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Colnago

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Colnago embodies all that it means to be Italian on two wheels, their beautiful bikes are designed to be ridden fast and have the looks to impress even when sitting still. Few brands capture the allure of our sport’s golden age like a steel framed, Campagnolo equipped Colnago. The knowledge gained from decades of building bikes for some of the sports legendary riders, like Eddy Merckx, Colnago has fought hard to earn their reputation. Staying closely associated with cycling’s elite racers positions Colnago at the forefront of technology, and rest assured each new design is thoroughly tested to keep the legendary feel of their classic bikes.

Colnago C60

Like a Fine Italian Suit

In the early 1980s Colnago put to use new materials like, aluminum, titanium and carbon fiber to make his frames both lighter and more race worthy. Ernesto collaborated with another famous Italian firm, Ferrari motor sports, to develop the engineering and testing needed to bring a carbon monocoque frameset to market.

These initial attempts may not have met the lofty goals Colnago had for his designs but it did put his company at the head of the pack in terms of carbon manufacturing technology. Once the Colnago C-Series was born there has been no looking back, and the following C40, C50 and C59 frames proved that the material could make bikes amongst the best the world has known. Now with more than thirty years manufacturing bikes from carbon fiber, Colnago has taken their frame engineering to the next level in their incredible C60. The most apparent difference between the C60 and all previous C-series bikes is the return of Colnago’s star-shaped tubing, and matching lugs, for the full length of all but the seat tube in the main triangle. This required their engineers to produce tubing and lugs to a previously unachievable tight tolerances. The result is that Colnago was able to produce large diameter, thin-walled tubes with improved stiffness and reduced weight compared to its predecessors. In developing the C60 Colnago continues a long tradition of using lugged construction and custom tubing to build customizable bikes for the fastest riders in the world.

While lighter than the previous C59, building the lightest frame possible was never the design impetus of the C60. Instead, the C60 focuses on providing a high performance ride without sacrificing ride quality, elegant design and top-level safety (surpassing the EU impact standard by 5x). As part of this design philosophy Colnago opted to use replaceable bearing seats for the headset and developed a proprietary bottom bracket, PF82.5 which, which accepts any BB86 compatible crank but utilizes a replaceable aluminum pressfit cups screwed into a removable center sleeve. While this is clearly heavier design than modern pressfit standards it allows the bottom bracket pieces to be replaced after they have begun to wear, eliminating creaks and increasing long term performance and durability of the bike.

The high-end road market is crowded with frames that are lighter or more aerodynamic than Colnago offers, but many of those require compromises that Colnago was not willing to put into the C60. This frame is stiff enough for even the burliest pro-tour sprinters and will accelerate without a watt wasted, while providing enough compliance to keep you feeling fresh during a long ride. Simply stated the Colnago C60 was designed to perform to the highest expectations for a broad type of riding conditions and terrain. Combined with stunning paint schemes this is an aesthetically pleasing machine that will perform for a lifetime.

CX Zero Evo

Performance Meets Comfort

Along with pushing the standards of frame building in nearly every material over their 60-year history Colnago has continuously driven innovation across other aspects of the bicycle including one of the earliest straight blade and their utilitarian PF82.15 bottom bracket.

Perhaps nowhere is recent history is the progression more evident that in Colnago’s early adoption of disc brakes on road bikes. While Colnago first implemented road disc brakes on their top of the line racing frame, recent years have shown a broader commitment to disc brake technology as they spread across most of their carbon fiber models. Colnago redisigned each frame to properly handle the unique stresses imposed on the frame by disc brakes in order to insure secure bike handling even under the higher braking forces capable with modern hydraulic disc brakes.

Perhaps nowhere is the benefit of these discs brakes more event than on Colnago’s CX Zero Evo. Designed initially to meet the demands of Team Europecar riders on the harsh roads and poor weather of the early season races, the CX Zero Evo couples a more relaxed geometry with a more forgiving, vertically compliant frame design. This design helps to keep the rider keep less fatigued and more powerful deep into a century or grand fondo. A longer wheelbase and more relaxed headtube angle help to increase the stability even more to insure a confidence-inspiring ride regardless of the road surface or topography.

Ernesto Colnago got his start crafting bicycles at the tender age of 13 with a rigorous apprenticeship at Gloria Bicycles, the leading producer of Italian race bikes at the time. Here he rubbed elbows with other legendary builders Faliero Masi and Cino Cinelli while learning the trade of building professional quality bicycles. Soon Ernesto set out on his own building frames, first as a subcontractor for Gloria cycles and then as a mechanic and builder for professional racing teams. It is with the famous Molteni team that young Ernesto would become the frame builder for Eddy Merckx during his ascent to becoming the world’s most winning road racer. This relationship would drive Colnago to the forefront of bicycle technology. As competition became more fierce there were many pro racers seeking the advantages of a stiffer frame. Colnago began experimented with a variety of tube profiles to increase the lateral stiffness of his frames without adding weight or compromising ride quality. Through this experimentation the iconic oversized, star-shaped tubing of the Master framesets was born and his never-ending pursuit of technological advancement began.

Today Colnago is a global brand with a range of bicycles for riders at all levels of the sport. At Contender Bicycles, our best tools for selling bikes are the people who ride them. Each of us on staff has extensive experience riding bikes across many brands. Peter Barrett is our expert on Colnago bicycles. If you have any questions or would like to test ride a new Colnago please contact him at peter@contenderbicycles.com or call him at the shop.

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