When you think of bicycles, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Right: Messengers, sports fanatics and fearless families riding alongside highways like ducks walking in a row. Some guys are spending between three and six grand for a downhill bike. But many of us haven’t even had a bicycle since our school days. (Which of course depends on where you live.)

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Republic builds and ships colorful, custom made fixies for under $400.

Funriki: Custom made bicycles from Japan.

Funriki: Custom made bicycles from Japan.

global warming is probably not the reason, but bicycles are currently experiencing an incomparable renaissance.

MIT’s engineers picked up on the concept, improving it with a cybernetic acceleration system that gives back accumulated energy.

In Germany, newcomer Grace began producing an electric bicycle that can make up to 45 miles per hour. (Don’t hold your breath until you heard its price tag, roughly $8,760.)

But rarely are bicycles seen as a fashion statement. Let me change your mind with these awesome bicycles from Bertelli in New York, Miami based Republic and FunRiki from Japan. At the bottom you’ll see examples of the Copenhagen Wheel from MIT Senseable City Lab).

How can you not love that?

How could you not love that?

Republic, for an example, lets you custom select your combination of part colors and ships the finished bike anywhere in the US, for under $400.

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Crazy, sexy, cool.

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It's up to you to pick a colorful combination with a frame like "wasabi" in this model, …

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… or stick with a more classic, subdue color set.

Bertelli's bicycles are unmatched in beauty and elegance.

Bertelli’s bicycles are unmatched in beauty and elegance.

Bertelli combines wood, steel and aluminum with simplistic elegance.

Bertelli combines wood, steel and aluminum with simplistic elegance.

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The Copenhagen Wheel, a masterpeace of modern engineering.

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(Pictures and video from Republic, FunRiki, Bertelli, MIT Senseable City Lab)

  • They do look lovely. But is it a case of style over substance? Personally I’m a bit skeptical of single-speed bikes. I think gears are an absolutely brilliant invention and if you live anywhere that isn’t completely flat, then pretty essential…

  • Not all of these bicycles have a fixed gear setting. I don’t own a fixie, but I think its fans don’t buy it as a replacement for a regular bike. They have a fellowship of fans because of the artistic stuff you can do with them. You can not only drive forward, but also backwards, and with some talent you can stand still on a single spot.