Beyond the simple choices between mountain bikes, road racers and BMXs, there are also bicycles which the everyday cycling fan can only dream of owning. These limited-edition bicycles are made with expensive cutting-edge or experimental materials and some have even been extravagantly decorated with gold and diamonds. Here we present you with the world's most expensive bicycles, made to satisfy riders with the most demanding and eccentric tastes on the planet.
The million dollar bicycle
The most expensive bicycle in the world, which is decorated with 495 diamonds, belongs to a cycling fanatic who also happens to be an oil tycoon. The frame, wheels and handlebars of this road bicycle are made of carbon fibre and the chain, levers, pedals and accessories are all 24-carat gold. The bicycle weighs 13 kg (28lb) and is priced at US$1 million (£660,000).
Related: Video on repairing flat bike tire
Butterfly Trek Madone
The Butterfly Trek Madone, which is the second most expensive bicycle in the world, was designed by British artist Damien Hirst and used by Lance Armstrong in the Tour de France in 2009. The artist used real butterfly wings to cover the frame of the bicycle, which was later auctioned for US$ 500,000 (£331,000).
Trek Speed Concept
The beautiful Trek Speed Concept racing bicycle was designed by Japanese artist Yoshimoto Nara. Its rear wheel cover features illustrations of children in the classic style of the artist and also the Livestrong logo. This racing bike was commissioned to celebrate Lance Armstrong’s cycling triumphs in 2009. It was later auctioned at Sotheby’s for US$ 200,000 (£132,000).
The 7-Diamond bicycle was sold for US$75,000 (£50,000) to an anonymous buyer at the Lance Armstrong Foundation gala in 2005. This model is encrusted with seven artificial diamonds and 300 white diamonds. It was designed to celebrate Armstrong’s victory in the Tour de France. It was built and designed by Trek bicycles, Nike, jeweller Alan Friedman and artist Lenny Futura.
Gold Bike Crystal Edition
The Gold Bike Crystal Edition is one of the most expensive bicycles in the world. This amazing hand-made vehicle, created by the company Aurumania, is plated with 24 carat gold and its leather seat and handles are decorated with more than 600 Swarovski crystals. Only ten models were ever manufactured by the company, each costing US$ 114,000 (£75,480).
The Thonet is a wooden bicycle created by architect Andy Martin. This bicycle, which does not have any brakes, is valued at US$ 70,000 (£46,350). The high price is due to the expensive process of using steam to shape the frame.
Related: The world's top 7 billionaires
This electric bicycle is designed for riders who want to travel long distances. It is made of carbon fibre, magnesium and a special alloy of aluminium and titanium. Its 1.2 kW electric motor and lithium-ion batteries give it a range of nearly 200 km. Only 667 units of this limited edition model were ever manufactured. It is priced at approximately US$ 72,000 (£47,670).
This cutting-edge electric bicycle, manufactured in Hungary, has many gadgets and devices that make it unique and special. The M55 Terminus, which costs US$ 35,000 (£23,175), has a program that can determine the energy and power required by the rider according to terrain they are covering. Among its other interesting features are its light-weight carbon fibre and aluminium frame and its electric motor.
Related: 10 Ways to spot a snob
Lamborghini BMC Impec 50th anniversary edition
This bicycle was manufactured by Lamborghini as part of its 50th anniversary celebrations. The model, known as the "BMC Impec”, was made exclusively using carbon fibre and leather. Only 50 units were ever built and each one costs US$ 32,000 (£21,200).
Related: The UK's most luxurious pads
This Russian-made bicycle was manufactured using valuable materials such as gold, diamonds and high quality leather, making it one of the most luxurious and expensive in the world. The Diamond Gold, which is decorated with more than 1,500 diamonds and has many gold plated parts, comes available in two colours. Blue models cost US$ 30,000 (£19,900), while white versions can be bought for US$ 21,700 (£14,370).
Related: Most expensive cuts of meat
Erockit is an electric bicycle made in Germany. This model has a motor that is powered by pedalling. It also has lithium batteries that can be charged for a short period of time. Creator Stefan Gulas has so far sold 50 of the custom built bicycles for €12,000 each (£10,195).
Related: The world's most expensive cities
Hublot All Black
The Hublot All Black is the product of an association between the Hublot watch company and bicycle manufacturer BMC. This model is a unique creation made from high quality, lightweight materials that have been coupled with a spectacular and sophisticated design. The bicycle is manufactured using carbon fibre, aluminium and ceramics. Only 30 units, costing €16,000 (£13,590) each, were built.
Related: The 10 most eccentric millionaires