There are few bicycles that manage to cause a stir in the underwear department quite like the new Colnago C59 Italia.
While many might not agree with my opening sentence, it’s hard to ignore the company’s prestigious position in the sport, steeped as it is in history and with a palmares longer than my arm. For many, there is no other choice for the ultimate race bike.
The C59 is the latest in a long line of race bikes from Colnago, and is lighter and stiffer than anything that has come before it. The company’s flagship frame is the culmination of four years’ development and ushers in several new design features, such as internally ribbed top and down tubes. It also has the unmistakeable Colnago signature Master-profile top and down tubes.
The chainstays are oversized and squarer in profile than any seen on previous Colnago frames. Internally routed cables are featuring more frequently on the latest high-end frames and so it’s no surprise to find the C59 concealing its cables within the frame. Our test bike has come fitted with Campagnolo Record 11, FSA cranks and Vision deep-section wheels shod with Continental Sprinter tyres with FSA bars, stem and seatpost completing the package
Available now in a choice of colours and range of sizes. And the price? Are you sitting down? A cool £3,299.95 (frame, fork and headset) and it’s yours. And there’s the limited edition King of the Mountains paintjob to consider. But then, let’s not forget, you are buying a slice of Italian cycling history.
The Italians, and Colnago in particular, who once enjoyed a dominant position as makers of the exotic race bike of choice have been under threat increasingly in the past few years with competition from across the pond. Can the C59 reassert the Italian marque’s place back at the top? We’ll find out as we’ll be putting the miles in on it over the coming weeks.