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Electronics & Test
Slideshow: Lexus's $10K Bike Hits the Streets in Japan
7/19/2013

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Lexus employed a unique carbon fiber crank from Shimano. The crank isn't all carbon fiber, however. It incorporates aluminum thread inserts at the pedal and crank axle ends.   (Source: Lexus)
Lexus employed a unique carbon fiber crank from Shimano. The crank isn’t all carbon fiber, however. It incorporates aluminum thread inserts at the pedal and crank axle ends.
(Source: Lexus)

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naperlou
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Hard core bikers will like this
naperlou   7/19/2013 9:59:57 AM
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Chuck, this is the kind of bike that hard core cyclists would love.  The price is not that high, frankly.  Considering the amount of innovation and materials it is actually reasonable.  A high end bike from Trek can cost over $5K.  I do like the electronic shifter.  I wonder if it is self adjusting.  I guess that if you are spending $10K on a bike you don't have to worry about that.

Charles Murray
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Re: Hard core bikers will like this
Charles Murray   7/19/2013 1:14:36 PM
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I'm not a bicycling expert, Louis, so I'm not knowledgeable about the normal prices of racing bikes. But I've heard that a 7 kg bike will often cost more than $8,000. This one, with the electronic derailleur, is $10,000. Unfortunately, Lexus only allows it to be purchased in Japan, and they've only been selling it to dealers. Dealers have to travel to Japan to make the purchase. 

greg
User Rank
Iron
branding, not design or engineering
greg   7/20/2013 2:17:21 AM
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Lexus only finishes and paints the carbon frames, according to the slide. this is what i would have expected anyway. it is likely an open-mold frame, in which the actual bike manufacturer in Taiwan or mainland China owns the molds and can make other identical bikes having different brand names. lexus also does not make the rims, cranks, shifting system, anything. all is off-the-shelf.

the 9070 Di2 batttery is not under the stem, and is not the size of a 9v battery. that little box is a wire junction. the battery is likely inside the frame, often held in the seatpost, although it can be charged through the front junction.

this could have been any of a number of bikes that have been on the market for a little while and may even be in stock at your local dealer right now.

a.saji
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Silver
Re: Hard core bikers will like this
a.saji   7/20/2013 11:42:13 AM
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@Muray: I think the price tag is a bit high for this. They should understand that there are motor vehicles like cars that can be purchased with the same value with much more comfort levels.    

mrdon
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Re: Hard core bikers will like this
mrdon   7/20/2013 1:27:24 PM
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Charles, Great article. Juat have one question regarding the battery for the electronic controller: how long does it last? Is there a manual override when the battery is low? Also, just thinking out loud, pedaling the bike could be a way of powering the electronics using energy harvesting technology.

mrdon
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Platinum
Re: Hard core bikers will like this
mrdon   7/21/2013 3:59:22 PM
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Charles, Does Lexus's provide any design specs on their electronic derailleur controller? Curious as to the circuit-component setup used in their controller design.

NadineJ
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Platinum
another hybrid-bicycle
NadineJ   7/21/2013 5:49:48 PM
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It's pretty.  Most of the components are from Shimano, another Japanese multi-national company.  Dura-Ace parts have helped win the coveted yellow jersey.  That adds to authenticity.

But, I agree with greg that this is more marketing/branding than performance.  Professional riders wouldn't be interested.  This is for the urban hipster.  That's a Lexus consumer.

It's not the first bike from Lexus.  This article at carsession.com from 2010 describes another.

far911
User Rank
Silver
Re: Hard core bikers will like this
far911   7/22/2013 3:33:56 AM
@naperlou - Good point. Hardcore bikers would love this. Perhaps Lexus should've showcased this bike in Tour De France to gain some recognition. The price tag, for a bike of this kind, is justified. 

far911
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Silver
Re: Hard core bikers will like this
far911   7/22/2013 3:39:33 AM
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@a.saji - If you consider the quality of components, the type of material used and then compare with other similar bikes manufactured you'll realize the price is quite reasonable. Then there's the Lexus name attached with it. That alone is worth a lot. 

far911
User Rank
Silver
Re: Hard core bikers will like this
far911   7/22/2013 3:47:32 AM
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@mrdon - I think you answered your own question. The battery should rely on charging from pedaling. Since nobody could go through the hassle of charging the battery from a power socket. 

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