In the past Colnago has aligned itself with motorsport, Ferrari and Maranello, but with its latest limited-edition bike it appears to have changed direction and is heading for the catwalks of Milan.
Colnago has collaborated with Italian luxury shoe brand Tod’s to create the Tod’s T Bike. In Colnago’s words: “Two of the top Made in Italy brands united for a project that embraces urban mobility and celebrates the Italian lifestyle.”
According to Colnago, “Tod's T Bike… interprets the desire for sustainable mobility with style and reflects Colnago's desire to go beyond the traditional horizons of high-performance cycling to explore new languages and new scenarios.”
The bike is limited to 70 pieces, will cost £14,500 and is also available to purchase in Bitcoins.
Beneath the racing green and tan orange paint is a Colnago G3-X, which is Colnago’s gravel bike (and is not actually made in Italy).
Why a gravel bike and not the new and much more ‘boutique’ Colnago C68 (opens in new tab) that actually is made in Italy? Colnago says: “Because it is suitable for covering asphalted sections, but also for riding on gravel roads or more rugged terrain, making it a perfectly multifaceted vehicle to represent a unique solution, the classic “all-rounder” bike, also ideal for urban and commuting use.”
Further: "Tod's T Bike wants to represent all this, bringing together the racing soul of Colnago with a "suit" tailored for Tod's in terms of taste, graphics and components.”
Colnago says for the "suit" - or build - it has chosen “with the utmost care” from some of the most prestigious Made in Italy brands: the groupset is Campagnolo Ekar 13-speed (opens in new tab), the wheels are the new Campagnolo Levante (opens in new tab) shod with Pirelli Cinturato Gravel H tyres. The stem and handlebar are Deda Elementi, saddle and tape are Brooks, which is of course a British brand but is now owned by Selle Royal.
Like the C68, the Tod's T Bike also benefits from the blockchain technology developed with Colnago’s technical partner MyLime (opens in new tab). An RFID tag is 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. Colnago says the transparency offered by the blockchain solution will lend absolute traceability and will ensure the bicycle's value over time. And aiming to counter criticism of blockchain technology’s huge energy consumption, Colnago says various blockchain technologies have been evaluated for how they promote sustainability and one has been selected that best minimises the use of intensive computing resources for block validation.
The Tod's T Bike will be previewed tonight in Milan during the Salone del Mobile 2022 at the exclusive Tod's boutique in via Montenapoleone and will be available for pre-order starting from 13 June on Tods.com (opens in new tab) and in a selection of Tod's mono-brand boutiques, worldwide.
In May 2021 LVMH increased its stake in Tod’s to 10%, fuelling speculation of a future takeover. LVMH is Moet, Hennessy and Louis Vuitton, the group whose private equity arm, L Catterton, bought Pinarello in 2016.
Colnago meanwhile is now majority owned by Chimera Investments LLC (opens in new tab), an Abu Dhabi based investment fund.
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Simon Smythe is Cycling Weekly's senior tech writer and has been in various roles at CW since 2003. His first job was as a sub editor following an MA in online journalism.
In his cycling career Simon has mostly focused on time trialling with a national medal, a few open wins and his club's 30-mile record in his palmares. These days he spends a bit more time testing road bikes, or on a tandem doing the school run with his younger son.
What's in the stable? There's a Colnago Master Olympic, a Hotta TT700, an ex-Castorama lo-pro that was ridden in the 1993 Tour de France, a Pinarello Montello, an Independent Fabrication Club Racer, a Mercian Classic fixed winter bike and a renovated Roberts with a modern Campag groupset.
And the vital statistics:
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