Billed as “the most glamorous bicycle show on earth,” LikeBike Monte Carlo debuts this week in Monaco as the world’s first luxury bike exhibition. “There are plenty of bicycle shows around the world,” says entrepreneur, cycling enthusiast, and the event’s co-founder Wladimir Singer. “We wanted to do something you couldn’t see anywhere else.”
From April 3 to 5, Singer and his partner Mark Hillsdon, a cyclist and long-time resident of Monaco, aim to deliver on that promise by showcasing the most innovative and top-of-the-line designs the cycling industry has to offer. Roughly 80 exhibitors, the majority from Europe, will display more than 250 models of recently released, high-end road, mountain, and electric bicycles, most of which are hand-built or produced in small numbers, and carry price tags of up to $53,000. (The Cipollini RB1000 Luxury Edition features platinum decals and a headset logo gleaming with 17 carats of diamonds.)
But not all are simply for show: Consider the Swiss-made Stromer ST2, the world’s first digitally connected e-bike with GPS, Bluetooth connectivity, and the ability to communicate with and receive directions from smartphones ($6,445); the foldable GoCycle by the U.K.’s KKM ($3,760); and the Fuoriserie, a limited-edition tailor-made bike from luxury Italian car design firm Pininfarina ($9,670). The bike’s leather-clad handlebars and seat, reminiscent of the coachmaker’s limited edition 1936 Lancia Astura Bocca, nod toward the bike’s heritage, but the modern machine also sports an electric booster system and LED lights. Attendees wishing to take advantage of the waterfront location of the event, hosted at the Grimaldi Forum, are welcome to try the Schiller Bike ($4,247), an advanced-technology water-riding bicycle developed in California.
A number of accessories, from clothing to smart-phone integration systems, are also included in the mix, such as the German-made COBI system ($177), a smartphone technology that integrates five typical bike accessories (a light, navigation system, smartphone holder with charging function, bell, and bike computer) into one streamlined design. And for the fashion forward, there’s the high-performance X-Bionic for Automobili Lamborghini Bike Jacket sporting technology to fight wind resistance ($822), and the futuristic-looking Hovding Airbag Cycling Helmet for the ultimate in shock absorption ($364).
But if the event’s mission to dazzle is any indication, LikeBike is as much about being seen, as what you see.
LikeBike Monte Carlo is on view from April 3–5 at the Grimaldi Forum; 10 Av. Princesse Grace; likebikemc.com.