Akhal is, without a doubt, a striking bicycle. With a design inspired by the Akhal-Teke, one of the oldest and rarest purebred horses in the world, it’s meant to evoke the same kind of feeling as that majestic creature: awe, strength, perfection. It’s also meant to disrupt bicycle design altogether while filling in a perceived gap in the market for luxury bikes.
The entire Akhal lineup comprises only 99 items, all of them made to order by hand (not manufactured) in the UK. There is a lot of emphasis on how these bikes are equal parts works of art and equal parts functional bikes, starting from the vague description on the official website and the occasional, rather nonsensical floating quotation like “we don’t make limited editions, as every edition is limited.”
But there’s no denying that this is a truly beautiful bicycle. Akhal stands out for its clear and clean lines, stark minimalism and the promise of unmatched performance. Whereas it’s clear that much of the focus has been on creating a visually pleasing bicycle, Extans says they were just as invested in making a product that stands the test of time.
The lightweight, rigid carbon fiber monocoque structure offers good lateral stiffness and “excellent” vibration damping, which, in turn, promise a smooth city ride. Structural parts are CNC machined from a single aluminum billet for structural integrity and the most seamless design, while the fork, seat post, and stem with handlebars in full carbon. The saddle is made from Fabric Scoop, and Shimano Dura-Ace modules offer total control.
Akhan rides on Pirelli P Zero tires 28-622 and comes with Gates Carbon Drive CDX transmission with single-speed gear for minimum maintenance and longer lifespan. Extans offers just one frame size for riders between 170 and 195 cm (5’5 and 6’4) tall, but each bike, whether a Shadow or a Shine, can be further customized according to the future owner’s desires. If the future owner can afford it.
This bike weighs 9.5 kg (21 pounds) and, when not in use, can be exhibited just like one would an artwork, thanks to a forged carbon bike floor stand: “a sculptural piece for one who appreciates the crafting skills for showing it off in modern interiors,” says the design house.
By the sheer amount of fancy words used to describe it, the limited production, and the emphasis on how this is a work of art, you probably guessed what’s coming: pricing on the Akhal is only available on request. We’ve reached out to Extans for some clarification on pricing and will update the article accordingly when (and if) we’re offered a quotation.
In the meantime, it’s probably safe to assume that the old adage of “if you have to ask, you can’t afford it” applies. Here is Akhal in motion: it is so beautiful, you can ride in loafers.