While it might be better known for vehicles of the motorized variety, for over 60 years BMW has also been manufacturing a range of high-end bicycles. The company's new 2011 range provides something for everyone – or at least everyone with a well stocked wallet – with a Cruise Bike, Touring Bike and a couple of mountain bikes. And for the first time BMW has extended its M Series branding to its two-wheeled vehicles, but despite the M standing for Motorsport it's not for a motorbike, but rather the new 2011 BMW M Bike Carbon Racer bicycle.
Designed for everyday commuting, the 2011 BMW Cruise Bike features a hydroformed aluminum frame whose welded seams have been polished and smoothed, while the brake and gearshift cables have been integrated into the bike to provide a clean, flowing design. The bike comes with a Suntour NCX-D front suspension fork with 75 mm of travel, cantilever brakes, 24-speed Shimano Alivio derailleur and BMW Original Trekking stem that allows the height and angle of the saddle to be adjusted for comfort. It is available in four sizes: S (41 cm/), M (46 cm), L (51 cm) and XL (55 cm), weighs in at 13.9 kg (30.6 lb) and comes in white, white/blue and green/black.
BMW says its 2011 Touring Bike is the ideal all-rounder for anyone looking for both maximum comfort and modern design. The bike features an aluminum frame, Suntour NCX-D-LO front suspension fork with 75 mm travel, and the same adjustable angle stem as the aforementioned Cruise Bike. It is also available in the same four sizes as the Cruise Bike but comes in slightly heavier at 16.9 kg (37.2 lb). It comes in "glossy chocolate" with gold accents.
BMW claims to have brought about the rise of the suspension fork in mountain bikes in the mid 90's when it manufactured the suspension fork of a BMW motorcycle using lightweight materials and attached it to a mountain bike, so it's not surprising to see both new mountain bike models sporting full suspension. The Cross Country's suspension comes courtesy of a Fox 32 FRL air-spring fork with travel of 100 mm and Fox Float RP2 BV air shocks, also with travel of 100 mm. Meanwhile, the Enduro boasts four-bar suspension with a Fox Talas 32 RL air-spring fork with 140 mm of travel, and Fox RP2 BV shocks with travel of 145 mm.
Both feature an aluminum frame, Shimano Deore XT parts, fully hydraulic disk brakes and a specially developed adjustable angle stem to ensure the rider is in the perfect position for the optimum transmission of energy. The Cross Country, which comes in pearl white with a blue rocker arm, is available in M (47 cm), L (52 cm) and XL (55 cm) sizes and weighs in at 12.9 kg (28.4 lb), while the Endure comes in metallic white/green, is available in M (45 cm) and L (50 cm) sizes and weighs 14.8 kg (32.6 lb).
Featuring a carbon frame created in house at BMW's M division that weighs in at just 7.4 kg (16.3 lb), BMW says the M Bike Carbon Racer is a continuation of the BMW M Series lightweight design philosophy on two wheels. The carbon frame is not just light, it is also stiff, absorbs shocks and is corrosion-free. The frame has been given an anthracite carbon look with colored accents on the rims, handlebar grips and saddle inlay in the typical BMW M red color.
Other components include Shimano Ultegra gears, – RD-6700 rear derailleur and FD-6700 front derailleur – fi'zi:k Tundra 2 saddle, and Shimano CS6700 ten-speed cassette sprocket. It will come in 52, 54, 56, 58 and 60 cm frame sizes.
No prices for the new 2011 range have been announced but if they're in line with last year's models expect to pay upwards of US$1,000 for the Cruise Bike, more than $1,750 for the Touring Bike and over $4,000 for the mountain bikes. As for the M Bike Carbon Racer I hate to think, but it will be available from June through select BMW dealers and the company's online shop.
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