Not too long ago we posted a story about how Audi was tapping into the downhill ski market with carbon fiber skis... today the auto manufacturer are making bicycles - wooden bicycles.
With gas prices on the rise and the world going 'green'... I guess making a bicycle is the next logical step for a car brand. Audi of America is teaming up with Renovo Bicycles to create the 'duo'. These bikes feature a monocoque frames made of hardwood that boasts the quarter of the weight compared with aluminum while maintaining the stiffness and durability of a traditional frame. The handmade wooden frames are made and intended to match the look of an Audi vehicle's interior.
Below are Audi's three models of duo bicycles:
The duo City is designed as a daily commuter for casual cyclists and sees the rider sitting in an upright position to provide comfort over short distances and visibility while cruising through traffic in urban areas. It has wide puncture-resistant 32 mm tires, LED lights, fenders and a rack. To ensure the rider doesn't arrive for work with the pants covered in grease, the bike's drivetrain features a grease-free Gates CenterTrack belt drive coupled to a Shimano Nexus 8-speed internal hub gear. It retails for an all-inclusive (shipping and handling is included on all duo bikes) US$6,530.
The duo Sport is intended for those spending a little longer in the saddle. Designed as a fitness/long distance commuter, the Sport drivetrain also boasts a grease-free Gates CenterTrack belt drive but it is coupled to a Shimano Alfine 11-speed internal gear hub. For greater comfort over longer distances the bike also features drop bars as well as minimum fenders and medium-width, puncture-resistant 28 mm tires for reduced rolling resistance. The duo Sport retails for US$7,350.
The last model out of the bike rack is the duo Road, which as its name suggests is a performance road bike aimed at club and century rides. It sports narrow tires, no fenders, minimal accessories and an SRAM Red, compact 20-speed gear train. It retails for US$7,460.