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Colnago is auctioning off a digital picture of C64 road bike... and faces backlash for environmental impact

When is a bicycle not a bicycle? When it's a digital one stored as a unit of data on a blockchain, which is what the highest bidder on this Colnago C64 NFT will receive.....

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. 

> Review: Colnago C64 frameset

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." 

colnago c64 nft 2.PNG

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." 

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 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 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.  

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brooksby | 3 years ago


You might think buying a NFT-based artwork gives you the exclusive right to own a copy and make use of it, but not so.

NFTs are easily viewable online - and there's nothing to stop anyone from making a copy. Indeed, in the case of a meme, the fact is it so widely shared might be part of the appeal.

So what are owners getting?

Generally, it's nothing more than the ability to claim and sell the right of ownership to the work, said Perzanowski, with artists typically retaining the copyright to the underlying art.

That boils down to "bragging rights", argued Alex de Vries, creator of the Digiconomist platform, which examines the unintended consequences of digital trends.



"Here! I've got an idea. Suppose you agree that he can't actually have babies, not having a womb, which is nobody's fault, not even the Romans', but that he can have the right to have babies."

"Good idea, Judith. We shall fight the oppressors for your right to have babies, brother. Sister, sorry."


Chris Hayes | 3 years ago

...The Emporer's new Colnago... WTF is going on. 

kil0ran replied to Chris Hayes | 3 years ago

End-stage capitalism

cdamian | 3 years ago
1 like

If you thought cars were bad for the environment, wait until you hear about NFTs.

Kerans | 3 years ago

NFTs are an utter waste of resources, time and money and are merely a pyramid scheme for the gullible.

Rapha Nadal replied to Kerans | 3 years ago

Paid off my mortgage so I can't really agree that they're a waste of money!

Legin | 3 years ago

Dear Mr Colnago (or Mrs),


Time wasters.

Compact Corned Beef | 3 years ago
1 like

Do you know anyone with 5 grand burning a hole in their pockets, a willingness to speculate on a tarted-up CAD model and a complete lack of good sense?

Veblen goods on steroids - we're not supposed to to reach this fin-de-siecle nonsense for another 80 years yet. Help!

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