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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 road.cc 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 road.cc 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.  

Latest Comments

  • Rendel Harris 1 hour 15 min ago

    That would be a bit more credible if they hadn't gone all out to try and get Cav the record last year, wouldn't it?

  • Mungecrundle 2 hours 45 min ago

    Professional advice is always your gold standard. A GP referal is a good place to start but accessing those services can be difficult given the...

  • Calc 3 hours 17 min ago

    Why the hole?  It's so you are forced to buy their special seatpost.

  • d_jp 6 hours 21 min ago

    'that was "grippy" / a "grippy" stage' 'i love echelons' ... Adam Blythe

  • Lemonyhills 6 hours 34 min ago

    These would be ideal for security in the garage, and out and about for our bikes lost two in the past.

  • Brauchsel 6 hours 36 min ago

    But if it doesn't look like a car's going to pull up, you find someone in the same-coloured top as you and make them give you their bike. 

  • dabba 7 hours 11 min ago

    I bought an Anker 15w solar panel set to try for touring in Australia. It wasn't a success for me. I tried draping it over the rear panniers while...

  • TheBillder 7 hours 37 min ago

    I'm running a mid 90s chainset (originally had a 6 speed freewheel) with a 10 speed chain and cassette and it all works very well. I might be wrong...

  • capedcrusader 7 hours 52 min ago

    Re: Early morning raid on BV....

  • 11waterloo 8 hours 5 min ago

    Agreed on that, he was definitely part of my first week plans! Not to mention my French riders team - that is in tatters without Le Coq!