It’s that time of year already, and if you’re hoping to give or receive a cycling-related Christmas gift, you’re in the right place.
We kicked off our Christmas guide with a look at some of the best books in which to lose yourself during the Queen’s speech and visits from the in-laws. Further installments will include casual clothing, cleaning kit, and stocking fillers, among many others.
Today, however, we open our minds to the limitless possibilities of the cyclist for whom money is no object. Under such felicitous circumstances, however unlikely, what would top your Christmas list? Here are a few suggestions from among the exotica to find its way on to the pages of RCUK this year.
Colnago C59 Disc
Here’s a question for your Christmas cracker: what do you get if you cross the flagship offering from one of road cycling’s most prestigious brands with one of its most heatedly debated technical innovations? Answer: the Colnago C59 Disc. It made its European debut at Eurobike, where we snapped its alluring profile.
The carbon shift lever (EPS only), 140mm rotor and caliper have been designed by Formula, who have granted one year’s exclusive use to Colnago. The full carbon wheels are theirs, too (the disc brake renders an alloy brake track surplus to requirements). The price tag is not insignificant at £9999, so you’ll need to have been especially good to find this under the tree on Christmas morning.
Tacx Klimm Trainer
Indoor training is frequently derided as boring but perhaps it’s simply a failing of the equipment. Is your faithful turbo trainer lacking a certain something – an integrated widescreen television, perhaps, one that displays courses from the Cauberg to the Galibier? Perhaps the fault lies elsewhere. Maybe by rigidly clamping the rear wheel to a fixed point, your missing something of the feel of the road. A rolling surface would surely restore some of the sensation of riding outdoors.
Thoughts in this vein will surely persuade even the most stubborn spouse to invest the trifling £10,000 or so required to purchase the Tacx Klimtrainer for you this Christmas. Sensors fore and aft of your wheels detect your presence and dictate the speed of the rolling road beneath you. And the whole ‘road’ rises in response to the climbs unfolding on the screen ahead of you.
The Klimtrainer is still at the prototype stage, but with money being no object, a Christmas tip for its designers may encourage them to ship the first production unit to you in time for Christmas morning.
A World Tour team
Heck, if money really is no object, indulge yourself and start your own WorldTour team for 2013. In the current climate, you’ll have scope to negotiate: a certain Dutch bank is looking to get one off their hands. If you’re in it for the long haul, however, you’ll need serious money. Coal magnate, Zdenek Bakala, a man whose personal wealth is valued by Forbes Magazine at a cool £1.9bn, is the owner of Omega Pharma-QuickStep.
If you’re following Bakala’s example, and it’s Christmas after all, so why not, you will need: 31 riders (budget extra for the king of the Classics, the world’s fastest sprinter, and the two-time world time trial champion), two luxury team buses, circa 120 bikes, eight mechanics, a seven-strong management team, seven soigneurs, six directeur sportifs, five doctors, three physiotherapists, a technical advisor, chauffeur, psychologist, and trainer. And a partridge in a pear tree.
Cyfac Absolu V2
If it’s French craftsmanship you desire, with a heritage that includes a client list that once extended to a third of the teams in the ProTour peloton (badged variously as MBK, Peugeot, Raleigh etc), Cyfac might answer your needs. Operating from a small unit in the Loire Valley, each custom carbon frame ordered takes 35 hours to produce.
Swatches of carbon are laid layer upon layer with painstaking attention; frames are sprayed by airbrush-wielding artists. “We sell more than a frame,” managing director, Ameryc Le Brun told RCUK when we visited in October, “We make your frame, and that is very different.” Tell Santa to tuck £5,699 in his sleigh.
Bianchi Oltre XR Felice Gimondi Special Edition
While we’re dealing with manufacturers with heritage, you might want to wake up on Christmas morning to the Bianchi Oltre XR Felice Gimondi Special Edition. Just 70 have been made to commemorate the great man’s three score years and ten, so you’re unlikely to see another on your festive jaunt. Its claimed 895 gram frame weight will compensate for the extra helping of Christmas pudding you couldn’t deny yourself.
It’s decorated with an elegant coloured strip commemorating Gimondi’s triumphs in the Tour, Giro, world and Italian championships, which may save you the potentially life-threatening task of plugging in the Christmas lights. Such a gift will allow you to place a monetary value on the affection of your friends and loved ones: Bianchi were asking a cool 13,490 Euros when the bike was unveiled a month ago. Expect its limited availability to have inflated the value.