Selle Italia leather saddles at that price point – what is the advantage of using hardwood over chrome-moly tubing? Seems very destructive to me – I would not want to be responsible or for that matter be creating demand for more trees to be cut down – especially what seems something created just for status. I guess Audi never heard of bamboo.

  5. Nick F April 1, 2011 at 7:06 pm -  Reply

    Yeah agreed, the price points across the board on these are just plain stupid.

    The real April fools here is when someone jokingly tells Audi that they’d buy one of these overpriced pieces of garbage.

    I have no problem with wooden bikes whatsoever, but for that price, you could commission someone to build one for you totally custom, and forget about this absurd non-sequitur branding. It’s not like you’re even paying for “great Audi design” either, because these just look like run of-the-mill-carbon frames redone in wood.

  6. Steve A April 2, 2011 at 2:14 pm -  Reply

    I find it interesting that the commuter with the Renovo name on it lists for $2950 as a finished bike with the 8 speed Alfine. Audi must have its overhead completely out of control for the Audi version to cost nearly $3000 extra. Presumably, at that price, the Audi version includes the pictured $50 Topeak bag, which I don’t think is included with the Renovo-labeled bike.

  7. mommus April 4, 2011 at 8:08 am -  Reply

    Very pretty, but I’d rather have a nice brand new motorcycle.

    • James Thomas April 8, 2011 at 6:47 pm -  Reply

      Oops…glad you noticed that. I corrected the typo in the post. Thanks for the link to the local news article as well.

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