It’s commonly known as the Gold Fat Bike, but the full name is the Beverly Hills Edition 24K Gold Extreme Mountain Bike. Phew. It is the creation of the aforementioned Power and his Beverly Hills-based jewelry design studio House of Solid Gold. The bicycle was actually introduced in late 2013 to great fanfare and rode several newscycles well into 2015.
Power’s plan was, first and foremost, to find a buyer for what he so-aptly described as “a humongous piece of jewelry.” The same plan also included 12 more similar bikes, as part of a 13-item limited series that would find very rich and very eccentric owners. You see, the bike was estimated at $1 million, and Power promised he would donate more than 80% of all the money raised to charity.
The Gold Fat Bike stood out – and continues to do so – from other gold or gold-plated objects by the fact that every bit of it was covered in it. Everything from the wheels to the crank, the pedals and the brake rotors was plated in pure 24K gold and certified. What was not gold on the bike was other premium materials, like alligator leather on the seat, stingray skin on the water bottle, and fine Italian red leather accents in the rims.
What was neither gold nor leather on the bike was precious stones. Power created a House of Solid Gold logo for the bike out of 600 black diamonds (weighing 6.0 carats in total) and 500 golden sapphires (totaling 4.5 carats), which represented an outstanding piece of jewelry in itself. Further customization was added by means of a signature piece of 24K gold at the back of the headtube, with the signature of the artist.
The bike was created with input from extreme Alaska race Iditabike founder Dan Bull, and Sukeun Chun of Veloworx, and took no less than 750 hours to build. Much fuss was made about how every component had been electroplated in the United States, and how, despite all the gold on it, the fat bike was still functional and still able to be ridden hard. If you dared take it on an extreme ride after paying $1 million for it, that is. If you didn’t, you could always use it as a showpiece, so it came with a matching gold-plated stand for display purposes.
Proving the accuracy of the saying mentioned in the first paragraph, despite the hubbub around the bike, it never sold. Power passed away in 2015 and his son inherited what had become his father’s biggest and flashiest (and most expensive) gold creation.
Chances are the Gold Fat Bike exists to this day, and it retains the dubious distinction of being the world’s most expensive. It emerged at auction again in late 2020 when, according to Pink Bike, it was donated to charity and re-listed for $1 million. Benefits should have gone to the Institute for Education, Research, and Scholarships (IFERS) and the Personnel Efficiency Foundation (PEF), but there’s no word on whether it sold or not.
As it turns out, gifts of gold may be memorable, but not always desirable.