A golden bicycle — a symbol of magnificence and success
Average reading time — 3 minutes
Gold is one of the most expensive and prestigious metals in the world, it symbolizes wealth, power, status and success. It is used not only in jewelry, but also in medicine, electronics, aerospace and other fields.
But did you know that gold is also used to create luxury bicycles? That’s right, there are several exclusive models that are partially or completely covered with gold. Among the most beautiful two-wheeled masterpieces are the creations presented to the world by the Italian company Colnago.
The beginning of the Colnago golden collection
Ernesto Colnago, a proponent of the Italian traditions of cycling, blended the simplicity of design and noble metal in the Colnago Mexico Oro bicycle, which is almost completely covered with a thin layer of 18K gold. The limited edition was released on the occasion of Eddy Merckx who broke the record for the distance that can be traveled on a bicycle in an hour. One copy from a limited edition in 1979 was even presented as a gift to Pope John Paul II.
In the photo: the golden bicycle that belonged to the pontiff is now in the company’s museum in Cambiago.
Golden traditions: through the years and today
Colnago has since celebrated significant events in the history of the company and cycle sport by decorating certain models with the royal metal. One of such examples is the Gold Private Collection — a limited edition of 64 bicycles based on the C64 frameset marking the company’s 64th anniversary.
The bike attracted attention not only with its exclusive design and golden details, but also with its technical excellence. 24K gold-plated carbon frame is engraved with Ernesto Colnago’s signature and his trademark logo, namely the ace of clubs. The bicycle fork, saddle and seatpost (dropper post), bottom bracket and CeramicSpeed pulley are also decorated with the noble metal.
In the photo: a black carbon fiber body creates a backdrop against which the metal of kings reveals its beauty to the viewer in its entirety.
The crowning glory of Colnago’s golden park is Gioiello, a true work of art that demonstrates the craftsmanship and creativity of Italian engineers and designers. This is a bicycle for those who appreciate quality, style and luxury. A bicycle for those who love gold.
In anticipation of the 106th anniversary of the Giro d'Italia bicycle race in the spring of 2023, Colnago launched the Colnago Gioiello C68 road bike. This is a real gem in the collection of high-end bikes that is based on the company’s latest design and has a listed estimated price of around $24,000. Gold leaf covers the down tube, head tube, top tube and fork legs. Even the bottle cage, made with state-of-the-art 3D printing and designed in the style of the Trofeo Senza Fine (in Italian: Endless Trophy) cup, is decorated with gold.
The Giro d'Italia Grand Tour is regarded as one of the most prestigious cycling events in the world. Winning the race is almost considered a bigger achievement than winning the Olympic medal. Having been released in honor of such a significant event, the bicycle has become a symbol of prestige and the highest status. There are only 50 pieces in the series, each of which is distinguished by its own unique pattern formed by sheets of the finest gold, which is hand-applied by craftsmen with the utmost care.
The flagship among the fifty pieces dedicated to the legendary Giro d'Italia became the number one item simply called Numero 1. It is distinguished from the other items not just by the plate with the issue number and the name, but also by the finishing touch of the master — a pair of embossed Colnago logos in the form of the ace of clubs made of 24K gold, and a 2K diamond on top of the headset. The flagship of the Gioiello series went under the hammer at Sotheby’s for a staggering $133,000 at the end of May.
“The bicycle should be simple”
At least so says Ernesto Colnago, the maestro of two-wheeled masterpieces. Why did the proponent of simplicity choose the most recognizable metal in the world to decorate his creations?
The allure of gold lies in its unique physical and chemical properties, its high value and rarity, as well as its rich history and cultural significance. Mr. Colnago, being a perfectionist, visionary and also a zealot of the tradition of bicycle manufacturing and Italian cycling, could not ignore the symbol of timeless value, which goes back to hoary antiquity.
In the photo: the jet-black Numero 1 is crowned with a diamond and densely covered with the finest pattern of gold.
Gold is not only beautiful, but also an extraordinary metal that has a variety of applications and meanings. The Colnago Gioiello gold bicycle is a worthy example of how solar metal can be used to create unique and breathtaking masterpieces.
Read also the article: