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Are these Trek’s wildest paint jobs ever?

US brand offers new Tie Dye finishes on its Project One custom bike range… but they don’t come cheap

If you want a bike that’ll get noticed, Trek has just introduced new Tie Dye paint finishes to its Project One range – and they're certainly head-turners.

Project One is Trek’s custom scheme. You choose the model/size of frameset – coming out of a mould, the frame dimensions aren’t custom – then the finish you want, and finally the build. The Tie Dye finish is one of Trek’s Icon options and it’s available in various different colours, some more in your face than others.

2023 Trek Project One Tie Dye finish - 8.jpeg

“To tempt both tie-dye traditionalists and modern colour lovers, Project One ICON Tie Dye will be available in six different options, ranging from the iconic and bright Rainbow Tie Dye to subdued monochrome options, like Shady Grey Tie Dye and Juniper Tie Dye, and muted Pastel Tie Dye,” says Trek. “These six different schemes mean riders can keep their design mellow or take their ride as far out as they want.”

> Behold this custom-painted Factor OSTRO VAM made in collaboration with Duke Agyapong 

As usual with Project One, you can personalise the finish – by adding your name to the top tube, for example – and choose the components from a range of options. Groupsets are from Shimano and SRAM – you can’t get Campagnolo – while nearly everything else is from Trek’s in-house Bontrager brand.

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Trek only offers higher-end models through Project One and the Tie Dye finish is restricted to the Madone SLR, Domane SLR, and Émonda SLR road bikes, the Domane+ SLR electric road bike, as well as the Checkpoint SLR gravel bike and the Speed Concept time trial/triathlon bike.

> Trek releases radical Madone SLR, its “fastest road race bike ever”

None of these options is cheap. A Project One Émonda SLR 6 starts at £7,400, for example. That’s with a Shimano 105 Di2 R7170 groupset. An Icon Tie Dye finish adds £1,650, so you’re looking at £9,050.

2023 Trek Project One Tie Dye finish - 14.jpeg

> Check out our review of the Shimano 105 R7100 Di2 Groupset 

At the other end of the price scale, a Madone SLR 9 eTap, built up with a SRAM Red eTap AXS Quarq groupset, starts at £14,500. Add £1,650 for your Tie Dye paint job and you’re up to £16,150, so you’d better be confident that it’s the finish you want. You can bring the price down a bit by altering the wheels, saddles, and tyres, but you’ll still be looking at big, big money.

2023 Trek Project One Tie Dye finish - 11.jpeg

If that’s way north of what you can pay – or are willing to pay – there are plenty of other ways to add customisation to your cycling. Custom-painted cycling shoes can be very cool, for example, and the options are limitless. There’s definitely someone out there who can do you a tie dye finish.

> Custom-painted cycling shoes: a look at the coolest and a guide to the best artists 

Okay, they can be expensive, but not £16,000-expensive.

2023 Trek Project One Tie Dye finish - 10.jpeg

If you do fancy a Trek Project One bike, you can get started here.

Take a look at loads more cool Bikes at Bedtime here.

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 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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Global Nomad | 1 year ago

struggling to see how these improve the look of the bikes....i love  a good colour/pattern but some styles require a broad surface to work

Off the back | 1 year ago

I always wonder if the people who go for these paint jobs actually ride their bikes. I own a rage red Emonda SLR. Trying to find patch paint for that is bad enough. You scratch any of these it's going to be very difficult to cover. 

ktache | 1 year ago
1 like

Well the rainbow tie dye is lovely. How careful you'd have to be...

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