Audi peddles luxury wood bike line

HERNDON, VA -- After years of fine hardwood and exotic species wood trim in its luxury four wheel drive Quattro automobiles, Audi USA has conjured up a wood-based two-wheel ride, launching the duo line of luxury wood bicycles.

In models priced upwards of $6,000, woods for the bikes are selected to match the look of Audi vehicle interiors. The duo line of bicycles has also lead Audi to tout the advantages of monocoque frames made of hardwood rather than metal.

"Audi is the first automaker to recognize the benefits of, and offer a bicycle made from, wood," says Audi's marketing department. Wood offers the smoothest ride of any bike frame material thanks to its superior ability to absorb shock and vibration.

"Since the weight per cubic inch of wood is about one-fourth the weight of aluminum, the duo is lighter than most bicycle frames, while offering equal or superior stiffness, durability, and toughness," says Audi.

Audi says the duo bicycles reinforce its commitment to sustainability, since the wood frame is also recyclable and biodegradable. The duo has non-wood attributes that give appeal to serious bicyclers - advances bike drive components include a belt drive, aluminum and carbon fiber components, disk brakes and LED lighting. Audi duo bikes come in three sizes and take about six weeks for delivery.

Audi duo bikes are hand-built by Renovo Studio, in Portland, OR, the same firm that built a wood bike for lumber supplier Collins Companies. Collins commissioned a bicycle of FSC certified wood, placing it on display at the Green Build Conference last fall in Chicago. And a California firm began importing bamboo and hardwood bicycle frames made in Zambia, winning a finalist spot in a BBC global business competition last year.

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