A video from a new website, Bicycled Bikes, that claims to show bicycles being made out of scrapped cars has gone viral in recent days, appearing on dozens of trend-hunting and cycling websites. But is it all that it seems? We’re not so sure.
When they say the bikes are ‘recycled’ out of cars, they’re not kidding.
The belt drive? Made from a car’s transmission belt. Bartape and the saddle cover? The vehicle’s seat covers. The seat clamp? That’s a door handle.
What we don’t see is where exactly where the tubing comes from, and the wheels… well, they look to us like standard bicycle wheels.
As a concept, it’s an interesting one, but we do have to wonder how good a bike it would be.
In fact, we’re retaining some healthy scepticism, and strongly suspect that this ties in with some other as yet unrevealed wider marketing initiative.
It’s possibly even a way of building a database of people who enter their email address in response to the invitation to “join the queue to get the first ones.”
Lola Madrid counts some household names among its clients, including Unilever brands Magnum ice cream and Signal toothpaste.
Besides the mention of Lola Madrid, both the website and film are short on precise details of exactly who else is behind the initiative – there’s a vague mention of bike shops being involved, plus the names of some of the creative brains behind it – where it is based, or other background.
Instead, the website has the embedded video with some text below about the philosophy behind it.
In fact, we can’t help thinking this may simply be an exercise in seeing how far a viral campaign can reach, similar to the one that saw London agency Karmarama come under heavy criticism from the cycling community last year – albeit with a better copywriter and a message that is less likely to alienate bike riders.
If it does turn out to be exactly what it claims to be - a recycling initative that turns cars into bikes - we'll happily apologise for our not taking it at face value.
Past experience teaches us however that when something's dreamt up by employees of a firm owned by an ad agency that deals with some of the biggest companies on the planet, often all is not as it seems.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.