Alfa Romeo recently rolled out the 4C, a dynamic new sports car with a power-to-weight ratio that's crucially higher than many exotic sports cars costing 10 times as much. The key was keeping weight down with materials like aluminum and carbon fiber, while boosting power from its compact 1.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Crafting a bicycle to follow in its footsteps was no mean feat, but that's just what the storied Italian automaker has done.
Emerging from a partnership between Alfa Romeo's own design department and bicycle manufacturer Compagnia Ducale, the 4C IFD bicycle is built around an innovative frame design that keeps it both light and strong. The Innovative Frame Design (for which its name stands) is built out of a cross-section of a carbon-fiber half-tube, the key to keeping the weight down to a featherlike 15 pounds. The shape looks like an inverted number four, and the half-tube like the letter C, in honor of the car that inspired its design and which, like the bicycle, is made entirely in Italy.
Other features include a Deda Elementi Crono handlebar, Campagnolo brakes, gears, chain and frame, forks, saddle and wheels — all made of carbon fiber. Hitting markets around the world, from Europe and Asia to America in December, pricing for the 4C IFD bicycle will start at around $4,707, but can quickly climb to $12,105 with the right options.