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.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.