Hermes Co-Opts Hipsterdom with $11k Bike

A blog about business and economics.
Nov. 4 2013 10:43 AM

Hermes Co-Opts Hipsterdom with $11k Bike

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People parking their bikes in Portland before a soccer match.

Photo by Kevin Casey/Getty Images

Matthew Yglesias is on vacation.

It’s a sad day for hipsters, though probably not unexpected. If you were one of those who liked to twirl your moustache while drinking a can of PBR at a dive bar before all of those things were things and then abandoned them because they had all become things, then news out of Paris may mean that you’re going to have to ditch your bike lock and try—walking?

Paris-based luxury retailer Hermes has decided to upend the transportation hierarchy with a new product: a $11,200 luxury bicycle. For some context, Hermès is also the home of the $7,700 saddle, the $12,900 (blue) basketball, the $6,100 set of poker chips, and the $600 boomerang.

Those are all must-have extravagances of the wealthy upon arrival from Mars, but the bike has long been hipster turf. Until now. Here’s more on the handmade bikes, from WWD:

The company has unveiled two ultra-lightweight carbon fiber bicycles, Le Flâneur d'Hermès and Le Flâneur sportif d'Hermès, which come in three colors – charcoal, red and white – and feature bull calf leather on the saddles, handlebar grips, carry handles and luggage rack supports.

The bike will also feature a shock-absorbing frame, belt-driven transmission, and hydraulic disc brakes, all, to the relief of the true fixed-gear hipster, in eight- and 11-gear models. It’s like your bike (life), just better. François Doré, head of the Hermès division that worked on the bike project, told WWD that Hermès wasn’t messing around with toy bikes: “We set out to make a real bike, not a decorative object. It had to be simple, efficient, easy to use, pleasant and elegant.” And $11,200.

To see what your life would look like with a Hermès ride, here’s a video from Bloomberg.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.

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