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TECH NEWS

Like Colnago’s new Tour de France bike? It’ll cost you £20,000

Limited edition version of Colnago’s C68 road bike marks the Tour’s Florence grand départ at the end of this month; the number 1 model will be auctioned by Sotheby’s

Colnago has introduced a limited-edition version of its C68 road bike to mark the 2024 Tour de France’s start in Florence, Italy, and it’s priced at €23,000 (about £19,600) a throw. Colnago has produced 111 of these bikes because it’s the 111th edition of the Tour, and the number one model, which Tadej Pogačar will ride during the race’s team presentation (27th June), will be auctioned by Sotheby’s – so that one’s likely to be even more expensive.

2024 Colnago C68 Fleur-de-Lys Tour de France - 5

Colnago calls this edition of the C68 the Fleur-de-Lys, this lily symbol being “the heraldic element that unites the history of the city of Dante Alighieri to the French nation”, according to Colnago. It’s a motif that decorates the frame of what is called the official bike of the Tour de France.

“The French lily is serially reproduced on the top tube in gold on a Bleu de France-coloured metal leaf field,” says Colnago. “This pattern - in addition to being a tribute to a recurring coat of arms in French royal iconography - echoes the pattern of the frescoes in the Sala dei Gigli, one of the most beautiful rooms in the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, the venue for the presentation of the teams and the starting point of the first stage of the Tour.”

So now you know, culture fans. 

2024 Colnago C68 Fleur-de-Lys Tour de France - 7

“The leaf finishing is applied each time by hand, with the result that the texture changes from one frame to the other,” says Colnago.

On top of that “a pattern composed of 15 small lily flowers applied by gold leaf embellishes the horizontal tube”.

COL_2805_0155 1

As mentioned, the Fleur-de-Lys bike is a Colnago C68, which is a fabulous bike in its own right. When we reviewed it last year, we summed it up like this, “Stunning looks, build quality and ride characteristics, for a premium price”.

2024 Colnago C68 Fleur-de-Lys Tour de France - 8

The bike we reviewed was £14,999.95. Let’s call it 15 grand. That was with a Campagnolo Super Record groupset.

> Check out our review of the Colnago C68 Super Record

The Fleur-de-Lys model has a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupset with Carbon-Ti chainrings and special limited edition Colnago x Tour de France CeramicSpeed oversized pulley wheels. The wheels are Enve SES 4.5, also in a special limited edition with gold-coloured spokes.

2024 Colnago C68 Fleur-de-Lys Tour de France - 1

The Colnago CC.01 handlebar comes with a Tour de France cap at the top of the steerer tube.

The bottle cage is intended to reflect the Tour de France trophy, although it’s not as cool as Colnago’s Giro d’Italia equivalent. 

> Check out the limited edition Colnago Gioiello – decorated in real gold leaf 

As mentioned, the number one Colnago Fleur-de-Lys will be auctioned by Sotheby’s. The auction will start on the first rest day and end on the second rest day.

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. 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.

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15 comments

Avatar
lesterama | 1 week ago
0 likes

Pound for pound, it's more expensive than 25 Rolls Royces. 

Avatar
froze | 1 week ago
1 like

Hell yes I'd take the cash, there is no bike made worth $20,000, and for that matter, there are none made worth over $5,000!  Once you reach $5,000 you have the top-of-the-line components, frame material, and the lightest weight, anything beyond that is just buying a name.  So give me the $20,000, I'll buy a $5,000 bike and pocket $15,000...actually since the bike doesn't make the rider, and since I'm not the world's best rider, I would spend about $2,000 to get a decent bike for my abilities and pocket $18,000 instead!

Avatar
marmotte27 replied to froze | 1 week ago
0 likes

Your $5000 threshold applies to production bikes only.

Avatar
philhubbard | 1 week ago
0 likes

The funny thing is that a lot of people are complaining about the way Colnago has moved and is now an "accountants bike". 80% of bike brands are losing money because of how they operate and I am sure we will see more go bust by the end of 2025 yet Colnago are 300% up apparently

Avatar
lesterama replied to philhubbard | 1 week ago
2 likes

In a world where inequality has been widening for years, their target market is the rich and aspirational. It's working.

Avatar
Bigfoz | 1 week ago
6 likes

This is what happens when a great brand is bought by a hedgefund (sovereign wealth fund). It all goes horribly wrong. 

BTW - it's not the new "TdF bike", it's going to be ridden at the presentation. Tadej et al will still be racing V4RSs. The C series are not race bikes. I'm not even sure what they are. All I can say is that after 30 years of owning / riding / lusting after Colnagos, I'm done. I'd rather have a Battaglin Portofino every day of the week. But I still love my old Colnagos which do have charm and history. This thing has none of that, it's an accountant's bike.

Avatar
jagg replied to Bigfoz | 1 week ago
8 likes

Yes it's obscenely priced and only a few will be able to afford it.

But why get so wound up about that?
New bike releases come out like this all the time and elicit the same old boring outraged responses.

If you can't afford it (like the vast majority of us) then ignore it, move on and go buy a 105/Force build (which tbf, is more than enough bike for most people's actual abilities).
If you prefer riding around lanes at 20kph on 40 year old steel machines, that's fine too, just highlights further that this bike probably isn't for you either.

The tantrums about expensive bikes & having to regale everyone about loving old stuff has got to the point where it's even more banal & obnoxious than limited releases of high-end, obscenely over-priced bikes.

Avatar
ErnieC replied to jagg | 1 week ago
2 likes

jagg wrote:

Yes it's obscenely priced and only a few will be able to afford it.

But why get so wound up about that?
New bike releases come out like this all the time and elicit the same old boring outraged responses.

If you can't afford it (like the vast majority of us) then ignore it, move on and go buy a 105/Force build (which tbf, is more than enough bike for most people's actual abilities).
If you prefer riding around lanes at 20kph on 40 year old steel machines, that's fine too, just highlights further that this bike probably isn't for you either.

The tantrums about expensive bikes & having to regale everyone about loving old stuff has got to the point where it's even more banal & obnoxious than limited releases of high-end, obscenely over-priced bikes.

And all the people went Amen

Avatar
mark1a replied to jagg | 1 week ago
1 like

Well said.

Avatar
rjfrussell replied to jagg | 1 week ago
2 likes

jagg wrote:

Yes it's obscenely priced and only a few will be able to afford it.

But why get so wound up about that?
New bike releases come out like this all the time and elicit the same old boring outraged responses.

If you can't afford it (like the vast majority of us) then ignore it, move on and go buy a 105/Force build (which tbf, is more than enough bike for most people's actual abilities).
If you prefer riding around lanes at 20kph on 40 year old steel machines, that's fine too, just highlights further that this bike probably isn't for you either.

The tantrums about expensive bikes & having to regale everyone about loving old stuff has got to the point where it's even more banal & obnoxious than limited releases of high-end, obscenely over-priced bikes.

The only thing more dull than people complaining about over-priced bikes is people complaining about people complaining about over-priced bikes; and the only thing more boring than that is people complaining about them. 

 

Except that of course means that there are at least two things more dull than the original complaint.  I think the circuits are about to explode here.

Avatar
mctrials23 replied to jagg | 1 week ago
2 likes

Its pretty endemic in the bike media space. People love to tell you how they ride X bike and that is clearly the most anyone who isn't a pro needs and anyone who spends more is clearly a brainwashed idiot. The same people who no doubt spend silly money on other things in their life that many of us would think was batshit crazy. 

I wouldn't buy this bike if I did have £20k burning a hole in my very deep pockets. Who cares though. I'm sure some people will buy it and love it. Each to their own. Ride what you want and can afford and leave others to do the same. 

Avatar
Simon E replied to jagg | 1 week ago
1 like

I couldn't agree more.

All this noise about Lab71s and SL8s and now a limited Colnago being so expensive is just hot air. Too many people don't seem to have enough real issues to get really bothered about.

Those bikes are irrelevant to me just as an Aston Martin or Porsche would be when I next need to buy a (cheap, old) car to replace my Fabia.

I see the same crap with people getting worked up about custom shop and vintage guitars yet players like Jeff Beck could walk into a shop, pick a standard Strat off the wall and then play a gig or record a track with it later that day. Or Gary Moore saying how the guys in Metallica didn't need thousands of pounds of gear to get a great tone, just something like a Les Paul and a Marshall (though I'm sure he used a couple of pedals too).

Avatar
Brauchsel replied to Bigfoz | 1 week ago
0 likes

If people (even accountants) never bought expensive new bikes then collectors like you would never be able to buy expensive old bikes. Or was their history installed and held in with cotter pins at the point of manufacture?

Avatar
cyclisto replied to Bigfoz | 1 week ago
0 likes

Bigfoz wrote:

This is what happens when a great brand is bought by a hedgefund (sovereign wealth fund). It all goes horribly wrong.

I don't think any with sane mind will see an actual business opportunity and will say that "oh, I will not price unethically". If I was making bike frames in my back yard and I knew that there were people willing enough to pay £20,000 for 9 tubes and a fork, I would definitely charge them so.

Would these buyers be stupid? It depends, if they have the money and don't know what to do them, they are definitely not, if they think now that they are a bit tight but that things will get better, they probably are, if they buy them with loans and credit cards they definitely are.

The problem for me isn't that there are so expensive bicycles, the problem is that Europe importers are ok to import bicycles with components from Japan and Taiwan but not China where companies like Sensah and Ltwoo could seriously drop prices.

Avatar
john_smith replied to cyclisto | 1 week ago
0 likes

There are good reasons for not buying products from China.

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