The legendary Italian bike brand Colnago has launched a new bike... but not as you know it. The C64 NFT isn't actually a physical bicycle, but instead a non-fungible token (NFT) stored on a blockchain. The digital asset is up for auction, with a starting price of almost £5,000.
Confused? Essentially an NFT is a form of cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, but it takes the form of a digital item instead of money. Notable things that have already been sold as NFTs include Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey's first ever tweet on the platform, Wayne Rooney's 2011 overhead goal against Manchester City and Mike Winkelmann's digital artwork “Everydays: The First 5000 Days”, that fetched a whopping $69 million at a Christie's auction.
Colnago (to our knowledge) is the first bike brand to get in on the act, claiming that the C64 NFT "combines all 67 years of historic Colnago moments into a unique NTF bike."
If it was real the bike would certainly be an intriguing mishmash, fusing together:
- The Bititan bike that Abraham Olano won the World Championships on in 1995
- Anthony Charteau's Polka Dot jersey-winning C59 from the 2010 Tour de France
- The C35 TTT that won the Team Time Trial World Championship 100km in 1994
- Giuseppe Saronni's Super Profil
- Tony Rominger's Hour Record bike
- Tadej Pogačar's Tour de France-winning V3Rs
- The C40 icon of Team Mapei.
Colnago boasts that the "incredible" NFT is "becoming part of Colnago history and will never be duplicated."
“Backed up by independent researchers, the creation of an average NFT has a stunning environmental footprint of over 200 kilograms of planet-warming carbon, equivalent to driving 500 miles in a typical American gasoline-powered car.”
Not a good look for a ‘sustainable sport’ 🙄 https://t.co/YDt52FkedJ
— George Poole (@GeorgePuddle) May 5, 2021
— Simon Warren (@100Climbs) May 5, 2021
Reaction to the auction so far has included surprise, bemusement and some backlash, with some citing the irony of an emission-beating bike being made available as an NFT, when the environmental impact of the cryptocurrency often used to buy one has received much criticism. The Verge cites a study by the digital artist Memo Akten (which is no longer available to view online due to "abuse and harassment" according to Akten himself) that analysed the environmental impact of 18,000 NFTs. Akten discovered that the average NFT had a carbon footprint equivalent to a month's worth of household electricity, and could be as high as two month's worth.
Still interested? Bidding has already opened on OpenSea here and will close on 25th May, with the reserve price of $6,674.89 at the time of writing (about £4,796) yet to be matched. And no, we don't know how much it weighs...
Arriving at road.cc in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of road.cc in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.