So this has been making the rounds over the last couple of days. Another really expensive designer bike.
I wonder when and where it was, exactly (or roughly), that cycling became a fashion accessory rather than a good way to get from A to B for so many people. I suppose that sentiment itself is a complete luxury – I should be glad of it, as even a superficial appreciation of bikes increases their acceptance and normality to the general population.
In any case, as far as luxurious fashion accessories go, Pininfarina pretty much embodies it. For bikes, 43 Milano does a pretty good job. Together, they have made the Pininfarina Fuoriserie. I have two views on this project, and the first is this:
It is a very nice bike indeed. Nice tubing, fine materials to accessorize the bike with, a good quality of mechanical componentry from the motor, lights, brakes, cables, etc, and reasonably clean overall presentation. It appears to be well made, with high quality parts, and with a good bit of flair. Let’s hope it makes for a nice riding bike.
I’d never ride one.
I mean, I don’t have a lazy $7,500-$12,000 just lying around, but aside from that, I’m just not that guy. I don’t even like wearing t-shirts with brand names on them (not big obvious ones, anyway). I’m not very flashy, even if I do appreciate high quality goods. I don’t like to be seen as looking like I’m trying to be looked at, if you know what I mean. I realize that this is my problem and not anyone elses, and by having this attitude (basically, thinking that people who have a different view than me are less… informed?) I’m no better than my object of mild scorn, but that’s just the way it is at the moment. Maybe one day I’ll learn to look past these things. People are hypocrites. Or at least, I am.
Anyhoo, the other view I have on this project stems from this line of thinking – the one that doesn’t like passive or aggressive peacocking, and that is the part of the project that isn’t the bike itself, but the story. The hype. The marketing. The image. The ridiculous copy…
Does anyone get sucked in by this? I suppose some must. Admittedly, they only have to sell the 30 that will be produced, which they will no doubt do with ease.
From the 43 Milano website, we learn that the Fouriserie is “fully innovative bike that features the typical lightness and retro appeal of a Fixed model”. That’s probably where the hefty pricetag comes from, the fully innovative part. Like a steel frame with lights built into it, electric motor, and insanely exclusive leather coverings. Someone will have to explain these things to me because I’ve never heard of them before. Also, I like my fixed bikes to have a massive electric motor in the back wheel, and weigh, most likely, somewhere near 20kg. But never mind that, because this bike also handles the job of being a tourist with ease, so there’s that. Look for it at your local bike share kiosk.
From the Pininfarina website, the first 3 sentences contain the well trodden descriptors such as, tailor-made, bespoke, unique, pure design, tradition, innovation, and craftsmanship… all of them are true, actually. So… ok then. And, the more I look at it on the Pininfarina website, the more I can appreciate the concept. It’s actually a pretty attractive looking bike that hasn’t been too over-done, and it references Pininfarina’s history quite well.
So maybe I should just relax and appreciate this for what it is. I’ll down-grade my earlier view to having just 1.5 views on this project. Maybe 1.25 views, even. Nice bike, that, the Fuoriserie. Pity I’ll never have one.
Header image: Pininfarina