Colnago is the latest manufacturer to unveil a ‘comfort’ bike with the launch of the CX Zero – available in two different versions for use with rim brakes and disc brakes.
The CX Zero fills two gaps in the Italian firm’s range, as a machine designed with a relaxed geometry for sportive riders, and for riders of the Colnago-sponsored Europcar team during the Spring Classics.
That geometry is described by Colnago as ‘classic’ and has a taller headtube, shorter toptube and longer wheelbase for a more upright riding position and increased stability, as is typical of bikes like this. By way of comparison, the headtube on a 52cm CX Zero is 13mm taller than that found on a C59 Italia.
Other features designed to improve comfort include the 27.2mm seatpost, and frame and fork clearance for 25mm tyres, increasingly popular year-round on pro bikes for the improved grip, comfort and aerodynamic performance offered by wider tyres.
The frame also uses a proprietary PressFit 30 bottom bracket designed, Colnago say, to address “longevity, reliability and serviceability” issues surrounding existing PF 30 designs.
As for disc brakes, Colnago have designed a specific frame to accommodate discs, with the rear mount fixed to the inside of the left-hand chainstay, and neat internal hydraulic hose routings on both that chainstay and the fork.
We saw two machines built up at Eurobike, the first a top-end build with Shimano Dura-Ace, rim brakes and the Japanese company’s corresponding C24 wheels, while the CX Zero Disc was running Shimano Ultegra with mechanical discs and Colnago’s own Artemis wheels.
Colnago introduce ‘affordable’ AC-R
Meanwhile, the AC-R has been introduced by Colnago as an ‘affordable’ carbon fibre frame – a complete bike will be available for under £2,000, a first for Colnago – which borrows technology found on the more expensive M10.
The monocoque M10 is one of two frame supplied to Europcar and is the bike of choice of Pierre Rolland, whose frame was dressed in Campagnolo’s 80th Anniversary groupset for this year’s Tour de France. The AC-R has the same geometry as the M10 in a move to mirror its more expensive sibling’s race-ready handling.
Colnago say the AC-R represents 30 years of carbon fibre expertise and frame details include oversized tube profiles and internal cable routing compatible with both mechanical and electronic groupsets.
UK pricing and availability for the CX Zero and AC-R is to be confirmed.
Lightweight, aluminium Strada SL breaks cover
Two trends have emerged of late: the rise of disc-equipped road bikes, including those found in Cannondale’s Synpase range, the Bianchi Infinito CV Disc and, of course, the CX Zero described above, and the return of aluminium as a viable alternative to entry-level carbon fibre.
The new Strada SL is Colnago’s take on a lightweight, aluminium road frame. It’s worth pointing at this early juncture that Colnago’s distributor, Windwave, won’t be bringing the Strada SL into the UK, but it’s still worth a closer inspection.
The Strada SL comes with a claimed weight of less than 1,200g, which puts it in line with three similar frames we’ve seen recently: the Kinesis Racelight Aithein currently on review, the long-standing Cannondale CAAD10 and the alloy Raleigh Militis.
The Strada SL is made from a custom swaged tubeset with tapered walls. The downtube has a huge, boxy profile designed to offer a stiff ride, while the frame is paired with a full carbon fork to complete a frameset Colnago describe as “a lightweight racing rocket ship”. Neat welds and a gloss finish give the frame the appearance of carbon fibre at first glance.
Two machines were on display on the Colnago stand at Eurobike, based around Shimano’s mid-range 105 and second-from-top Ultegra groupsets respectively, with both rolling on Colnago Artemis wheelset.
An old favourite
From new to old, and the stunning Colnago Master, first introduced in the mid-1980s and pictured above in its model year 2014 Art Decor paintjob, is one of the company’s most-loved frames.
The beautiful frame is the fruit of Colnago’s experience in steel tubing, welding and lugged construction, and is designed, made and chromium plated in Italy from DT15V steel.