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.
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Simon joined road.cc 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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