Luxury fashion house Louis Vuitton is now selling a range of urban bikes, priced between £20,200 and £22,900. There are "nods to Louis Vuitton’s heritage" throughout with a leather saddle and luggage rack, branded canvas wrapping most of the frame's triangle and... wooden mudguards.
While there are plenty of examples of luxury car companies lending their names to bikes such as Ferrari, Lamborghini and Aston Martin, it's rarer for high fashion brands to muscle in. One of the more notable examples is a bike made over 120 years ago adorning the logos of the luxury jeweller Tiffany, featuring ivory handlebars and a Tiffany monogram etched on. It sold for $57,000 in 2008.
There is a loose connection between Louis Vuitton and the cycling industry, as its owner LVMH - Europe's most valuable company - is part of the huge private equity firm L Catterton that acquired Pinarello in 2016.
Back to the bike - there are various colours available, all with those curious back-to-front handlebars and with either crossbar or step-through style frames. Very little details are given about the spec, other than the disc brakes are mechanical and the gearing is courtesy of a "2-speed crank". The rims and mudguards are made of tinted wood, you get lights and there's a GPS tracking chip underneath the saddle, so you can send your servants to retrieve the bike should it be stolen by bandits on the streets of Paris.
"A symbol of Parisian chic, the Louis Vuitton Bike is perfect for a two-wheel city adventure or a countryside exploration, inviting each curious cyclist, beginner or experienced, to explore horizons, comfortably meandering any landscape," boasts Louis Vuitton.
If you're worried about the lack of details on how your bike will ride, Louis Vuitton do reassure us that each bike is "meticulously handcrafted and assembled at the Maison Tamboite studio in the Bastille district of Paris."
Maison Tamboite have been expertly producing steel frames for a century, so you can probably expect the same level of craftsmanship on the LV-branded bikes if the price tags are anything to go by.
If you have 20 grand to burn or just really want one of the bikes, you can shop the range here. To celebrate the launch, Louis Vuitton has also stuck a gloriously French video on its YouTube channel. Va-va-voom...
Arriving at road.cc in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of road.cc in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.