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Viral video shows cars being turned into bikes, but is it all it seems? We're not so sure... (+ video)

Major ad agency is behind Madrid-based creative agency that produced video and website

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.”

Helping fuel our suspicions is the fact that the film and website are the work of Lola Madrid, a creative agency based in the Spanish capital that is owned by advertising giant Lowe and Partners.

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.


Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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rich22222 | 11 years ago

Site registration details don't match to the agency:

registrant-firstname: Federico
registrant-lastname: Garcia Bosch
registrant-street1: Calle San Isidro Labrador 18
registrant-street2: 2A
registrant-pcode: 28005
registrant-state: M
registrant-city: Madrid
registrant-ccode: ES
registrant-phone: +34.617018045
registrant-email: fbosch [at]

pmr | 11 years ago

roadcc you are spot on. This is just clever (or not so) marketing.
The website is just a "capture" page. I work in internet marketing and I can tell you when the sole purpose of a site is to capture the persons email address, it isn't just to add them to a waiting list. Its to add them to a prospects list for many things.
You're just giving them free advertising putting a link on this page.
Its clever from that point of view, viral marketing gone this big is like a jackpot for a marketeer building an email list of people interested in buying bikes/cycling.

I get enough junk on my email as is, including your fantasy cycling stuff, which has no unsubscribe link (very bad!) so will not be giving them my email.

bikecellar | 11 years ago

No thanks, Bad Karma built in.

ubercurmudgeon | 11 years ago

I was going to make a crack about this being the secret Halfords production facility, but actually the end product looks too good ( although who wants handlebar tape made of the leather from the seats of some clapped-out old limo that has been used for who knows what sleazy purposes over the years...)

But, yeah, it's some tedious ad campaign, so I call bullish*t.

Some Fella | 11 years ago

A transmission belt from a car would have to be cropped and somehow re-connected to form a loop the correct size to fit a bicycle. Im unsure how you could do this to make a robust and smooth running belt.
Also -the tubing all seems too straight and of convenient widths to be taken out of a cars substructure. Im struggling to think where straight, tubular steel is used in cars to be honest.
Willing to be told differently by someone who knows better however.

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