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Back to the future with a DeLorean bicycle

Published May 18, 2012

Marty McFly: Wait a minute, Doc. Ah ... Are you telling me that you built a time machine ... out of a DeLorean?
Dr. Emmett Brown: The way I see it, if you're gonna build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style?

CALHOUN, GA (BRAIN) Friday May 18 2012 2:22 PM MT—A Georgia bike importer with ties to the DeLorean Motor Company is bringing in a line of Italian-made licensed DeLorean bikes constructed, of course, with Columbus stainless steel.

DMC went out of business in 1983 after building just 9,000 of its distinctive brushed stainless steel gullwing-door sports cars. In 1985, the Michael J. Fox movie Back to the Future cemented the car in pop culture forever.

Other than late night re-runs, DeLorean has been more or less mothballed for nearly 30 yeas, but is making a bit of comeback now, with a new electric model due to hit the market this fall. The brand is now based in Texas and owned by Stephen Wynne.

Marc Moore is a long-time cyclist, a personal friend of Wynne's, and a principal in EuroCycling EEF, a Georgia importer that brings Sarto road bikes from Italy to the U.S.

"About three years ago, I had dinner with Steve and he asked me what kind of bike he should buy," Moore said. "I said jokingly, you know, ha ha, I need a DeLorean bike."

But the joke planted a seed and one day Moore asked the folks at Sarto, which primarily sells carbon fiber bikes these days, if they could build a bike from Columbus' new XCr stainless tubeset.

"They said, 'Oh, yes we could do that, and Columbus is just down the street,'" Moore remembered.

The conversation led to some samples and eventual approval from the car company, which wanted to make sure the bike was a legitimate, quality product, not just a licensing gimmick.

Sarto's framebuilders put the company's 50 years of experience on display, and the bike features smooth welds and brazing and details like internal wiring for electric drivestrains. The first model is an upright handlebar city bike with hydraulic disc brakes, a Gates belt drive and a Shimano 11-speed internal hub.

"We wanted to make it reminiscent of a car, with hydraulic brakes and the internal gearing," Moore said.

The bikes have a brushed finish, just like the cars. The company is still debating whether to clear coast the production frames. DeLorean cars had no clear coat; customers were given a pad to brush the stainless if it got tarnished. But cyclists may want a clear coat to protect the painted logo on the downtube, Moore said.

The Anyday city bike model sells for $5,495 consumer direct on the company's website. Road, singlespeed and cruiser models are in the works.

The company showed the bikes at the North American Handmade Bike Show in Sacramento this winter, alongside a DeLorean car. Later they showed the bikes at the New York Auto Show. But interest really took off when DMC featured the bike on its Facebook page this week.

"We've been slammed (since then)," Moore said. "It's been crazy.

While EuroCycling sells Sarto bikes through independent retailers, Moore did not expect dealers to be interested in the DeLorean bikes. Selling consumer direct helped keep the retail price at a level that wouldn't deter DMC fans unaccustomed to the prices on high-end bikes these days.

But Moore's been contacted by several retailers since word of the bike got out.

"I didn't expect much interested, but we are open to talking to dealers," he said, but noted that retail margins might be tight to maintain the pricing structure.

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