The 2023 Giro d’Italia begins this Saturday (6 May) and Colnago has released a limited edition Gioiello road bike, based on the existing C68, to mark the occasion – complete with a gold leaf finish that’s inspired by the race trophy.
It’s hard to believe that the first Grand Tour of the season is nearly upon us but it kicks off with an individual time trial this Saturday and Colnago’s Gioiello – the Italian word for jewel – is designed to mark the race.
The Gioiello is based on the lugged Colnago C68 that was launched this time last year. One big difference, though, is the addition of a gold-leaf finish. That’s real gold leaf, not just lookie-likie paintwork.
“Each frame has a unique finish because due to the very nature of the process, which requires that the gold leaf be applied each time by hand without following a predefined programme, the texture that is created is always different and makes each Gioiello individual,” says Colnago.
The gold leaf extends the full length of the down tube and covers much of the head tube, top tube, seat tube, chainstays and fork legs too. The lower sections of the fork are decorated with a pattern.
“The motif is made up of lines, crosses and the repetition of the ace of clubs, the Colnago logo, according to different patterns,” says Colnago. “Both the lines and the crosses refer to the components of the frame: the lines indicate the tubes, while the crosses symbolise the lugs, a characteristic of the handmade multi-part Italian tradition process that has made [Colnago] famous throughout the world.”
This pattern is repeated on the Selle Italia SLR Flow saddle and the handlebar tape.
The bottle cage is really interesting too. It’s a spiral design with an appearance that hints at the Trofeo Senza Fine, the Giro d’Italia trophy that has been awarded since 1999. The bottle cage is 3D printed and, like the frame, has been covered in gold leaf.
Although dedicated to the Giro d’Italia, the Colnago Gioiello isn’t built up with an Italian groupset. Instead, you’ll see mostly Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 R9250 components here.
The rear derailleur pulley wheels are oversized CeramicSpeed OSPW 3D-printed titanium with a titanium nitride coating to improve durability while the brake discs are Carbon-Ti X-rotor steel/carbon.
The Enve SES 3.4 wheels have been given gold spokes and the Pirelli P Zero Race TLR tyres have special gold graphics.
Continuing the theme, the handlebar end caps and the through-axle caps have a gold leaf finish.
As mentioned up top, the Colnago Gioiello will be produced in only 50 units, each individually numbered. Price? Well, there’s always a downside, isn’t there? The Colnago Gioiello has a suggested retail price of €22,000, which is around £19,300. It was never going to be cheap, was it?
Frame Colnago C68 Road – full carbon
Handlebar and stem Colnago CC.01 integrated
Groupset Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 R9250
Pulley wheels CeramicSpeed OSPW 3D Printed Ti OSPW TiN Coated
Brake discs Carbon-Ti X-rotor steelcarbon
Saddle Selle Italia SLR Flow carbon Colnago for Giro d'Italia
Wheels Enve SES 3.4 Gold version
Tyres Pirelli P ZERO Race TLR Gold x Colnago for Giro d’Italia
Handlebar tape Colnago for Giro d’Italia
Bottle cage Colnago for Giro d'Italia
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.