From the sublime to the ridiculous

Last month I was moaning about the cheap excuses for mountain bikes being sold on the net and in the back of the Sunday supplements.

Last month I was moaning about the cheap excuses for mountain bikes being sold on the net and in the back of the Sunday supplements.

But it's not only the crappiest cycles which are winding me up.

Chanel have just launched their very own city bike in time for Christmas - for a stonking £6,200.

Yes, it's quite smart, if you like the old-fashioned double C logo and the bizarre quilted handbag design which pervades the fashion house's designs.

However, for that price you could buy a Scott Addict R1 or a Giant Anthem Advanced and still have change from £5,000.

My own hybrid - a perfectly serviceable city bike, could be bought 10 times over for the price of Chanel's black beauty.

So what do you really get for your cash, besides the designer labelling?

Well, it's "ergonomically designed" - hardly an innovative concept. It's also got eight gears, a pump, some lights, and a saddle bag. A bargain I (don't) hear you cry.

What particularly bothers me is that the Chanel model is not spectacularly different from the classic Pashley Roadster, which costs less than £500.

At a reported 36lbs, it's a few pounds lighter than the 3 speed Roadster, but what else is there to recommend it? Such a logo-flashing design is bound to attract unwanted attention. If I'm supposed to spend 10 per cent of my budget on protection a decent thief deterrent should cost me, err, £620. With 10 Abus Granit X-Plus D-locks there'd be some chance of it not being swiped - but I doubt these bikes will ever leave the double garages of their oh-so-on-trend owners.

Chanel's is not the first designer bike of course. Italian fashion house Gucci has its own bike display outside its Paris store. And Armani launched a bike collection in 2005.

Presumably Chanel designer Karl Lagerfield was inspired by the recent popularity of the Parisian bike hire scheme Velib. But the sturdy Velib bikes cost just a few euros to rent.

If there's any joy to be taken from the production of something so ridiculous it's the confirmation that cycling continues to be fashionable. Let's just hope Primark doesn't launch a copy.

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