Eurobike 2012: Colnago

Colnago is one of the grandee brands exhibiting at Eurobike 2012.

Nearing its seventieth year as a manufacturer of racing bicycles, it has a history and pedigree the equal of any in cycle sport. Eddy Merckx and the Molteni team raced them in the 1970s; they are the supplier to Thomas Voeckler’s Europcar squad now.

Colnago C59 Disc

The hydraulic disc brake equipped Colnago C59 has been a talking point since its launch at the Tapei Bike Show in March. Eurobike has offered the first opportunity for many in Europe to see it.

The disc brake set up comes courtesy of American company, Formula, who supply the 140mm rotor and caliper, and, more interestingly, an STI lever to work solely with Campagnolo’s EPS electronic groupset. The model shown at Eurobike, with a carbon lever, is a development of the aluminium-bladed unit shown in Tapei. It will come to market in October. Colnago have been granted exclusive use of the lever for one year.

The disc equipped Colnago C59s we saw at Eurobike were equipped with Colnago’s own carbon wheels, developed for use with Formula’s disc brake set up. Both the deep section and conventional rims are sans brake track. “There’s simply no need,” Colnago’s man at the show told us. Issues with heat build up at the brake track on full carbon rims will not be a concern here.

It has not yet been decided whether the Colnago C59 disc will be sold in the UK as a complete bike or in ‘kit form’. What has been agreed is that the disc ready incarnation of the frame and fork, replete with disc mounts, will be available ‘off the shelf’ on its appearance in Blighty this October.

Colnago have reintroduced their Arte Décor custom paint option, which we saw exhibited on an exquisite Master (see below) and a C59. Hand painted in Florence, the Arte Décor is a homage to Colnago’s own history. The C59 we saw included the elaborate fretwork at the headtube (imitation, painted ‘lugs’ to put it bluntly) first seen in February on the C59 Ottanta released to celebrate the eightieth birthday of founder, Ernesto Colnago, itself a homage to the Master Arabesque. An additional £300 to the £3699 retail for a C59 frame is required for this striking paint scheme.

Colnago C59 ‘King of the Mountains’

Thomas Voeckler’s C59, painted with King of the Mountains, polka dot livery, was one of many pro bikes at the show (validated by the authentically grimy handlebar tape). Visitors to the Cycle Show at Birmingham’s NEC later this month should be able to witness it first hand. A replica frameset will go on sale for October. Price is to be confirmed, but Colnago have ruled that just 135 will be made, in tribute to the amount of King of the Mountains points accrued by Tommy V at this year’s Tour.

Colnago K Zero

The Colnago K Zero is the first of the Italian marque’s machines to be developed in a wind tunnel. Ridden by Europcar at the Tour de France, the team’s mechanics were good enough to allow us to get up close to Pierre Rolland’s machine in Liege. It will be sold in ‘kit form’ in the UK (frame, forks, headset, bar, bar extensions, and brake) and priced around £3500. The gloss black pictured here will be replaced by the matt black finish seen on the Europcar team bikes.

Colnago Master

The steel tubed Master is, in the humble opinion of your correspondent, the most beautiful bike in Colnago’s range. Introduced 30 years ago, and still handmade in Italy, but now from Colnago’s own tubing rather than the Columbus steel of yore, it retains the distinctive fluted tube profiles. The thirtieth anniversary model is offered in red, black, or blue, either with the distinctive Arte Décor paint scheme pictured here, or with the classic Saronni white paneling, in homage to Ernesto’s favourite cycling son, Beppe Saronni. Framesets with any paint scheme will sell for £2199. All three will be shown in Birmingham at the Cycle Show.

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