In recent months we've seen a stunning looking concept bike from Peugeot and a production mountain bike from BMW. The latest car manufacturers to jump on the cycling bandwagon are Lexus, with their new Hybrid Bicycle Concept electric bike.
As you'd expect from Toyota's luxury vehicle division, it's a striking machine with some high-tech touches, including all-wheel drive courtesy of a 240W electric motor at the front and a belt drive supplying pedal power to the back wheel.
Lexus say it also has "an electric eight-speed Shimano internal gear system" – perhaps an Alfine hub modified to work with Dura-Ace Di2 shifters? – and an 'energy regeneration function' that recharges the 25.9V lithium-ion battery behind the seat tube by capturing kinetic energy generated under braking.
First unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show last year, the company claim that the 17kg (37.5lb) Hybrid Bicycle Concept "captures the fundamental engineering and design values of the brand, but with two wheels rather than four". There are no current plans for it to become a production model.
Great British Bike Ride
In other news, Lexus are sponsoring this year's Great British Bike Ride from Land’s End to Twickenham. Running from 1 to 4 September, riders will cover around 80 miles a day, with overnight stops hosted by local rugby clubs. Individuals and teams are welcome to take part and can opt to cycle the whole route or a single stage.
Fund raised will be split between Help for Heroes, the Rugby Players’ Benevolent Fund and the RFU Injured Players Foundation. The event will be held annually and organisers hope to bring in £1.5 million for good causes over the next five years. For details, visit www.greatbritishbikeride.com.