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Balenciaga SS18 MenswearPhotography Lucie Rox

We got an expert to review Balenciaga’s £3,000 bike

After making its debut at the men’s SS18 collection, the bike is now available as part of the brand’s takeover at French boutique colette

As a designer, Demna Gvasalia has a history of reappropriating the banal. There was that time he created a necklace that doubled up as a weed grinder, and we won’t even get started on the Ikea bag ‘copy’ that sparked a tonne of strange merch made out of the original. The latest everyday item is a bike that you may remember from the recent SS18 men’s collection.

While some of the models took to the runway with children – which were later revealed as their own – two sauntered along wheeling Balenciaga-branded bikes beside them. As part of the the Parisian brand’s takeover at French boutique colette, five different styles of the bike are now available to purchase – even a child friendly version with a baby seat in the back – at a bank-breaking £3,000.

Knowing very little about bikes and how they work, we decided to ask an expert – Pete Owen from London’s Rat Race Cycles – on all the mechanics and what to expect if you get your hands on one.

“The prospect of a major fashion house designing a bespoke bike for its SS18 collection was immediately interesting to me,” he said, prompting him to ask a number of questions. “What choices would they make? How would they design it? How would it compete at the price point?”

Owen goes on to talk more technically about the make-up of the bike. “In tech terms, there’s certainly nothing cutting-edge about it. From the wheels (they’re 29", most of today’s are 27.5"), to the 3x9 gear set (1x10 or 1x11 are way more modern), and the quick-releases (through-axles are more usual on mountain bikes these days), it’s a cluster of dated, basic components.”

Overall, it is safe to say that Owen doesn’t believe in the beauty of the banal: “I suppose I’d say, to be positive, it looks like it should work OK as a basic bike, it’s made of decent entry-level stuff (unlike a £100 Argos equivalent, known in the bike trade as BSOs - Bicycle Shaped Objects!) but seems colossally over-priced.” Nothing shocking there. In case you need reminding the fake, leather Ikea bag came with a £1,365 price tag in comparison to the original which you can pick up for a mere 40p.

The main takeaway? “If you want to spend your £3,000 on something actually worth riding, there are many better options.” While Pete may be the expert on all things bike-related, we can say for certain that this will be a collector’s item in the future. If you’ve already got your hands on the luxury grinder and Ikea bag, this will be the perfect addition to the collection – nothing screams luxury more than a bike that you will probably never ride.