Fool’s gold: The £250,000 bicycle

A ludicrously expensive gold-plated bicycle has gone on sale for £250,000; enough to buy the average house in Britain or more than 1,000 bikes.

Gold plated bicycle costs £250,000

The gaudy creation, from plating specialists Goldgenie, boasts a “meticulously applied a lustrous layer of 24k gold to the entire structure, from the tip of the drop handlebars to the wheel stays, and every other part in between, including every ridge of the gear chain” and an eye-watering price of £250,000. The average price paid for a bicycle in Britain is £233.

In 2008, we gold-plated a bicycle of our own to publicise our cycle insurance. The bike started life as a stock Charge Plug, which was stripped down, polished, plated in copper and finally covered in 24-carat gold by a plating company that uses small artisanal mines in order to minimise its environmental impact. The plating cost £400.

Gold might be expensive – it has almost tripled in value of the last 10 years and is currently worth around £26,000 per kilo – but plating applies a layer only a few microns thick so uses only a tiny amount of the metal.

ETA gold bicycle Charge Plug

When you buy a conventional bicycle, about one third of the cost is the retailer’s margin, but it’s hard to believe the Goldgenie bike cost £165,000 to make. Given £250,000 buys almost 10kg of gold at today’s prices, you might assume that a quarter of a million pounds might buy a bicycle made from solid gold tubing. However, scratch the surface and you will find alumnium beneath, which is a poorer investment but a better frame material.

Insurance for self-built and custom bicycles

If you have built a bicycle yourself or ride a custom bike, we will be happy to offer you cover based on a valuation from your local cycle shop. If you have any questions, give us a call on 0333 000 1234.


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