Bicycling is fun, but it can cost you a fortune if you want to drive the one which boasts high-end craftsmanship just like the high-end cars. With the escalating fuel prices and increasing environmental concerns, even the wealthy consumers are opting in custom-made, high-end bicycles to experience the joys of pedal power every now and then. Luxury is something that could come your way in any form and if it’s simply a two-wheeler that comes gold plated, studded with dazzling Swarovski crystals, made with real butterfly wings, custom made with carbon fiber and chrome, or with high-tech features, it definitely is meant for the discerning. We have listed here some of the most expensive and impressive bicycles that have ever been designed. Take a look.
Designed by renowned British Artist Damien Hirst and ridden by Lance Armstrong during the 2009 Tour de France, the Butterfly Trek Madone bike was auctioned off at Sotheby’s, raising $1.3 million for the Texan’s Livestrong charity. The bike was sold for $500,000, which makes it the most expensive bike in the world. Real butterfly wings were used in the making.Trek Yoshitomo Nara Speed Concept
During the same Sotheby’s auction of Lance Armstrong’s race bikes, another Trek bike called Trek Yoshitomo Nara Speed Concept was sold for a whopping $200,000. The carbon fiber Time Trial bike was embellished by Yoshitomo Nara with a cartoon motif of children in boxing gloves and flying UFOs, along with a Livestrong logo.Kaws - Trek Madone
The Kaws - Trek Madone was sold at the same auction for $160,000. The bike features KAWS’ signature “chomper” teeth pattern that has been applied on the bike frame and bike rims. It was designed to celebrate Lance's participation in the 2009 Milan-San Remo race.Aurumania Crystal Edition Gold Bike
This Gold Bike Crystal Edition from Aurumania is exclusively handcrafted with more than 600 dazzling Swarovski crystals adorning the gold plated body. A gold leaf encrusted on a leather badge on the front of the bike sports the limited-edition number. Aurumania sells the bike for 80,000 Euros (US $101,400).Trek Madone 7-Diamond
Auctioned off at the annual Lance Armstrong Foundation Gala in New York back in 2005, the diamond-encrusted Trek Madone 5.9 SL went for $75,000. The bike had a Diamond 7 emblem set in a spoke pattern with sparkling diamonds. There was a Diamond 7 plaque in 14 carat white and yellow gold, which had seven one-carat yellow Gemesis diamonds.Chrome Hearts x Cervelo Bike
While the standard Cervélo P4 TT bike sells for around $6,000, this limited edition Chrome Hearts x Cervelo Bike asks for a whopping $60,000. Designed in collaboration with Cervélo, one of the the world’s most prestigious bike manufacturers, this bike has been decked out with custom Chrome Hearts graphics, leather, precious metals and rhinestones.Montante Luxury Gold Collection
The Luxury Gold Collection women’s bike from Italian bike maker Montante comes adorned with 24 carat gold leaf coating, python leather finish and 11,000 Swarovski stones. The Montante Luxury Gold Collection bike is priced at $46,000.Phanuel Krencker's 'Bicyclettes de Luxe'
At the seventh edition of the North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS), exhibitors from around the world showcased their unique creations. Among them was Phanuel Krencker, a young French builder, with his “Bicyclettes de Luxe” luxury bicycle. Designed with luxury in mind, the Bicyclettes de Luxe is a striking chrome and carbon fiber custom bike with a bespoke frameset and other custom parts. The frame of the bike has been built by Cyfac using fillet brazed steel lugs and bonded-in carbon fiber tubes. All the metal parts of the bike have been mirror-polished, and the carbon fiber fork has been done in chrome paint to add to the overall appearance. The front and rear disc brakes are courtesy of German company Tr!ckstuff. Other luxurious details include the custom aluminum Rohloff shifter body, the Baccarat crystal head tube badge, the custom calfskin and alligator hide coverings on the saddle and lever hoods, gold plated decals and stunning paint job on the frameset. Pricing for the Krencker’s Bicyclettes de Luxe is available on request, but Christophe Jobic, the director of Riverside Publications, guesses the bike to be worth around €25,000 ($34,425). For his unique bikes, Krencker gets all the components from Europe, and does the rest of the work in his house in the Les Vosges Mountains.KGS ‘Tier 3’ custom bike
Custom bicycles from the house of KGS Bikes are for the most discerning cyclists. Kevin Saunders’ “Tier 3” custom bicycle priced at a cool $30,000. The one-of-the-kind custom bicycle that costs almost equivalent to a car comes etched with fine woodwork and comfort riding that adds an immeasurable value to the buyer’s life. Saunders says his high-end KGS bicycles are as exclusive as a Lamborghini, Rolls Royce or Bugatti.Beru Factor 001
Beru’s Factor 001 bike boasts the latest technologies from motor sport, from aerospace and from the world’s top materials research laboratories for the F1 sort of experience on its two wheels unlike conventional bicycles. The high-tech bike features a fully integrated, multi-channel ergonometric data recording system to track your athletic performance by collecting and analyzing laboratory-quality data in a real-world environment. The Factor 001 bike sells for £22,000 (US $33,400)BMC Hublot Team Machine
An upshot of a collaboration between BMC and Hublot, the BMC All Black Hublot Team Machine edition bicycle has pedal bearings contain ceramic material to reduce friction and the frame is made from carbon fiber for strength and rigidity. Produced in a limited run of 30 bikes, the All Black bike is priced at $19,500.Colnago for Ferrari CF8
Time and again, we have seen Colnago’s successful collaboration with Ferrari that results in technological intersection in a series of revolutionary bicycles. Yet again, one more shared attempt by Ferrari and Colnago has rolled out new models of limited edition bicycles CF8 and CF9. The models were exhibited at the EICA exhibition in Milan in July and are now available for sale. The fist bike in this range is the Colnago for Ferrari CF8. It is a limited edition with just 200 pieces available out of which 10 are produced exclusively for Ferrari. This bicycle has all the advanced technologies attached to it like Shimano Dura Ace Di2 electronic gear that changes in less time than other counterparts. The frame of the cycle is handcrafted by carbon fiber that is known for its strength and durability. Other striking features of the bicycle are the integrated battery in the frame, integrated FSA one-piece handlebar in carbon fiber and incorporated FSA one-piece handlebar in carbon fiber. Despite all these features, the bike weighs just 6.9-kilograms (15-pounds).Colnago for Ferrari Di2
Colnago's successful collaboration with Ferrari has made us see extensive technological crossover in a series of ground-breaking bicycles. In yet another collaborative effort with the great Italian Formula One car maker, the new Colnago for Ferrari Di2 is an exceptional technological icon that screams the highest quality Italian craftsmanship. Sporting a carbon fiber frame, this limited edition racing cycle weighs a mere 6 kg owing to its 3PRS technology to strengthen the frames internally. Equipped with improved frame, advanced Dura-Ace Di2 electronic gear shifting along with a highly balanced handling, this latest made in Italy masterpiece from Colnago will be limited to only 50 units. Priced at $16,700, the client can order this racing cycle with perfect customization from the Ferrari store.Priced at $16,700, the client can order this racing cycle with perfect customization from the Ferrari store.Sculpture in Motion: Eric’s Teardrop by Josh Hadar
Price: $12,000 - $35,000
Entering the Sculptor Josh Hadar's Manhattan studio on Broome street, or 2 car garage, expect to be assailed with stunning designs of beautiful sculptures that adorn this small SoHO. And looking closely, you will find these sculptures are not just for posing, but can be used for going too. Yeah, Josh has created these beautiful moving sculptures of motorized Bicycles in metal and glass and unlike traditional american choppers which are low, long and gas guzzling fatso's, you will be shocked to see how streamlined and bicycle-like these motorized cycle cruisers are. And what more, these very cool city cruisers run on very eco-friendly human power and a small non polluting motorcycle engine which is a far cry from the huge gas guzzling V-twin. That is one brownie for being nature friendly. That is right, with the Eric's Teardrop bike, you actually have to pedal your way across town and engage the small motor once you get tired exercising, but you sure will look very bling doing just that. These green machines even have hand blown glass fuel tanks to give you that chic cruiser look. Each cruiser can be customized to not only the owner's physical size, but also to every whim and fancy. You can choose from a huge range of materials like nickel to gold for the frame, eelskin seats and hand spun aluminum wheels just to give you a perspective on how custom this motor-cycle-cruiser can get. And these motor-cycle-cruisers sell for $12000 to $35000 depending on what all goes into the bike and will be delivered in three months of placing the order.Spyker Aeroblade bike
The custom-built Spyker Aeroblade titanium bicycle is a result of partnership between Spyker Cars and Koga, manufacturer of top end bicycles. The bike is sporty and comfortable, and features Spyker look, Spyker colors and Spyker logos. Produced in a limited run of 50, the Spyker Aeroblade bike comes for a cool 12,500 Euros ($15,850).Enigma titanium bike
Digi Foo-Kune will never be able to forget the Cycle Show 2009 where her husband surprised her with a custom-built titanium bike, personalized with inset diamonds and 18ct gold parts and trim. Earlier, he had promised to present her with an Enigma frame, but then he secretly went to award-winning jeweler Nicholas James of Hatton Garden to customize the bike to create an unforgettable wedding anniversary gift. Foo-Kune’s hubby paid a cool £10,000 ($15,200) for the bike.ETA’s gold-plated Charge Plug bicycle
In celebration of Green Transport Week 2008, a UK-based insurance company dubbed ETA unveiled a 24K gold-plated Charge Plug bicycle complete with customized seat, handlebars and chain. The custom-made, 24ct gold-framed bike was priced at £9,500 ($14,420).Delta7 Ascend
For the adventurous types, bicycles that do not stand the test of time are nothing but an annual expenditure. Even strong steel frames do not do the job for them as they choose terrains, where even an SUV gives up. The kind of ascendancy they target can only be trounced on Delta7’s latest offering, the Ascend bike. What makes it tougher than all others on display is the carbon-fiber usage which makes it ten times stronger than a conventional steel frame. Every inch of the $12,000 price tag is justified, for it even has an extremely tough bottom bracket, not to forget the ride quality it brings at the same time.Porsche Sports and Rennsports bikes
With the biking scenario speeding up and designer brands introducing their bicycles, the health conscious consumer has indeed got a bonanza of choices. Earlier we had covered such examples such as the Chrome Hearts Cervelo bike that was embellished with precious stones and metals and even used the finest quality of leather to set itself apart from competition. This time, luxury car maker Porsche has introduced the Sport(S) and Rennsport(RS) bikes that combine safety, comfort and of course, the style that comes with the brand. Other than the common hydraulic brakes and monocoque framing, The RS and S models have been bestowed with several distinctive features. The Porsche RS bike has 29 inch Chrank Brothers wheels with special curvatures ensuring superior road grip and stability of the bike. Also for changing speeds, there are 20 options in the gearing box to choose apart from the carbon fiber framing, which together ensure superior comfort like the cars from the same company. The weight of this model is 9 kgs in all, making it extremely light weight overall. On the other hand its cousin, the Sport (S) model is slightly heavier at around 12 kgs on body weight. The basic framing is done in Aluminum 7500 grade metal which is slightly heavier, but is overall easy and light weight for handling purposes. The tires are of the DT Swiss variety with similar curvatures like its RS cousin, ensuring the supreme road grip and overall stability of the bike. For the quicker cyclist, there are 11 options in the gear box to choose from while riding this bike. The RS version of the bike is retailed at $8485 a piece, while its junior cousin retails at $4748 a piece. Depending upon choice, these cycles can be ordered in 3 sizes, namely Small, Medium and Large.Jerónimo Slütter Ti bike
Designed to deliver an outstanding riding experience, the custom bicycles from Jerónimo Cycles in Tenerife, Spain are designed with functionality, aesthetics and craftsmanship in mind. One of the many amazing creations from the house is the Slütter Ti bike, which has been especially designed and built for the rider who seeks innovation without compromising on the classic touch given by materials such as titanium and leather. The Slütter Ti bicycle has been handmade using only CWSR Titanium Grade 9. Pedro Jeronimo has designed the Slütter to be an all-rounder bike. The titanium bike comes fully assembled and the customers can always have their last say on the choice of components and the design. Boasting a classic, custom or semi sloping design, the Slütter Ti features Gates Timing Belt Drive Carbon Shimano Alfine gear hub, double-butted tubing, integrated seat post, leather saddle, 100 percent carbon fork, a Shimano Alfine internal rear hub and the titanium satin matte natural finish. The pricing for the Jerónimo Slütter Ti bike starts at €5,990 (approx. US $7,950).Rare Tiffany & Co. Silver Mounted lady's bicycle
Price: $50,000 - $70,000
Aficionados of 20th century decorative arts, particularly admirers of rare and unusual Tiffany creations, must read this. A rare Tiffany & Company Silver Mounted lady's bicycle will be offered at an upcoming auction at Bonhams NY in early June. This superb 1890s built Tiffany fixed gear bicycle is fitted with carved ivory handles and a Brooks saddle. The lot description says that only a few such luxury two-wheelers were produced and one of them was specially made for Lillian Russell, one of the most famous actresses and singers of the late 19th century and early 20th century, known for her beauty and style, as well as for her voice and stage presence. The spectacular silver mounted lady's bike is expected to sell for between $50,000 and $70,000. Check out more close-up shots in the image gallery.