Of the four most expensive bikes in the world, three were created in honor of Lance Armstrong, whose victory over cancer is as legendary as his ongoing career. The Lance Armstrong Foundation, founded in 1997 after Armstrong was diagnosed with the disease, raises funds and awareness to support cancer research and help cancer sufferers.
7-Diamond – $75,000
This expensive bike was sold to an anonymous buyer at the Lance Armstrong Foundation Gala in 2005. Studded with seven 1-carat Gemesis man-made diamonds and 300 white diamonds, the gold-plated bike commemorated Armstrong’s victory over seven Tour de France events. The expensive bike was a joint effort between Trek Bikes, Nike, jeweler Alan Friedman and artist Lenny Futura.
Aurumania’s Gold Bike Crystal edition – $114,000
Aurumania’s Gold Bike Crystal edition is almost entirely plated with 24 karat gold—even the spokes. The seat is a Brooks saddle made of the finest leather, while the handlebars have grips made with hand-sewn, chocolate brown leather. Even the numbered badge is made of leather. Of course, the bike isn’t called “Crystal edition” for nothing. It’s decorated with over 600 Swarovski crystals—including the Aurmania name written in Braille along the crossbar. Only ten of these spectacular bicycles were produced.
Trek Yoshitomo Nara Speed Concept – $200,000
Yoshitomo Nara created this work of art, a Trek Speed Concept bike embellished with his signature angry, childlike figures and his own take on the Livestrong logo, as a custom time trial bike to commemorate Armstrong’s renewed cycling career in 2009. The bike was displayed at the Stages event organized by The Lance Armstrong Foundation and Nike to raise cancer awareness. It was sold at the Bikes of Stages auction at Sotheby’s, which raised $1,125,000 for The Lance Armstrong Foundation.
Trek “Butterfly” Madone – $500,000
Like the Speed Concept above, this Trek Madone was decorated in honor of Armstrong’s return to cycling. When Damien Hirst got his hands on the bike, he coated it with hundreds of wings taken from butterflies. While PETA were predictably angry at Hirst’s chosen medium, the “Butterfly” Madone became the most expensive bicycle in the world at the Bikes of Stages auction.
[Source: Most-Expensive Journal]