Bikes from car manufacturers are always controversial. They can range from being genuine innovations, marvels of technology or stunning tribues to a company to, as is all too often the case, lame branding exercises. BikeRadar have compiled a list of some of the more interesting examples on the market.
Back in 2009, British automotive manufacturers McLaren approached Specialized about a possible link-up between the two companies. Fast forward to July 2010 and Specialized had submitted a prototype of the Venge aero road bike to McLaren's carbon fibre and aerodynamics experts.
In the spring of 2011 the production McLaren Venge was launched, a £12,000/US$18,000 halo bike branded as the fastest UCI legal road bike ever. Check out Mark Cavendish's updated 2013 S-Works McLaren Venge here, and watch a video of the original bike below:
Back in 2012, Aston Martin worked with Norfolk-based firm Factor to create a bicycle to be sold alongside the ultra-exclusive, £1.2m Aston Martin One-77 supercar. The bike borrowed some of the technology used in the Factor001, previously hailed as the most advanced bicycle ever made.
The One-77 road bike got Factor's own power meter cranks, a 100+ function, handlebar-mounted computer, integrated lights front and rear and even hydraulic disc brakes that work with Di2 levers. It was limited to 77 examples, each priced at £25,000.
A recent collaboration between Italian supercar manufacturers Lamborghini and Swiss bicycle brand BMC resulted in a limited edition bike built to commemorate 50 years of the brand's cars.
The Impec proudly boasts top-end Italian componentry and is finished in an exclusive yellow and black to celebrate the success of the Lamborghini emblem, a raging bull. Limited to just 50 examples worldwide, one of these will set you back €25,000.
Montante for Maserati
Italian supercar manufacturers Maserati wanted a way to celebrate the 70th anniversary of their victory in the Indianapolis 500 race, and what better way than to commission Italian bike builders Montante Cicli to produce a retro bicycle.
The bicycle was debuted at the Paris Motor Show back in 2010, with production said to be limited to 200 examples – mimicking the number of laps of the Indy 500 completed by 1940 winner Wilbur Shaw. The car used for the victory was the legendary Maserati 8CTF, the same car Shaw had driven to victory at the same race in 1939.
The bike gets a number of stunning details inspired by the 8CTF, including leather detailing to match the car's interior, and even an individual chassis plate for each model.
Koga Spyker Aeroblade
Dutch sports car brand Spyker are behind some of the most extravagant and unique vehicles on the market today, so when they made the decision to build a bicycle it was only ever going to be something special. They paired with Dutch bike company Koga, and the duo set out to make a commuter that's far from the norm.
A titanium frame and fork is just the start of the story; if you're wondering what that unique finish is on the wheels and mudguards, it's an aluminum glass fibre that's been coated with a carbon composite. Both the handlebar grips and saddle are provided by the Hulshof Royal Dutch Tanneries, the same people behind the luxurious interiors of Spyker cars.
Polished Formula hydraulic discs at both ends and a 14-speed Rohloff transmission add to the exclusivity. Speaking of which, only 50 were made.
Condor Lotus Type 1 LC Racing
Car manufacturers Lotus and cycle experts Condor have a lot in common, both being British, founded in 1948 and still producing products in low numbers to this day. Lotus are, of course, no strangers to two wheels, with their heritage stemming back to the 108 and 110 Olympic carbon fibre pursuit bikes. To celebrate 65 years of both firms, a special edition bike was created in 2012, limited to – yes, you guessed it – 65 examples.
Adorned with a livery that stems back from John Player Special Formula 1 cars from the 70s and 80s, the Type 1 LC Racing gets a Campagnolo Chorus Carbon group, Mavic's Cosmic Carbone SLR wheelset and Deda finishing kit in a build that totals a claimed 7.25kg (16lb). If you're after one then four sizes are on offer, each with a price tag of £5,200.
Got any more to add to the list? Let us know in the comments area below…