A Rolling Masterpiece - Colnago Master Beautiful Bicycle
“They don’t make ‘em like they used to….” Well, someone still does. Welcome to our latest edition of Beautiful Bicycle, a brand new, hand made, steel Colnago Master!
There aren’t many bikes out there that have been in production for nearly four decades, remaining largely unchanged in both form and spirit. The Colnago Master is one of the few and this one is truly special. The lead time for one of these remarkable frames is lengthy to say the least, but once you see one in person (and if you’re fortunate enough to ride or own one), we think you’d agree it’s worth the wait.
Over the years we’ve seen technology and new materials transform just about every aspect of the bicycle industry, especially frame construction. Age-old methods of frame building have largely given way to automated assembly, and traditional materials have made way for space-age composites. The “classic” road bike frame has gotten easier to overlook in the modern world, so it’s refreshing that Colnago is keeping the classic fire alive and well with the Master frameset. From the patented “Gilco Master” crimped steel tubing, to the hand-set chromed frame lugs, to the artfully applied Art Decor paint scheme, the Colnago Master utterly radiates a pride in craftsmanship that is far too rare anymore.
While it’s true that there are a number of great, handmade steel framesets available, it would be hard to find one as revered and legendary as the Colnago Master. Since the early 1980’s, the Master has set the standard for quality, craftsmanship and sheer visual appeal and we’re proud to feature this one as our Beautiful Bicycle for this round.
One of the best parts of a custom build is the freedom to select whatever parts suit your tastes, preferences and budget. While that certainly holds true when building a bike like the Master, there are certain unwritten rules that tend to influence building such a purely Italian machine. This Master’s meister has done a great job of holding true to the character of the bike with the Campagnolo Record 12 speed mechanical drivetrain and brakes, while adding a touch of contemporary flair and function with the Reynolds AR41 carbon wheelset. As mentioned in our recent guide to upgrading your wheelset, the full carbon rolling stock on this Master will provide additional control and a level of comfort that was decades away when the frame made its first appearance.
A Zipp Course SL Carbon seatpost further dampens road vibrations that make it through the stiff, yet supple steel frame and a Zipp Service Course SL bar and stem round out the cockpit. A 1” to 1 ⅛” conversion kit was used to accommodate the Zipp stem to the 1” Colnago steer tube. The stock 1” setup allows the use of a traditional quill-type stem, if you want to go full-retro.
Additional classic Italian touches come in the form of the white Selle SMP saddle and coordinating white Cinelli bar tape, and of course Pirelli P Zero in 26mm.
Two of the nicest touches on this Master are the bright gold YBN TiNitride chain, and custom dark gold Colnago wheel decals. These provide a “fioritura finale” to this spectacular looking bike.
We hope you enjoy this Beautiful Bicycle, “Master Edition” and please let us know if we can help you find and build your dream bike!