German bicycle manufacturer Canyon Bicycles teamed up with electronic band Kraftwerk on a line of limited-edition bikes. The band has a long history with the Tour de France. The band’s founders Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider would ride up to 200 kilometers a day. Then, in the 1980s, they recorded the single “Tour de France,” which is an epic thirteen minute electronic ballad that has mechanical sounds sampled with voices. The band also produced an album named Tour de France in 2003 for the race’s 100th anniversary.
The CEO of Canyon, Roman Arnold, got the idea to work with the band from memories he had of listening to Kraftwerk’s groundbreaking music in the 1980s. Twenty-one bikes will be produced as the result of this collaboration. They will feature a unique black-and-white geometric design. This intricate design was developed by Kraftwerk. Every single reflective strip is carefully cut and then hand laid. Because this process is so complex, it takes seven hours per frameset to complete.
The bikes will also feature SRAM wireless eTap groupset, which is special gear-shifting system that allows riders to shift using electronic switches rather than mechanical cables and switches. Once the components are placed on the bike, they are paid using Area, which is SRAM’s propertitary 128-bit wireless encryption system. Blips, which are tiny satellite shifter buttons, can be placed anywhere along the handlebars.
Four-time world time trial champion, Tony Martin, rode one of the Kraftwerk-inspired bikes during this year’s Tour de France time trial.