There are not many things better than being on a bike.
Off a bike, the human body is about as efficient as a slug, but on a bike, it’s as smooth as a bird of prey. You can bike just about for free, or on a budget, or without one. Because it’s so great to ride any kind of bike, the logic stands that if you spend a ton of money, you're guaranteed to enjoy riding a bike even more.
Consider this the second entry in Highsnobiety’s Insanely Expensive Starter Pack series.
Stay posted as we round up more insanely expensive accessories, gadgets, and doodads.
Brooks England B17 saddle
Brooks’ seats are the consensus bike saddle, produced since the 1800s and offered in a wealth of widths and options. While bike technology has improved by the decade, you can’t do much better than this century-old saddle. It looks good and feels comfortable to start, and improves the more it’s ridden, like leather driving gloves or a nice luxury rope swing. This Brooks saddle is made of leather, and has exposed rivets, which brings to mind a Filson jacket or an Hermès leather saddle, but is better since it’s more functional. Who owns a horse? If your butt muscles hurt when you start riding, ride more, and you will build them up, and it won’t hurt anymore.
Walter van Beirendonck cycling top
If you bike to work or school it’s important to do it in a different outfit so you don’t show up to class or your office covered in sweat and gravel. For these reasons a jersey is best. While there are plenty of middling options, the best one available now is this Walter Van Beirendonck cycling jersey from his peerless Fall/Winter 1996 collection. It is very bright, subverts athletic activity and screams both “I have money” and “I have taste.” Van Beirendonck, the most fun and colorful of the Antwerp Six, has involved color and happiness in so much of his work, and this jersey is a perfect marriage of design and purpose, since it’s just as fun as being on a bike.
Prada water bottle
I don’t have much to say here except that if you don’t drink water out of a Prada water bottle you may as well hydrate yourself with buttermilk or hot coffee or concentrated spaghetti sauce. Italian studies have shown that drinking from a Prada bottle makes you more hydrated than from non-Prada bottles. I swear I have the study somewhere. Maybe under my Walter Van Beirendonck jersey, cutoff wool pants and church socks?
Fernweg wheel set
According to the manufacturer, these are the stiffest, most aerodynamic, lightest and best wheels available, good against crosswinds and even dirt. They cost $9,250, which is pretty cheap if you have to get to work on time and amortize the wheels over the course of an entire career. The wheels look aerodynamic but the spokes do not. Spokes have looked like this since before Brooks started making bike seats. Maybe one day most spokes will look like they’re from the future and not the 1800s, but they don’t look like that yet, even at this reasonable price point.
Specialized S-Works TT helmet
I really like these sperm-shaped teardrop helmets. They cut down resistance so long as the rider keeps their position and the the helmet tip stays flush to their back. I would think being like that for an entire bike ride is difficult, but then I don’t have one of these helmets. I keep waiting for a movie where all the bad guys wear these helmets, kind of like how the villains in the Death Wish movies wore bike shorts and Spandex. After that movie comes out -- probably in the summer -- you can wear this helmet as a Hallowe’en costume, or at least sneak into a Daft Punk show.
Storck Fascenario.3 Aston Martin bicycle
I’ll be honest, the best thing about biking (besides biking itself) is it can be done on the cheap. Get the cheapest frame off Craigslist, update the chain and stem and tubes and tires can set you up with a daily rider for a decade. After that decade of heavy cycling, you should reward yourself with an expensive bike, a nice-looking one. Start small, maybe with this Aston Martin, which is only about $20,000.
Price: £15,000 GBP (approx. $19,490 USD)
It is nice that this light only costs $800. They say it is the most powerful headlight there is. The best headlights are the ones miners use, so instead of biking to the park, go to a quarry, get some precious rocks, and pay for this light and burn calories at the same time.
Mavic cycling shoes
I feel like we are a few seasons away from having functional cycling shoes show up in runway shows and in stores and on streets, paired with suits and jeans. Is it a bridge too far? There were those Off-White sneakers with the treaded track outsoles from a little bit ago, which are curious: Close to 20 years ago, Nike’s track-specific sneakers were among the only ones available with cool colors, but they weren’t suitable for the classroom. Are they now? In any event, it’s best to wear this $770 sneaker to prom or your wedding, and if you’re not feeling the festivities, you can just bike away.
The Row twill trousers
There are a lot of good shorts out there, but not many for the bicycle. Prada makes great ones, but they’re for upright living, and are too short. Basketball shorts are often too long. The way to get around this is to take style into your hands and make them cutoff. And what better pants to alter than these cashmere blend trousers by The Row? Modifying the works of a great artist is the ultimate sign of both artistry and disrespect, and The Row is pretty great. If you don’t feel like cutting them off at the knee, just slice holes down the side. Those are wind slits and they make you faster.
The faster the bike, the cleaner the mind, the calmer the rider: ancient Brooklyn proverb. Even if you don’t buy any of these, it’s nice to have something to aspire to.