The Cycle Show may not be the first place you’d expect one of Britain’s most historic names in Grand Prix motor racing to be celebrating the 50th anniversary of winning the Formula 1 World Championship, but that’s exactly what Cooper Cars, famously driven to victory by drivers including Sir Stirling Moss, will be doing with the launch of its Cooper Bikes range.
Hitting the shops in early 2010, the range comprises four models. The first two, available from January and with prices starting from £595, are the T100 Monza – pictured here – a flat-bar flip-flop fixed gear/single-speed bike, available in dark blue and the T100 Sebring, finished in silver and with bullhorn bars. Each takes their name from a circuit where the team won races, and will be on sale from January.
According to Cooper Bikes, both models, which are based around a Reynolds 520 Cro-Moly track frame and utilise a Sturmey Archer crankset, Tektro brakes and Brooks saddles, “exhibit the modern aggressive styling of a track bike, and combine confident, sharp handling with comfort and smoothness”.
Mike Cooper, whose father and grandfather founded Cooper Cars, whose name lives on through the BMW Mini Cooper, said: "The Cooper Car Company has always had a passion for bicycles and we have been thinking about diversifying the business for a while. We wanted to turn our engineering know how to making bicycles that offer the best possible components for the best possible price”
As well as the two T100 model, the company will also be showing two T200 bikes, due to hit the shops next March. The T200 Championship 50, also single-speed, commemorates the golden anniversary of the Cooper’s 1959 success and comes in the marque’s racing green. Meanwhile the T200 Reims 5 Speed, which the company says is inspired by 1960s racing bikes, sports five gears and is finished in cream.
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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.