The Coren, by UBC, is a fixed-gear bike made from carbon fiber.

UBC’s been known for nearly two decades as a carbon-fiber specialist in the motor sports world, creating parts for Formula 1 racecars.

The problem was, while those gorgeous machines relied on UBC parts, they never bore the UBC name.

So CEO Ulf Bräutigam decided the company would make a vehicle of its own.

Industrial designer Christian Zanzotti designed a carbon-fiber bike that the masses simply couldn’t ignore--it was a hit at this year’s Eurobike convention.

The final design called for a parallelogram-shaped frame built from a type of carbon fiber typically reserved for racecar chassis.

Zanzotti worked closely with UBC’s engineers, who had a bit of summer downtime between Formula 1 seasons--they "liked the challenge of pushing the material to the limits," he says.

As for the CEO? He "loved the idea of creating a masterpiece that showed the competencies UBC had developed in the last 20 years."

Rather than a conventional chain, the bike employs a carbon-drive belt system.

Single-speed and electric versions are also in the works.

At $32,500, the Coren’s not a bike that many will get to ride in their lifetimes. But at least it’s something beautiful UBC can stamp their name on.

Co.Design

A $32,000 Carbon-Fiber Fixed-Gear Bike, Designed By A Formula 1 Firm

The Coren is the first two-wheel endeavor from UBC, a company better known for making parts for Toyota’s Formula 1 car.

In the world of motor sports, UBC is a well-known brand. The German company specializes in carbon fiber, manufacturing extremely high-performance parts for Toyota’s Formula 1 cars and luxury rides like the Porsche GT2. The problem was, while those gorgeous machines relied on UBC parts, they never bore the UBC name. So a few years back, Ulf Bräutigam, the company’s CEO, had an idea to raise his company’s profile: UBC would build a vehicle of its own. In 2010, he enlisted industrial designer Christian Zanzotti to design a carbon-fiber bike that the masses simply couldn’t ignore.

The result is the Coren, a $32,500 fixed-gear ride that the company deems "the world’s most ground-breaking bike.” That’s a bold claim (to go along with a bold price tag), but the bike has certainly succeeded in its main objective: getting people’s attention. It was a standout at the Eurobike convention earlier this year.

Zanzotti says he was given "carte blanche" by his client when approaching the project. "From the beginning, it was clear the bicycle had to match the racing history and the spirit of UBC," he told me. "It had to be sportive, and technologically advanced." It also had to be something that only a company like UBC, with years of materials experience, could produce. "The CEO loved the idea of creating a masterpiece that showed the competencies UBC had developed in the last 20 years."

In designing the Coren, Zanzotti worked closely with UBC’s engineers, who had a bit of summer downtime between Formula 1 seasons--they "liked the challenge of pushing the material to the limits," he says. After a few months of prototypes, the final design called for a parallelogram-shaped frame built from a type of carbon fiber typically reserved for racecar chassis. Overkill? Perhaps. But the frame does cut a striking figure--and helps the Coren weigh in at a relatively light (though not really crazy light?) 17 pounds. Rather than a conventional chain, the bike employs a carbon-drive belt system, though the company said that single-speed and electric versions are also in the works.

At $32,500, the Coren’s not a bike that many will get to ride in their lifetimes. But at least it’s something beautiful UBC can stamp their name on.

Learn more about the Coren on the bike’s site.

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16 Comments

  • RMC

    Funny they seem to question that it's not crazy light?   For a single speed with no brakes, 17lbs is outright heavy.   They need to add weight to the $12K production road bikes to get them up to the 15lb competition limit.

    And indeed, it would be interesting to hear what's groundbreaking about the design.  It looks artistically groundbreaking with the top tube bent to be parallel with the downtube but I wonder about the frame flex with that feature.

  • Ahmed

    WTF
    Mine is 1 lb heavier...18 lbs (5% more weight) and it is a large 58 frame "XL" and got it on sale for $1000 (97% less money)

  • joshua long

    ^ yeah thumbs up to that. $32,000 for a bike made me throw up in my mouth a little. I could pay off a solid chunk of loans with that. I mean i can eat a bag of gold and make the most expensive piece of s**t in the world but that would be pretty wasteful wouldn't it. 

  • Αen

    It's just an expensive bike designed for "design's sake" and for rich kids tired of buying sports cars to show off to their rich kids friends. Not for competitive racing–it's single speed and has flat bars. It's not enough good-looking. And only the hunched-back frame was designed. Almost everything else was off-the-shelf. So there's nothing new nor ground-breaking about this bike not matter what fancy name you label it with.

  • Jimbo Jim

    So for 12, 18, 27 speed that will cost more than a Cavalino Rampante.

    We human beings can only crank at a pretty fix bandwidth of RPM, kind of similar to a diesel tractor require 4-5 gear changes before she can pull across the length of a stop light worse is pulling a loaded trailer.
    So being a mono speed bike, basically that is for the member of the Flat earth society, try that in Seattle or Vancouver. Going downhill will be priceless.  

  • Jimbo Jim

    Everybody's know a F1 chassis is going to be powered by a high powered engine,
    then a fast bike's limiting factor is the rider's strength so the argument is if u're not Chic Corea what good is a Steinway 9ft concert grand does for u? Notwithstanding u can dance like a butterfly on the race track but stamina power lacking.

    At 32 k, they better make it a bespoke bike as everybody's body length is different,
    as one of my friend he needs to order bespoke suit, he says his physique is not standard, if shoulder fits his arms dont, so nothing he can fit well from the ready made shelf.

  • "\ ^..^ /"

    I pity the fool that buys this bicycle; For only $13,000 more you could have a bike that weighs 2.83 times less! (6 lb.)

    dvice.com/archives/2010/09/wor...

    Now THAT'S quality engineering.

    Besides, even a mere $5,000 pittance would net you a lighter machine than this unwieldy automotive-inspired Frankenstein of design.

  • Marc Lacoste

    i love Fairwheel Bikes's too but that's not engineering but craftmanship. Nothing bad with that. 
    I think you could make a 6lb single speed with a 2lbs Supersix Evo frame, 2lbs custom wheels and 2lbs for the gears for 10k€

  • rockfish66

    It would be nice if you explained, or even questioned, what is so ground breaking about it? I'd have reservations about buying anything from a company whose attention to detail is so poor they don't even remember to hide the unplugged computer cords in their "designer as monastic genius shot."

  • Shaya

    Photo layouts not withstanding, It's cool that this company can get behind a project to show case it's talents but is that all there is to this story? Like Rockfish, I would also like to know what do I get for $32,000? What is the advantage of an all Carbon Fiber bicycle and drive train? Is there an advantage? Many top racing bikes come in around 5 or 6 grand. Is there a 27-26,000 dollar advantage? Are there design changes developed in this bike that over time can be and should be adapted in our current racers? Pretty bike. Impressive looks. But beyond manufacturing design, is it good design and by good I mean usable.