Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Ever Wonder What a $20,000 Bike Looks Like?

With the Tour de France in its final stages, and the riders turning towards Paris at last, I'm sure there are more than a few of us who are climbing aboard are road bikes, and dreaming of riding on the Champs Élysées in the Yellow Jersey. While that is an impossible dream for most of us, that doesn't mean we can't at least ride a bike that is fitting for the toughest cycling event on the planet. Outside magazine has posted a profile of five of the most advanced bikes that are currently in Le Tour, including a $20,000 ride that is unlike any other.

If you're in the market for a new bike, or the TdF has inspired you to get into cycling, than any one of these five bikes will make for an impressive ride. While the high end models have been built specifically for the best riders in the world, there are consumer models designed for you and me that are more than adequate fore our needs, not to mention much easier on our wallets.

Amongst the bikes that Outside spotlights are the Trek Émonda, which is the lightest production bike at the planet, tipping the scales at just 10.25 pounds (4.6 kg), a full 4 pounds (1.81 kg) lighter than the minimum requirements for the Tour de France. The top end version of Émonda will set you back $15,750, but the entry level model costs just $1650, although it isn't quite so svelte.

Other bikes on the list include Pinarello Dogma F8, which defending Tour champ Chris Froome was riding before he crashed out of the race, and the Lapierre Aircode, which is being ridden by rising star Thibaut Pinot, who is currently riding in third place at this year's race. The Fuji Transonic also puts in an appearance on the Outside list. Its claim to fame is that it is extremely efficient out on the road, shaving watts off the rider's effort, which translates to better times, particularly when time trialing.

Perhaps the most intriguing ride in the bunch is the Specialized S-Works McLaren Tarmac, a bike that was designed in conjunction with the McLaren super-car company. It has been built for speed and performance, and comes with a price tag to match. The bike, which is shown in the photo above, costs $20,000, and only 250 of them have been made. Two riders in the Tour are aboard this bike – Jacob Fuglsang and Nicolas Roche - and it is truly a thing of beauty to behold.

Of course, most of us can't afford the high end modes of these bikes, nor would we see the performance gains out of them that would make them worth our while. But like a high performance sports car, it is fun to dream about them none the less. The consumer models of these bikes are still fantastic rides however, and certainly well worth considering if you're in the market for a new bike.

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