This weekend, Monaco played host to Like Bike Monte Carlo, described as “the most glamorous bike show on earth”, and rightly so. The inaugural exhibition took place over the 2015 Easter weekend, with visitors travelling from "cycling-obsessed" countries such as France, Italy and Germany to take in the show.
Organisers of the event warned visitors not to expect a traditional bike show, stating that Like Bike Monte Carlo was to selectively focus on some of the most exclusive products and companies in the industry.
True to their word the exhibition did not disappoint. Shows of this kind ordinarily present the latest models of bikes and components to cycling fans that are accustomed to the familiar brands and technology. Like Bike however, had a much wider appeal to cycling and non-cycling fans alike, thanks to the exceptional array of innovative and exciting products and designs.
From the latest in integrated smart technology developed by Kickstarter funded COBI, allowing the rider to control music, navigation and even body temperature from a single console; to innovative bike designs and ground-breaking use of luxurious materials, with one particular bike fetching €50,000.
French cycling industry legends Look, were there with their latest integrated brake technology, exhibiting alongside the less familiar luxury designer Veloboo, with their exquisite bamboo and 24 carat gold bicycle, of which only 30 will be made, to the value of €38,000.
With palatial traditional design, came sophisticated visions of the future. Christian from Zanzotti, the designer behind the coren took the time to talk us through his state of the art creation. He describes the coren as an urban bicycle made of carbon fiber. The frame is made of very high tensile strength T1000 carbon fibres, which are otherwise used almost solely in Formula 1 monocoques.
The avant‐garde shape and the design of the frame: super‐slim top and down tubes, lend the coren a “unique visual lightness”. This perceived lightness is realised with the bike weighing in at 6.8 kilograms. The bike stretches the common perception of the traditional bike design, challenging the known by exploring new possibilities with innovative materials and design concepts.
Where some were venturing into new realms with materials, others were redefining the use of natural materials, through the use of cutting-edge technology, the results being extraordinarily beautiful. Best in show for this was the Italian designed Selva.
According to the makers,“Selva is an exclusive bicycle whose trademark is its wooden frame. It is produced by mixing high technology and old artisanal skills, with the contribution of a distinguishable touch of Italian design. Every single bike is in wood and can be custom-tailored upon request.” The bike will be sold for around €12,500.
Aesthetically pleasing and durable, wood is argued to be stronger than every cyclist’s favourite - Carbon. DVOIKA explained that the technique used in production of their mountain bike, “Perfect Day” combines 3D computer design and numerically controlled production with careful and passionate handcrafting. The usage of composite materials ensures high durability of the frame, excellent performance and good shock absorption making it a perfect bicycle for off-road rides. When asked if it ran the risk of cracking, they explained that wood has multi-directional flex and is therefore less likely to crack than carbon.
For cyclists familiar with the mechanics of bikes, the marriage of the elegant workmanship of the wooden frames, with the latest technology of branded components, makes for a stunning combination. A luxurious and striking way to get around and perhaps something that will be seen more frequently in the future.
Wood, gold, carbon, fabric, and even fur bicycles were on display, but the showstopper was the magnificent Cipollini RB100 Luxury Edition, unveiled at the glamorous event.
The man behind the bike is the renowned ex-professional rider and cycling legend, Mario Cipollini. The former world champion road cyclist and multi-stage winner of the Tour de France already has his name to a range of bikes but with this he wanted to “create something new and without precedent, going beyond the limits”
The lavish front logo of the bike is made from18 carat gold, platinum and 17 carat diamonds and the carbon frame is detailed with platinum writing. The magnificent bike is valued at €50,000. Cipollini was there himself to reveal his latest creation; arguably the most luxurious bike of all time and officially affirming the Like Bike event as the most glamorous bike show on earth.