It probably has the strangest name of any bike ever made, but there’s a lot more to get excited about with the Heroïn bike than its name.
The main feature that captures the eye is without doubts the pimpled “honeycomb” frame (similar to the texture of a golf ball), which is used on the parts of the bike that are most exposed to the wind, namely the top tube, fork, down tube and the rims of the wheels.
This is not just there to be elegant and pleasing to the eye, but Heroïn also claims that it is more aerodynamic. The company says that even at speeds as low as 12mph this honeycomb texture improves aerodynamic performance by 10 per cent compared to normal frames.
These depressions on the frame, claims Heroïn, modify the air flow and make the bike faster. The bike has been developed in the wind tunnel for several years before seeing the light. The final product is a light frame of just 750 grams, with the full bike weighing 6.5 kg in total) when built with a hand built 27.2mm seatpost, handlebars with internal cable routing and a full Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 11-speed drivetrain with an 11-28t cassette.
In terms of tyres Heroïn has opted for a 25mm Hutchinson Fusion 5 Performance Black limited editions, while the headset is from FSA, and the crankset is equipped with a Rotor INPower power meter with 50/36t chainrings. The Heroïn also features also asymmetric rear stays.
The Heroïn bike is conceived, designed and assembled in France, but its carbon-fibre components are hand manufactured in Italy. The man behind this bike is the French businessman Marc Simonicini, CEO and founder of the online dating service Meetic.
As for the interesting name, Simonicini has given a simple explanation to the French daily newspaper L’Equipe. “A pure and rare product, which produces pleasure and you can’t give up to it. What else would you call it?”
In creating the bike, Simonicini has apparently been inspired by French architect Le Corbusier’s Modulor theory which sought to develop a unity of measure that was meant to bring together the metric and the imperial systems of units.
Art and design, though, come with a price. Heroïn costs 14,900 euros (approx. £11,400) and it’s sold just online or at the show room in Paris. Each of the 349 Heroïn bikes will be numbered and guaranteed for life.