John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
Very, is our guess.
Just looking at this $32,000 European bicycle makes me think of all the ways a thief could heist it. There's the old Dremel on the U-lock trick, of course, and also the freeze-n-smash technique using compressed air. A well-hardwared thief might use a blowtorch or an angle grinder, and a gang of dudes might go the lumberjack route and chop down the tree it's locked to.
Although, really, what's to stop a person from simply running up to the rider, pushing him to the ground and peddling furiously away? Considering the price tag, I could see such bike-jackings becoming quite common in the city if these things catch on among the 1 percent.
This luxurious steed of metal and carbon-fiber, the "Coren Single Speed" (it also comes in fixie and electric versions) was crafted by UBC Composites, a company based in Murr, Germany. I wish I could tell you what makes it so expensive, but I can't read the German-language website. However, Urban Velo's Brad Quartuccio, who was helping cover the recent Eurobike trade show in Friedrichshafen, reports that it was "crafted in the same quarters and under the same quality control as some Formula 1 cars and the highest end of European car manufacturing."
A scan of the press photos reveals that it also has some kind of belt-drive apparatus rather than a chain, and also a disappointingly not-solid-gold seat upon which to rest your rich ass. It weighs 17 pounds. By my calculations, that feather-weight would allow somebody to lift it up and run at about 10 m.p.h. toward the nearest pawn shop.
All photos courtesy of UBC-Coren.