Audi has unveiled a new line of bikes that are designed to embody the brand’s design values. Appropriately, the two-wheeler is named Duo.
Built by Portland, OR based Renovo Hardwood Bicycles, the Duo line features three high-end bikes with monocoque frames made of hardwood. The wood frames are not only unique-looking, but also lightweight, shock-absorbent and biodegradable. Riders may be forgiven for thinking the bikes are made from the surplus from swaths of timber that cover the dash of an A8, as bicycle frames and finishes were selected to mirror the interiors of Audi automobiles.
“An evolution of the ongoing Audi commitment to progressive ideas, the Duo serves as both a work of art and a mode of transportation that blends beauty and craftsmanship with performance and technology,” the automaker said. They’re clear to distinguish the Duo as “not as a design exercise or a mere rebadging of a commonplace bicycle,” though we’re sure that’s a dig at other German automakers who have sullied their status with sub-par cycles.
If Audi wants consumers to think of the Duo as a work of art, they’ve certainly priced it accordingly. The lineup starts with the City, a “café/leisure” bike (ugh) that runs $6,530 with fenders, LED lights and a Shimano Nexus 8-speed internal hub coupled with a Gates CenterTrack belt drive. Next up is the $7,350 Sport, with skinnier tires, drop bars, smaller fenders and a 11-speed Shimano Alfine internal gear hub.
Topping the range is the $7,460 Road, shown above. With narrow tires, no fenders and an SRAM Red 20-speed gear train, it’s a nice bike, for sure, but for the same price one could build a great bike around a carbon-fiber frame. According to our friends over at GadgetLab, at least a wooden frame can have scratches buffed out and refinished.
Via Wired Autopia: http://www.wired.com/autopia/