The most prestigious bike race in the world — the Tour de France — has some of the most unique bikes used by players. It’s no foreign concept that professional bike racers only want the best of the best. But with this, the question arises, how much do they actually cost?
The estimated price range for the cost of a Tour de France bike lies between the US $13k – $16k (€12 – €15k / £10k – £14k ) per bike. The price range may vary with the specs and bike models.
When it comes to hitting the racing track, you need not only a sleek designed bike but also one that can get you through the race. This is where the real show happens. Finding not only good designs but good features, too.
Keep reading to learn more about the cost breakdown of Tour de France bikes.
What is the Most Expensive Tour De France Bike?
Right off the bat, let’s talk about the most expensive bike that’s been used to date. It is owned by the two-time world champion, Filippo Ganna. With all the features combined, his Pinarello Bolide TT easily hikes up to a total of $45,600 (roughly).
The Italian cyclist bagged one of the most expensive bikes in the market in what was a yet-to-be-released Bolide.
Since the actual price of his bike is not disclosed, a rough estimate can be made by looking at the previous bolides’ price and assuming this one’s more expensive.
Only the frame of this bike is priced at $11,000.
On top of this, Ganna most likely pairs his tires — Princeton Carbonworks and Mach, making an added estimate of $6,450.
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How Much Do the Tour de France Bike Parts Cost?
Tour de France bikes are essentially expensive, and the individual parts cost a lot too. A Tour de France bike’s individual equipment with all its advanced technologies typically costs between $6,000 and $12,000.
A bike is made up of various components, from the frame to the fork. There are also groupsets, wheels, cockpit components like a handlebar, and much more. All of these massively impact the cost of the bikes.
The individual costs of the bikes vary on the terrain of the stage they will be used on.
Oftentimes, bikers are given extra modifications to adapt to different terrains. This improves the bike’s sustainability and riding ability. Therefore, a total estimate of the Tour de France bikes heavily depends on the modifications too.
How Many Bikes Does a Team Have?
Most riders often have a minimum of 2 bikes available to them on any day. Key riders have more than 2 since they’re in priority. Essentially, most of the teams have two bikes (for each rider) on them. If you multiply that by 8 riders per team and consider bikes that have crashed out, you’ll find the number will easily reach about 60 bikes with over 100 wheelsets.
One is for climbing, and one with high aerodynamics is for flat days.
Plus, they also have about 2 trial bikes per rider for time trial stages. This is the basic division of bikes made for each player.
Most teams have given out accurate numbers indicating the number of bikes a team has, and almost every number goes well above 100.
What Do the Teams Pay For the Tour de France Bikes?
Well, teams do not pay a single penny for the bikes; almost all of the time, the costs are covered by the sponsors (also the bike manufacturing brands). The bigger a sponsor, the more upgraded their bikes.
Since every sport is sponsored by manufacturers, bike prices depend on how big of a sponsorship the team manages to grab. These can be for frames, tires, and anything in between. So, for the most part, teams rarely ever pay for their bikes.
Although no one is completely sure what goes on in these sponsor negotiations except the players themselves, we can still assume that companies give the players exactly what they want.
Some deals are for only the frames, while others may be for tires, groupsets, and other things. Sometimes, sponsorship deals are simply giving them the product in return for publicity.
In this case, the players don’t have to bag multiple deals to meet their requirements.
In rare cases, players get a sponsorship product along with money. So instead of paying for the product, the company pays them instead to endorse their bike.
Top 3 Best Tour De France Bikes
Now that we’ve got the formula for calculating the bike prices let’s apply this to real-world examples, and let’s talk about the top 3 best Tour de France bikes.
There are plenty of bikes players use during their races, and all of them are more or less the same.
The players’ desired customizations for their bikes make them stand apart from the rest of the batch. Let’s dig deeper and see what makes these bikes the best of the best.
#1 Quickstep Alphavinyl Specialized S-Work Tarmac SL7
Starting with the legendary Quickstep Alphavinyl. With the setup of its specific groupset and tires, the bike’s price has already been hiked up to $14,250.
Calculating the price of this masterpiece is quite simple. Since the entire team’s bike comes from the same sponsor and there’s little to no customization, its price is similar to the shelf price.
The S-work tarmac SL7 is equipped with Roval Rapide CLX II wheels paired with the Shimano Dura-ace Di2 groupset. These can only be purchased from specialized dealers or retailers.
The British cyclist Mark Cavendish, who rode this bike in 2021, did replace the saddle for 3D-printed specialized S-works power with a mirror. This cost an additional $450, which increased the total price to $14,500.
The price is inclusive of all the customization details added.
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#2 Trek Segafredos Trek Emonda SLR 9 Disc
Much like Cavendish, Trek Segafredos also rode the Trek Emonda in 2021 which led to its heightened popularity. This bike is available from multi-third group parties at a retail price of $12,999.
After Segafredos rode the bike, it reached such high peaks that it is only available to be bought off the shelves as a complete bike. This includes its Bontrager wheels and SRAM groupset.
Amongst the many changes made in the original frame, he switched the Aeolus RSL37 tubeless wheels in exchange for deeper Aeolus RSL 62mm wheels.
He also replaced the Aeolus pro saddle with the Arvada pro. Neither of the modifications changed the price of the bike. What did cause an upscale was adding Bontrager XXX bottle cages.
These totaled up to $159.98, taking the bike’s total price to $13,159.97.
#3 BMC Timemachine Road
Lastly — the BMC timemachine road — made by a Swiss manufacturer, is quite popular amongst Tour de France riders. This is a relatively new design that has riders lining up for it. With all its supernatural features, this bike’s price stays low at only $12,000.
Due to its integrated cockpit and impeccable aerodynamic tube shapes, it is now a hot favorite.
Partnering with an accessory manufacturer, the design of this bike is truly one of a kind. Pairing up with Elite, the company wanted a design that could show off the bottle cages and have storage space for food and tools.
That’s exactly what they did with cutting-edge aerodynamics while also not compromising storage space. Aside from this, the design also has an aerodynamic cover for the front fork.
This lessens turbulence made by the front disc caliper.
Can I Buy a Tour De France Bike?
To put it simply, yes, anyone can buy a Tour de France bike. There are many places that sell them, both online and in brick-and-mortar stores.
There’s an article the event published that stated that any equipment players may use is for the sole purpose of being used by other cyclists, too.
If a prototype is released only for the players to use, it must be verified by the UCI equipment unit.
This, too, will only have authorization granted if it’s in its final stages of making and can be sold to the general public in less than a year.
You most certainly can buy the same equipment your favorite Tour de France bikers use in due time. But just remember, they got sponsorship deals. You won’t. So be prepared for your wallet to cry after you purchase endorsed items.
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There’s a list of factors that determine the price of a Tour de France bike: frame, equipment, and integrated technology.
Oftentimes as we’ve seen in the article, bike prices may increase beyond their retail price solely because the riders add modifications to them.
Adding top-notch tires and a good-quality cockpit can increase the price further. The limit is endless and only increases with every race.
And although these bikes can be bought for individual use, only a few of us get to live out those dreams.