Dream Machines: 14 Insanely Expensive Bikes

Take a (virtual) spin on the world's most expensive, high-tech, super luxurious bicycles

Every bicycles is, at its heart, an elegant machine—simple, efficient and made to move. But, when it comes down to it, some are just built better than others. Specifically, the ones that cost tens of thousands of dollars and have space-age components developed my mad scientists in top-secret labs deep in the bowels of Cal Tech and M.I.T. [slideshow:632]

We're talking mountain bike suspensions that auto-adjust to the terrain; near-bulletproof, featherweight off-road frames that weigh in under two pounds; carbon wheels and electronic shifters. Then, of course, there are the over-the-top limited edition builds, with buttery soft leather, titanium frames, 24-karat gold plating and even crystals. And custom-built, handcrafted, artist-decorated rides. Or the bikes ridden by famous buns…well, Lance Armstrong's buns (have those depreciated significantly?).

Anyway, suffice it to say that these bikes are bananas. Do we exaggerate? Click through, and find out for yourself.

Related: The Bicycle Collector; 15 questions for Michael Embacher, owner of one of the world's great collections of historic and curious bicycles