Aside from getting to ride every day for a living, one of the perks of being a professional cyclist is surely getting a free top of the range bike to ride to do it on.
If you happen to be one of those extremely talented bunch that manages to win something big, you may even be treated to a custom painted version to show just how bloomin’ good you are.
For the rest of us (unless you want to drop some cash on a paint job) we’ll have to manage with looking at these beautiful machines in awe.
Here are some of the best custom bikes from the 2019 season.
Greg Van Avermaet’s gold Giant TCR
Unlike winning the World Championships for instance, winning Olympic gold allows for four years of glory instead of one. Rio 2016 winner Greg Van Avermaet (CCC Team) has not been shy about his victory remaining visible, previously riding an all gold BMC Teammachine with his former squad.
This year’s Giant TCR Advanced SL isn’t quite as garishly gold as that BMC was, with a gold fade from front to back a subtler choice.
GVA has been riding the TCR paired with a gold helmet throughout most of the season, occasionally switching to the aero Propel on the flat days.
The Belgian’s bike is equipped with full Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 with Giant proprietary handlebar, stem and saddle. The wheel’s are Giant’s in-house brand Cadex. Van Avermaet has used the rim brake model on most occasions this year but has switched to discs for the extremely wet World Championships road race in Yorkshire.
Julian Alaphilippe’s S-Works Tarmac
While this one isn’t the most outlandish design, it’s a beautiful change to the standard Deceuninck-Quick-Step colourway for Julian Alaphilippe. The Frenchman’s custom S-Works Tarmac SL6 was debuted at the Tour de France in July.
The black base of the bike fades into a deep blue at the bottom of the bike, with some nice graphic touches as well. The inside of the fork says ‘The Wolfpack’ on it, thanks to the Belgian team’s self chosen moniker, with a wolf head logo on the top tube.
While this bike doesn’t represent a victory like Van Avermaet’s does, it did end up being the bike Alaphilippe rode on to a stage win in Épernay, in a Tour which saw him spend 14 days in the yellow jersey.
The bike is fitted with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 throughout, with Pro handebars and stem. Specialized provides the saddle and the wheels though its in-house wheel company Roval.
Mads Pedersen’s Trek Madone
If you said Mads Pedersen was going to win the World Championships this year, then we know you’re lying.
The Dane was a shock winner of the road race in Yorkshire in September, and as well as a rainbow jersey for the year he also gets this custom rainbow Trek Madone SLR provided by his Trek-Segafredo team.
The aero frame comes with rainbow bands reaching from the head tube up to the top tube on the white base colour. There’s also some other custom touches with the word ‘Underdog’ on the seat tube and ‘All or Nothing’ on the top tube.
The Madone is built with SRAM Red eTap AXS wireless groupset, with a the rainbow coloured chain a very nice touch. The bikes features Bontrage Aeolus 6 wheels with Bontrager saddle, handlebars and stem.
Pedersen has only ridden this bike a few times since his win in September, having ended his season at the Italian one-day race, Milano-Torino, but it’ll be out in full force for the 2020 season.
Esteban Chaves’ Scott Addict
A bike here not built to honour a victory, but instead a charity. Esteban Chaves’ custom Scott Addict RC is built in the colours of the FUN foundation, a children’s charity set up by the Colombian rider.
The blue to silver metallic fade is really striking and really pops with the multicoloured Scott logos around the bike. The bike was built to debut at the World Championships in Yorkshire, and was noticeable even in the dreary and damp conditions the road race was held in. Chaves then rode it for Mitchelton-Scott throughout the Italian autumn Classics.
The Addict comes with full Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 and Dura-Ace wheels. The aero handlebar is Scott Syncros proprietary, as are the seatpost and saddle.
Peter Sagan’s S-Works Venge
It was a fairly quiet year by Peter Sagan’s (Bora-Hansgrohe) high standards, with just the four wins including a stage at the Tour de France. But you, know he’s still Peter Sagan and is undoubtedly going to have a custom Specialized bike made for him.
This new S-Works Venge first appeared at the Tour de France in July and features a fairly understated grey and black colourway for the three-time world champion. On close inspection though the grey has a speckled rainbow feel to it, which is a nice subtle touch.
With his name on the top tube, the only other custom detail is the words ‘We’ll See’ printed under the down tube (a familiar phrase if you’ve ever watched an interview with him).
The bike comes with full Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 and is shod with deep section Roval wheels. Specialized provides the aero handlebar and stem along with the seat post and saddle.