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TECH NEWS

Colnago to use blockchain tech on 2022 bikes

New digital passports are designed to ensure the validity and proof of ownership of new Colnago frames, starting with the bike that Tadej Pogačar will ride at the World Championships this weekend

Colnago will begin to use blockchain technology across its frames starting in 2022, providing a digital passport that can be used to demonstrate authenticity and offer proof of ownership. The first bike to feature the tech is the Colnago V3Rs that 2020 and 2021 Tour de France winner Tadej Pogačar will ride at the World Championships this weekend.

2021 Colnago_V3Rs_Ice&Fire_Tag_whiteback.jpeg

“Colnago's technical partner MyLime has developed and created an RFID (radio-frequency identification) tag that is inextricably linked to the bike frame and grants access to the information in the bike’s digital passport through a smartphone app that is linked to the blockchain,” says Colnago.

“When the frame is sold to a new owner, the transfer of ownership can be managed with MyLime’s certified process. The transparency offered by MyLime's blockchain solution will lend absolute traceability and will ensure the bicycle's value over time.”

> NFT digital image of Colnago bike sells for $8,600 

Colnago says that the data stored on the blockchain cannot be faked or changed once registered, providing ultimate proof of ownership.

2021 Colnago_V3Rs_Ice&Fire_back_whiteback.jpeg

Colnago’s Head of Marketing Manolo Bertocchi said, “We have been looking at the security provided by blockchain technology to give our customers the confidence to know that the frame they are buying is authentic and to demonstrate the chain of ownership forever. We will also announce other functions based on blockchain with the new year.”

2021 Colnago_V3Rs_Ice&Fire_detail2_whiteback.jpeg

Of course, you can add your own RFID security chip/tag to any bike, linking it back to you if it is ever stolen. This wouldn’t do anything to prove the bike's authenticity, though.

Tadej Pogačar’s Colnago V3Rs for the UCI Road World Championship this Sunday features an ‘Ice & Fire’ finish that is said to have been designed by the Slovenian. It will be auctioned off at the launch of the new Colnago website and app in 2022.

2021 Colnago_V3Rs_Ice&Fire_sign_whiteback.jpeg

The bike features a 12-speed Campagnolo Super Record EPS Disc groupset, Campagnolo Bora Ultra WTO 45 DB wheels, and Vittoria Corsa clincher tyres. It is equipped with a Deda Elementi Alanero DCR carbon-fibre handlebar, a Prologo Scratch M5 Nack saddle, and Colnago’s carbon bottle cage.

www.colnago.com/en/IceandFire

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. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. 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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19 comments

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Philh68 | 2 years ago
0 likes

I'm sure I've seen blockchain tech on a bicycle already 😉

https://youtu.be/RyFux1DOdU8

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RNTRMP | 2 years ago
0 likes

Are these real bikes or NFT digital artwork bikes? Colnago is embracing so many cutting-edge digital trends these days it’s hard to keep up. What’s next, Ernesto the avatar?

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Smoggysteve | 2 years ago
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Heres a question for anyone who works in a bike shop: Do you or know any shops that as a matter of course bother to look at serial numbers on bikes that are in for service to see if theyhave been reported stolen? If the answer is no how the hell is anyone actually going to be able to trace a bike blockchain or otherwise? If its ever sold on ebay, Facebook etc then I don't think many are getting their phones out to check the serial number to ensure the bike isnt nicked. Even if you would want to know the bike you are buying used wasnt hot there are plenty of others who will quite happily turn a blind eye. 

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Sriracha replied to Smoggysteve | 2 years ago
2 likes

Yeah, put bike on workstand, stoop below, squint up at BB, try to discern frame number beneath the grime beneath the paint, now scratch your head to work out how to decide where to look it up. Discover you must have a digit wrong somewhere, rinse, repeat.

Or, scan RFID tag, get taken directly to manufacturer's database, confirm customer name. Maybe there's something in it.

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Nick T replied to Sriracha | 2 years ago
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If the bike you're looking at buying is so dirty its impossible to read the serial number, or the number has been scratched off, why would you be bothered about scanning its RFID. 
 

I don't know any shop that just randomly checks the bike a customer brought in is legally theirs, it's impossible to determine anyway as you don't update your eBay purchase with the manufacturer 

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Sriracha replied to Nick T | 2 years ago
1 like

The OP's question related to bike shops checking bikes that come in for service, so your first paragraph is irrelevant. Your second paragraph just restates the problem that was being answered, so I'd just refer you back to my post.

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Smoggysteve replied to Sriracha | 2 years ago
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Sriracha wrote:

scan RFID tag, get taken directly to manufacturer's database, confirm customer name. Maybe there's something in it.

The issue would be this is technology bike shops would have to buy into. You might get a few chain branches that will invest in it but your average bike shop is living off of tiny margains. No doubt the license and equipment to scan these things won't come without an off-putting price tag. 

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Sriracha replied to Smoggysteve | 2 years ago
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Most mobile phones will scan an RFID tag.

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Dicklexic | 2 years ago
1 like

Something something blockchain, blah blah blah database.

I don't really 'get' any of that, but I DO get what a fabulous looking bike that is! Love the marbled effect in the paint. Would really like to see some more pictures...

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cdamian | 2 years ago
3 likes

Colnago’s Head of Marketing Manolo Bertocchi said, “We have been looking at the security marketing hype provided by blockchain..."

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Secret_squirrel | 2 years ago
2 likes

Some twonk at Colnago has been sipping the blockchain koolaid.  Like any database - for thats what a blockchain is - a blockchain record proves ownership of nothing and just indicates what the last update of owner information was - virtual ownership if you will.  Not the same thing at all.

The RFID tag adds nothing over a serial number on the BB shell, apart from prospective tea leafs needing to remove it differently.

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Sriracha replied to Secret_squirrel | 2 years ago
1 like

Surely the difference is this; anybody can add, remove or replace an RFID sticker and substitute one that stores the own credentials, and claim that this proves their ownership. However with a blockchain database any edits and deletions are not possible, and additions will still leave the previous details intact. So the issue is how to tie the bike immutably to the blockchain database in the first place. I'd agree that an RFID sticker might not answer that - unless it is write-once and tamper evident (like a stamped frame number!)

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Secret_squirrel replied to Sriracha | 2 years ago
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Most any database can be set up to be immutable.  Blockchain is just where the hype is.

But essentially you are correct on the RFID.  Blockchain fails when it has to prove something in the physical world rather than as an electronic record like a cryptocurrency (and even then the holder of the wallet is king regardless of how they obtained it).  Its an identical problem to the cashing up process in a business.  The till might say you have taken £100 but your cashing up shows £98 because a £2 coin is missing - that prolly rolled under the fridge.  Its a ok audit trail - but thats all it is.

The nature of the updates also makes it fallible as it relies on a human doing it.  Who are the cops going to believe is the owner - these Lime guys whose record may not have been updated or a signed reciept or ebay auction record that can be tied back to the original owner?

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qwerty360 replied to Secret_squirrel | 2 years ago
3 likes

The design goal of blockchain was to allow a group of UNTRUSTED parties to share a common ledger.

 

Note the important part there - untrusted; Bitcoin works on the basis of lots of people securing it such that noone needs to be trusted (whereas normal finance generally requires banks/governments as trusted parties). It also relies on no party having more processing power than was used to generate the chain (the bitcoin chain changes all the time - moores law is irrelevent because security increases in line with ability to break it - but for this it only gets reprocessed during a transaction, so it probably only takes a few years to render the existing security broken)

 

As far as I can see these tags will rely on a trusted central party. At which point blockchain is generally a bloody awful solution (as standard databases held by the trusted party use a fraction of the compute resources/data to achieve the same result)

 

(TLDR: lots of people are using blockchain because it is the *amazing new tech* for *problem* when traditional tech solutions are a better solution to *problem* in every way...)

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armb replied to qwerty360 | 2 years ago
1 like

Yes, there are basically three possibilities here

  • It's a sensible design which doesn't use a blockchain at all, that's just marketing bullshit
  • It's a largely sensible design polluted by just enough blockchain for the marketing bullshit to be technically not lying
  • It's a stupid design, built around blockchain for marketing bullshit reasons

(Actually four, because it could be a design which sensibly doesn't use a blockchain but is broken for unrelated reasons.)

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samuri replied to armb | 2 years ago
1 like

The thing blockchain loons fail to do every time is ask 'is there something that needs fixing?'

If they simply did that before proposing yet another crackpot solution to something that's working fine then blockchain and it's feral children, cryptocurrencies, would have died off years ago.

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samuri replied to samuri | 2 years ago
1 like

And don't get me started on NFTs, what a bunch of melts.

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Nick T | 2 years ago
3 likes

Wtf is happening at colnago

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SimoninSpalding replied to Nick T | 2 years ago
0 likes

Ernesto sold it to venture capitalists. I don't blame him wanting to retire, but it will be run differently now. Would still have a C64 and a Master X-light if I could afford it though😍

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