Clingy lycra, helmet hair and a rusty bicycle you have not ridden in years — cycling does not exactly have a glamorous reputation.
But if you are a billionaire who bikes, there are lots of options. From an £800,000 bicycle made from 24-carat gold to a leather basket that costs more than a car, cycling can be ultra-luxurious.
And with a £2 billion government scheme to get Britain cycling announced this week, there’s more reason than ever to get back on your bike — without having to slum it in the saddle.
Here, SARAH RAINEY guides you through the blingiest bikes and cycling accessories around…
Haute couture cycles for fit fashionistas
There is no need to compromise on style with a range of couture bikes and matching accessories.
The £7,300 Fendi Abici Amante Donna is a bike designed for women and bedecked with leather chain cover, leather GPS holder and a detachable Fendi basket, as well as fur saddlebags.
Dior Homme made 100 models of its high-end BMX bike for men, with a gold-effect steel frame and calfskin details — yours for £3,500.
The £7,300 Fendi Abici Amante Donna is a bike designed for women and bedecked with leather chain cover, leather GPS holder and a detachable Fendi basket
And if you fancy a bicycle ride for two, why not snap up Paul Smith’s tandem for a bank-busting £20,000, made with high-end cycling specialists Mercian?
It comes in lightweight steel with flashes of colour, and is modestly described as ‘one of the most beautiful tandems in the entire world’.
Other designers jumping on the bike bandwagon include Chanel, Gucci, and Kate Spade.
World’s most expensive saddles
As comfortable as sitting on a throne — and, at £1,900 apiece, not much cheaper — Crown saddles, are the crème de la crème of bike seats.
Made from Kevlar and carbon fibre, covered with finest leather and finished with gold, platinum or rhodium plating in beautiful and limited-edition artworks, they are almost too good to sit on — but not for a billionaire’s behind.
Made from Kevlar and carbon fibre, covered with finest leather and finished with gold, platinum or rhodium plating, the £1,900 saddles are almost too good to sit on
The German-made pieces can be made to each buyer’s bespoke design, which is airbrushed on top using gold leaf and intricate hand-stitching. At just 100g, they are incredibly light, too, so your bike can zoom along in style without being weighed down.
£380,000 artwork decorated with butterfly wings
Art lovers can battle it out over Damien Hirst’s famous butterfly bike, once ridden by Lance Armstrong in the Tour de France.
The one-off cycle, made by lacquering real butterfly wings on to the frame of a Trek Madone bike, was auctioned off for charity at Sotheby’s in New York in 2009, where it made an astonishing £380,000.
Art lovers can battle it out over Damien Hirst’s famous butterfly bike, once ridden by Lance Armstrong in the Tour de France
While Hirst — whose other artworks include a shark immersed in formaldehyde and a diamond-encrusted human skull — said he liked the way the wings shimmered in the light, animal rights activists cited his ‘horrific barbarity’.
Mobile cocktail cabinet for DRINKIES ON THE GO
Forget bringing water or an energy drink for rehydration — how about carrying a mobile bar on your next bike ride?
For £30,000, you can fit your cycle with a luxury cocktail cabinet, complete with porcelain goblets and silverware, from French leather specialist Moynat.
The accessory, which also comes with napkins, crockery and has plenty of room for a bottle of the finest champagne, features a fold-out table for alfresco wheel-top dining.
For £30,000, you can fit your cycle with a luxury cocktail cabinet, complete with porcelain goblets and silverware, from French leather specialist Moynat
Other options include a £160 vintage beer can holder from Walnut Studiolo or a leather wine bottle holder (£46) from Bristol-based Temple Cycles. Just don’t drink and ride.
Blinged-up jewellery for bike lovers
Made from a brass bicycle chain plated with gold, Burberry’s £290 bracelet is the perfect gift for bike lovers.
For £650, there’s a palladium-plated bicycle-chain necklace fitted with a string of pearls.
Made from a brass bicycle chain plated with gold, Burberry’s £290 bracelet is the perfect gift for bike lovers
Alex Monroe sells a gold-plated necklace with a bicycle pendant (£180 or a tandem for £210), while Paul Smith makes a pair of gold and silver bike cufflinks for £100.
Celebrity cyclists setting a trend
From Pippa Middleton on her £800 vintage Pashley, to Natalie Portman on a £280 retro Schwinn, A-listers love being on their bikes, making the activity seem less frumpy —and more fabulous.
Actress Jennifer Aniston was a cycle courier when she was a struggling actress in New York, while a photo of singer Taylor Swift, riding in Paris went viral in 2012. Other big names who like bikes include Beyonce and Brad Pitt.
From Pippa Middleton on her £800 vintage Pashley (left), to Taylor Swift riding in Paris in 2012 (right), A-listers love being on their bikes, making the activity seem less frumpy
‘Ski-boot’ shoes that will set you back £800
Trainers just won’t cut it if you want to cycle like a pro. So why not try some Comete Ultimate kicks, by cycling experts Mavic, on for size?
At £800, the shoes, which were five years in the making and dubbed ‘the most expensive cycling shoe ever’, comprise an outer carbon shell with a soft, removable inner liner — like a ski boot.
The dual system is supposedly not only more comfortable but also more energy-efficient. The makers say it means your ankle can move more freely, meaning you need less exertion to push the pedals.
At £800, Comete Ultimate kicks were five years in the making and dubbed ‘the most expensive cycling shoe ever’
There are moisture-wicking vent holes and different liners to suit different weather conditions (hot, wet or cold), as well as a removable rubber heel pad to stop you from slipping.
24ct gold bike worth more than a Ferrari
Fashioned from 24-carat gold encrusted with 600 black diamonds and 500 golden sapphires, the Beverly Hills Edition bike, by luxury manufacturer The House of Solid Gold in 2014, is worth £800,000.
Only 13 models — complete with brown crocodile skin seat and solid-gold water bottle holder — were ever made, all signed by the maker and customised to each buyer’s specific tastes.
An extreme mountain bike, it’s designed for riders who like to go off-road, though it’s not known if anyone has ever been brave (or foolish) enough to ride one.
Fashioned from 24-carat gold encrusted with 600 black diamonds and 500 golden sapphires, the Beverly Hills Edition bike is worth £800,000
Cyclists closer to home can invest in The Brogue, a London-made model which comes with vintage leather upholstery and diamond-encrusted handlebars. A collaboration between jeweller Nicholas Fitch and leather designer Simon Harcourt, it costs £25,000.
M55 has a range of gem-studded electric bikes, which can be decked out with Swarovski crystals or diamonds. Prices start at £29,000.
A helmet? Try an airbag
For the safety-conscious billionaire, the £289 inflatable Hovdig helmet is a must. It’s worn as a zip-up collar, which, in case of an accident, uses sensors to inflate like a hood around your head in 0.1 seconds.
For £200 there is also the Lumos Kickstart helmet, which lights up at night and has indicator and brake-light signals.
The £289 inflatable Hovdig helmet is worn as a zip-up collar, which, in case of an accident, uses sensors to inflate like a hood around your head in 0.1 seconds
The Spurcycle bell (above), is the most expensive on the market at £70, and comes with a lifetime guarantee
Varia Vision glasses by Garmin (£310) let you see text and call alerts, as well as notifications of cars approaching from behind, as you ride. And the MonkeyLectric Pro 2500 wheel light (£1,499) creates holograms and other images inside your wheels as they go round.
The Spurcycle bell, is the most expensive on the market at £70.
£11k to make light worth of steep hills
The Specialized S-Works Levo SL Carbon 2020 electric mountain bike, is £10,999 but it is made from super-strong, lightweight carbon fibre, meaning you can tackle the steepest hills without losing face.
The Specialized S-Works Levo SL Carbon 2020 electric mountain bike, is £10,999 but it is made from super-strong, lightweight carbon fibre
For those with very deep pockets (and extra puff) there’s the Smartech Extans Akhal Shadow bicycle for £29,000 (selfridges.com).
With a lightweight, rigid, carbon-fibre frame and sleek lines, there are just 99 limited editions hand-made to order. Make sure you have got a very strong bike lock.
Super computers track your speed
The £1,000 Moskito cycling device is one of the priciest gadgets around. Made in Switzerland from the finest components, it tracks your speed, distance and average pace and uploads all the data to an app on your smartphone.
The £1,000 Moskito cycling device is one of the priciest gadgets around. It tracks your speed, distance and average pace and uploads all the data to an app on your smartphone
At £650, the SRM PowerControl 8 cycling computer is the professional rider’s gadget of choice. It monitors your altitude, speed and heart rate, and can store up to 4,000 hours of data from four different bikes.
If you have £850 to burn, Garmin’s Vector 3 power pedals are the business. They track your power, balance and dynamics, and upload information to your smartwatch or smartphone.
There’s luxury kit for kids, too
There is no need to scrimp when it comes to kitting the kids out with all the best cycling gear.
The Veloretti helmet, which costs £69.99 and comes in matte gold, silver or rose gold, adds bling while keeping children safe on their bike rides
The MegaBeast by family brand MeekBoyz is the ultimate rich kid’s ride. Costing £6,400, it’s a high-performance mountain bike with a lightweight carbon frame and racing saddle, designed for children aged between three and 15.
The Veloretti helmet (£69.99), in matte gold, silver or rose gold, adds bling while keeping them safe, and they can pair it with Balenciaga kids’ cycling shorts (£175).