The world's craziest bicycle collection is due to be auctioned

Austrian auction house Dorotheum is set to sell the unique bike collection of Michael Embacher in Vienna on 19 May 2015. More than 200 rare and unusual bikes will come under the hammer, with low estimates ranging from €100 to €7,000...

The more unusual, the better

In only 10 years, Viennese architect Michael Embacher has brought together one of the world's best bicycle collections. When selecting appropriate cycles, Embacher always posed the question: just how far can the design principle of the bicycle be stretched? Preference was given to the more unusual, in accordance with the rest of the collection. The collection has featured in museums in Vienna, Portland and Tel Aviv, and was celebrated in international publications such as the New York Times and Vogue. Design legends such as Richard Sapper, Sir Paul Smith and even Valentino Campagnolo – founder of the famous Italian bicycle dynasty – are renowned fans of the Embacher collection.

203 specimens under the hammer

Michael Embacher’s bicycle collection will be auctioned on 19 May 2015 in Vienna’s Palais Dorotheum, featuring 203 specimens in total. And the estimates are quite reasonable – some buyers will be acquiring a bicycle for just a few hundred euros. Looking at the lots, there are many very rare models, from the Funicolo bicycle built by Jaques Schulz in 1937, to the Italian briefcase bike ‘Skoot’. A genuine design classic is the Alex Moulton-designed, ultra-light titanium ‘One Off’ folding bike from 1991, which is featured in the MoMA collection in New York. 

Unique pieces at reasonable prices

In the Classic Driver editorial team, we’re tempted by the purist road variations from the 1980s, such as the affordable steel-frame classics by Eddy Merckx of Belgium, Puch of Austria and Cinelli of Italy. The aerodynamic racers built by car brands are also very desirable – especially the black and gold carbon frames by Lotus from the 1990s. And if you want something really unusual, take the replica of Francesco Moser's wild record-racer of 1984 or the futuristic Bianchi C4 project bike from 1988. All bikes are on display from 9 May at the Dorotheum in Vienna.

Photos: Dorotheum

The auction 'Bicycles from the Embacher Collection' will take place on 19 May 2015 at the Palais Dorotheum in Vienna. To view all 203 bicycles online, visit dorotheum.com.