June 15, 2024


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How Much Does A Tour De France Bike Cost

How Much Does A Tour De France Bike Cost Pro riders in the Tour de France have the privilege of riding top-of-the-line bicycles, but what is the actual price tag to replicate these elite machines?

It’s common knowledge that Tour de France riders get to pedal the finest bikes available. One of the perks of being a professional cyclist is having access to the world’s best road bikes without having to open their wallets.

While it’s unsurprising that such high-end bikes come with a hefty price, the burning question is: Just how pricey are they? What’s the cost of a Tour de France bike?

The answer is influenced by several factors, varying from team to team and even from one rider to another. Some teams obsess over the minutest details, right down to the material of the bearings, chain lubrication, and tire sealant. The more meticulous a team, the more it adds to the cost of replicating each bike.

For a rough estimate, the cost of a Tour de France bike falls in the range of £10,000 – £14,000 (€12k – €15k / $13k – $16k / AU$16k – $22k). But the story doesn’t end here. Below, we delve deeper, breaking down the expenses of specific Tour de France bikes, as well as answering questions about who foots the bill, whether riders get to keep their bikes, and how many bikes a team brings to the race.

Dissecting the Cost of a Tour de France Bike

Firstly, it’s essential to recognize that a bike comprises various components. It starts with the frame and fork, followed by a groupset, brakes, wheels, tires, cockpit components such as handlebars and stems, and finishing elements like saddles, bar tape, and pedals. And let’s not forget the small yet significant parts like bolts, bearings, inner tubes, lubricants, and even the paint job. To gauge the complete cost of the bike, you need to sum up all these parts.

It’s also important to note that depending on the stage terrain, riders may be provided with different frames or components to optimize the bike’s performance. Lighter wheels might be swapped in for mountainous stages, while more aerodynamic wheels are used for flatter routes, and more puncture-resistant tires may be chosen for cobblestone sections.

To calculate the actual retail cost of a Tour de France bike, we’ve selected a few bikes from the Tour de France and estimated the cost of each:

1. Soudal-QuickStep’s Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL7

This bike, used by Mark Cavendish during the 2021 Tour, comes with Roval Rapide CLX II wheels and Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupset. With the 12-speed groupset in 2023, the bike’s retail price is around £13,000 / €14,500 / $14,250 / AU$20,400. Cavendish also swapped the saddle and used CeramicSpeed’s ‘UFO race chains,’ adding to the cost.

Approximate total cost: £13,235 / €14,730 / $14,500 / AU$20,580

2. Bob Jungels’ BMC Timemachine Road

Jungels used the Timemachine SLR01 TEAM with Campagnolo Super Record EPS electronic groupset, Campagnolo wheels, and Fizik saddle. The bike, priced at CHF15,999.00, roughly equals £14,000, $17,750, or AU$26,000. The ‘Masterpiece’ version, with enhanced carbon layup, design, and components, costs even more.

Total cost: £14,000 / €16,400 / $17,750 / AU$26,000

3. Tadej Pogačar’s Colnago V4RS

Pogačar’s bike is a mix of components, making it challenging to calculate the total cost precisely. It features a Colnago V4RS frame, Dura-Ace R9200 Di2 groupset, Enve wheels with Continental GP5000 tires, Colnago cockpit, and Prologo saddle. Additional expenses for bar tape, computer mount, bottle cages, and possibly ceramic bearings sum up to around £200.

4. Ineos Grenadiers’ Pinarello Bolide F

Time trial bikes like the Pinarello Bolide F are where costs soar. The frame alone is priced at £12,000, or £30,000 with custom-printed time trial extensions. Princeton Carbonworks wheels, a Dura-Ace R9200 groupset, and various finishing components further elevate the cost.

Approximate total cost: £39,663 / €46,250 / $50,250 / AU$73,750 (June 2022 conversion rates)

How Many Bikes Do Teams Bring?

How Much Does A Tour De France Bike Cost
How Much Does A Tour De France Bike Cost

Teams typically provide riders with two bikes each day, while key riders might have even more at their disposal. Some teams offer different frames or components to suit the stage terrain, such as lighter wheels for mountains and more aerodynamic setups for flat stages. Additionally, teams carry one or two time trial bikes per rider for time trial stages. This means teams can have over 60 framesets and more than 100 wheelsets, factoring in potential crashes and replacements.

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Can You Buy a Tour de France Bike?

How Much Does A Tour De France Bike Cost
How Much Does A Tour De France Bike Cost

Yes, you can purchase the same bikes used by WorldTour pros, as per UCI regulations. However, be prepared to dig deep into your pockets.

What Do Tour de France Teams Pay for Their Bikes?

How Much Does A Tour De France Bike Cost
How Much Does A Tour De France Bike Cost

Teams usually don’t pay for their bikes. Sponsorship deals with manufacturers often cover the cost of frames and components. These deals can vary greatly, from frameset-only sponsorships to complete bike packages. Some agreements involve a financial component alongside equipment provision.

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Do Pro Cyclists Get to Keep Their Bikes?

How Much Does A Tour De France Bike Cost
How Much Does A Tour De France Bike Cost

In most cases, pro cyclists do not get to keep their bikes. Bikes are typically returned to the brand or sponsor at the end of the season or contract period, with exceptions made for key riders or special circumstances. These bikes may then be sold, gifted, or disposed of by the brand.