10 Of The Most Expensive Road Bikes Of All Time

Colnago C68
The stunning Colnago C68 Motoki Yoshio Limited Edition

Last updated: 8 April 2024

What bike would you buy if money was no object? Would you go for one of the top-of-the-range production road bikes currently on the market, a hand-built bespoke build created just for you, or even a fully gold plated bicycle to really show off on your local climb?

We take a look at some of the most expensive road bikes of all time, including current models that you could snap up. If you’re looking for some light relief, read on for a wish-list of beautiful bikes.

Got a road bike of your own that could do with some protection? Get a quote for simple, quick and affordable cycling insurance from us to protect your bike against theft, damage and loads more.

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S-Works Aethos - £15,500

S-Works Aethos
The Aethos is Specialized's lightest bike

The Aethos was introduced by Specialized in 2020 as something of a throwback in a world of over-engineered cockpits and everything-must-be-integrated aero bikes. Round tubes, a traditional geometry and no fancy paint jobs, what the Aethos lacks in cutting-edge innovation it makes up for with a wickedly light weight. The frame weighs just 560 grams and a complete build around 5.9kg. A climber's dream.

This limited edition for Sigma Sports features Princeton CarbonWorks wheels and a finishing kit courtesy of ultra premium component brand Tune.

S-Works Tarmac SL8 - £12,000

S-Works Tarmac SL8
The Tarmac SL8 is Specialized's top of the range race bike

Replacing the Venge as Specialized's range-topping race bike in 2020, the Tarmac is claimed to be as aerodynamic as its former stablemate but even lighter. The SL8 is the latest Tarmac which replaced the even more expensive SL7 (£13,200) in 2023. The top-specced Dura-Ace Di2 model comes in at a featherweight 6.6kg. Seen ridden by a host of the best riders in the world, including Remco Evenepoel and Demi Vollering.

Trek Madone SLR 9 Disc eTap Gen 7 – £14,550

Trem Madone SLR 9
The Gen 7 version of the Madone features a unique cut-out under the seat post

From former world champion Peter Sagan to 2019 world champion Mads Pedersen. The Madone SLR is Trek’s fastest road bike. It looks more Tron bike than road bike and as a result is one of the most expensive machines on the market today. Stuffed full of the best components, including SRAM's Red eTap AXS wireless drivetrain, Bontrager Aeolus carbon wheels and hydraulic disc brakes, the proof of this bike’s quality is certainly in the price tag.

Pinarello Dogma X Disc - £13,300

Pinarello Dogma X
The Dogma X is Pinarello's (very expensive) endurance road bike

Released in 2023, the Dogma X is Pinarello's latest endurance-focused road bike designed to offer almost the same level of performance as Pinarello's better known 'F' series of race bikes but with superior comfort for riders who want to spend longer in the saddle. The Italian bike brand is best known for sponsoring Team INEOS in the pro peloton, with the likes of Tom Pidcock and Egan Bernal riding the F12.

BMC Teammachine SLR 01 Disc – £14,500

BMC Teammachine
The BMC Teammachine SLR01 Disc is a solid all-rounder

Another ‘as seen on TV’ bike is the BMC Teammachine and like the other current bikes listed, it has a palmarès as long as your arm. BMC have combined that World Tour-winning class (although the brand is sadly absent from the class of 2024) with the new standard of disc brake integration. This, along with oodles of top-class components and many hours of testing, is why these bikes are some of the most expensive you can find.

Colnago C68 Motoki Yoshio Prototype - $30,000

Colnago C68
The limited edition Colnago C68

Colnago is known for making beautiful (and very expensive) road bikes. The legendary Italian brand is still a mainstay of the pro peloton sponsoring UAE Team Emirates which boasts the best rider in the world, Tadej Pogacar, among its ranks. In fact, Pogacar has been on board a Colnago for all the big wins of his career, including two Tour de France wins.

This limited edition one-off Colnago C68 comes from a limited run of custom C68s painted by Japanese artist Motoki Yoshio that Colnago released in November 2022. It went up for auction with Sotheby's in January 2024 for $30,000.

Damien Hirst Trek Madone – $500,000

Lance Armstrong Damien Hirst Trek Madone Tour de France road bike
Lance Armstrong showing off his special edition Damien Hirst Trek Madone (Credit: Red Bull/ Trek)

This beautiful Damien Hirst designed bike was ridden by Lance Armstrong into Paris during his 2009 comeback Tour de France. The design was actually commissioned by Bono of U2 fame and those are real butterflies that Hirst lacquered onto the frame of Armstrong’s Trek Madone. Naturally, the butterfly element attracted some negative attention, but Hirst wanted to use the real thing so that they would shimmer when the light caught them. The bike eventually fetched half a million dollars at a charity auction. As for the original owner, well the comeback didn’t end too well.

Aurumania Crystal Edition Gold bike – €93,500

Aurumania Crystal Gold Edition single speed road bike
The Aurumania Crystal Gold Edition is certain to turn heads with its unique build (Credit: Aurumania)

It’s pretty obvious why this bike from Aurumania finds itself on the list of the most expensive road bikes ever. The clue is in the name. The bike is plated with 24-karat gold and comes adorned with 600 stunning Swarovski crystals. As a touch of class, the bike also sports a luxury Brooks saddle and hand-sewn, leather handlebar tape. Ten were made worldwide and we very much doubt any have actually been pedalled in anger. It’s a single speed, so you would have to be a particularly baller parcel courier to want to use it.

A custom steel bike from Pegoretti – custom pricing

Dario Pegoretti custom steel road bikes SRAM Red eTap AXS
Steel is real when it comes to a Pegoretti frame (Credit: Dario Pegoretti)

If money truly was no object you would probably want to splash out on a bike that was custom built for you. This way you can have the bike feeling, riding and most importantly looking, just how you want it to. One such bespoke builder, perhaps the ultimate builder’s builder, was the great Dario Pegoretti. The man himself sadly passed away in 2018, but his company continues to operate out of Bottega in Verona, Italy, making all of their bikes by hand to create the ultimate road machine. They build some of the most beautifully designed and painted bikes you could ever wish to find – each one blurring the lines between art and artefact. Such is their craft that it can take from six to twelve months for a Pegoretti bike to be completed.

A handmade bike from Saffron Frameworks – custom pricing

Saffron Frameworks custom cycling road bike
Saffron Frameworks make excellent handmade framesets (Credit: Saffron Frameworks)

Saffron Frameworks are another bespoke bicycle builder who could create your perfect ride. A one-man operation, Matthew Sowter builds his creations from his Woolwich, London base and promises that he can make your dream bike a reality. Starting with the rider’s needs, Sowter builds the bike to perfectly match the customer’s geometry, specific needs and design choices.

Paul Smith + Mercian Cycles tandem bicycle – £20,000

Paul Smith + Mercian Cycles tandem cycling road bike
Travel in style with a friend with this Paul Smith + Mercian Cycles tandem (Credit: Paul Smith)

How about going halves with a mate on the Sir Paul Smith and Mercian Cycles tandem collaboration? The famed designer’s history with the bike builder goes back a long way. As detailed on his website, Smith was atop a Mercian bike when a nasty crash ended his ambitions of becoming a cyclist, setting him on the course to becoming one of the world’s leading fashion designers instead. Hand built from lightweight Reynolds 853 steel tubing and featuring a multitude of top components, the tandem is the perfect marriage of old and new. It even has an electronic groupset. It must be one of the most beautiful tandems of all time, and it can be yours provided you and your friend have a spare £10k each lying around.

There you have it, some of the most expensive bikes of all time. Remember, with Pedalsure you can insure your bikes (up to five) with an individual value of £15,000 or an aggregate of £30,000.

So, get a quote today and protect your road bike with our comprehensive cycling insurance. Sadly you’ll have to go elsewhere to cover your gold plated single speed.


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