AC Schnitzer tunes the latest BMW ... bicycle?
By C.C. Weiss
August 7, 2012
Tuners are a staple in the high performance auto market, building bigger, badder and more extreme versions of sports and luxury cars. AC Schnitzer is one such tuner, offering services for BMW vehicles. The latest vehicle it's chosen to tune isn't a 7 Series or an X5; it's a bicycle.
It's a little unconventional to see an automotive tuner spending time on a bicycle, where staples like horsepower boosts and aerodynamic body kits don't really apply. But AC Schnitzer saw an opportunity to apply its expertise in lightweight design to the BMW M Bike Carbon Racer.
At just 16.3 pounds (7.4 kg), the carbon-framed M Bike Carbon Racer is already a light, lithe two-wheeler. AC Schnitzer saw the opportunity to cut even more weight by adding more carbon. It stripped components off with abandon, replacing them with carbon and lightweight counterparts. Specifically, Schnitzer added a set of carbon wheels developed in conjunction with Xentis, plus a carbon saddle, a carbon saddle support and a new crank.
According to its numbers, AC successfully cut the bike's weight by a full kilogram, down to 15.2 pounds (6.9 kg). In contrast to BMW's 16.3-pound figure, AC Schnitzer lists the original weight at 17.4 pounds (7.9 kg), a fact that could have to do with the frame size (the bike is offered in five different frame sizes).
Though there's no impressive improved horsepower or acceleration figures to boast about, AC Schnitzer's work in cutting more than 12 percent of the bike's weight is notable in an industry that thrives on lighter, quicker components. The bike should move a little more easily under the cyclist's natural power.
AC Schnitzer lists the tuned M Carbon Racer as a "concept car," and given that half its press release compares the bike tune to its auto tunes, it appears the tuner is mostly interested in using it as a conversation starter and advertising tool for its bread-and-butter car tuning business. AC is offering the carbon fiber bike for sale, however. It told us the price is € 4,950 (US$6,150 at the time of publishing), which includes 19 percent VAT. That's a pretty big leap from the standard M Bike Carbon Racer's $3,579 listed price.
Source: AC Schnitzer