Bicycles

Goldgenie's US$390,000, 24 karat gold-plated bicycle

Goldgenie's US$390,000, 24 kar...
Goldgenie's 24 karat gold-plated bicycle: golden gear cluster
Goldgenie's 24 karat gold-plated bicycle: golden gear cluster
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Goldgenie's 24-karat gold plated bicycle: golden handlebars
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Goldgenie's 24-karat gold plated bicycle: golden handlebars
Goldgenie's 24 karat gold-plated bicycle: golden spokes
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Goldgenie's 24 karat gold-plated bicycle: golden spokes
Goldgenie's 24 karat gold-plated bicycle: golden crank
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Goldgenie's 24 karat gold-plated bicycle: golden crank
Goldgenie's 24 karat gold-plated bicycle: golden rims
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Goldgenie's 24 karat gold-plated bicycle: golden rims
Goldgenie's 24 karat gold-plated bicycle: golden gear cluster
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Goldgenie's 24 karat gold-plated bicycle: golden gear cluster
Goldgenie's 24 karat gold-plated bicycle
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Goldgenie's 24 karat gold-plated bicycle
Goldgenie's 24 karat gold-plated bicycle
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Goldgenie's 24 karat gold-plated bicycle
Goldgenie's 24 karat gold-plated bicycle: golden gears and derailleur
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Goldgenie's 24 karat gold-plated bicycle: golden gears and derailleur
Goldgenie's 24 karat gold-plated bicycle: golden spokes and hub
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Goldgenie's 24 karat gold-plated bicycle: golden spokes and hub
Goldgenie's 24 karat gold-plated bicycle: golden crank
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Goldgenie's 24 karat gold-plated bicycle: golden crank
Goldgenie's 24 karat gold-plated bicycle
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Goldgenie's 24 karat gold-plated bicycle
Goldgenie's iPhone 6 "brilliance elite," complete with Swarovski crystals
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Goldgenie's iPhone 6 "brilliance elite," complete with Swarovski crystals

For thousands of years, gold has been universally valued despite (or perhaps because of) its chemically inert properties. It's rare enough, but not too rare to be used as a currency. It doesn't react with much, so it doesn't rust or tarnish, and it has its own distinctive color, which made it easier to identify back in the days when coins were less trustworthy. Today, its value is more or less arbitrary – its conductivity, resistance to corrosion and malleability give it some practical uses in electronics, but otherwise it's valuable because the market has agreed it's valuable ... and for thousands of years it's also been worn as a symbol of wealth.

Goldgenie's iPhone 6 "brilliance elite," complete with Swarovski crystals
Goldgenie's iPhone 6 "brilliance elite," complete with Swarovski crystals

Which leads us to Goldgenie. For nearly a decade now, Britain's Goldgenie has been applying the old Midas touch to various household objects, including gold-plated, Swarovski-studded iPhones and iPads. But even festooned with gold and crystals, an iPhone 6 "Brilliance Elite" still sells for less than £3,000 (US$4692.21). To take things to the next level, Goldgenie was going to have to reach out to a higher grade of ostentatious tosspot.

Goldgenie's 24 karat gold-plated bicycle
Goldgenie's 24 karat gold-plated bicycle

And thus, the 24 karat gold Men's Racing Bike. Goldgenie's team of undeniably talented artisans took what appears to be a Giant Defy 3 aluminum framed road bike (RRP US$1049) and gold plated more or less the whole damn thing, from the tips of the handlebars, to the spokes, to the derailleur, chain and every single cog on the gear clusters.

"Sophisticated" black accents dot the bike in the form of a San Marco suede saddle, handlebar grips, and the tires. Everything else is golden enough to fit right in as you pedal between the Maybachs on a Saudi boulevard, your golden chain grinding golden flakes of gold off your golden sprockets. All this for a mere £250,000 (US$391017) and upwards.

Goldgenie's 24-karat gold plated bicycle: golden handlebars
Goldgenie's 24-karat gold plated bicycle: golden handlebars

I'm impressed by the workmanship and attention to detail here – as gold plated bicycles go, this looks like a very nice job. But the sheer, blatant awfulness of the concept wouldn't just make me think worse of the person that bought one of these things, it actually makes me think worse of gold itself. It makes me look down at my own wedding ring and cringe in disgust, as if I'm somehow complicit in this rotten charade.

And that's quite an achievement.

Source: Goldgenie

11 comments
Daniel Moreno
Should have went with a tungsten wedding band.
Mel Tisdale
Well said, Loz!
Suzanne Bradley
bet you can still get a puncture!
Darin Selby
How do you pedal it? No 24K pedals. Oops!
Simon White
I saw this done on a Solex https://www.flickr.com/photos/fruey/3022698976/sizes/l/
jaxx003
Your comments are perfect. In fact I'd nominate this thing for a Darwin Award, for demonstrating just how far societies may go awry.
Dave Andrews
Wow, that's just stupid. I guess if you just want to display it on a wall or something, but gold is very soft. The gold will wear off of the gears and derailleur almost instantly, and will rub off of anything the riders hands, feet, arms or legs rubs against before too long as well. Clearly not meant to be ridden.
Robert Duckmanton
How about a gold plated lock (very heavy duty and theft insurance) for parking outside Starbucks? But who would ride with you when on this quintessentially narcissistic bit of braggery?
sk8dad
First, Gold's density seems to be at odds with the drive for ever lighter cycling products. Nevertheless, setting weight-weenie complaints aside, for the almost $400K price tag (pre-tax I might add), I should imagine they would have at least given a bit more thought when deciding on the donor bike perhaps choosing something a bit more interesting than a run of the mill entry level road bike with it's equally meh (Shimano Sora) components. Not exactly gilding a pig but close. Was this an exercise in obscure ways to drive up to cost of gold by reducing supply (on bike's worth at a time)?
StWils
While still seeming rather tacky this item is a lot less offensive than last week's tacky belt buckle priced way up in the "Vulgar" range. At least a bike has some legit utility.