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.
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.
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.
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.
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