Just in: Colnago C60

Brand new and updated C60 arrives for testing in £8k build, here’s a first look

by David Arthur   April 16, 2014  

So here it is, the brand new Colnago C60. Claimed to be lighter and stiffer than the outgoing C59, redesigned from the bottom bracket up and available with either caliper or disc brakes. Revealed just last month, this is just one of two in the country and has been built up by UK distributor Windwave with some top-shelf parts producing an £8,000 build, on a frame that alone costs £3,499.95. We've got the caliper braked version to play with, the disc brake C60 won't actually be available until later in the year.

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Redesigned from the bottom bracket up

Chief among those changes is an all new bottom bracket, which they call ThreadFit82.5. It’s quite interesting really. Pressfit bottom brackets are largely standard on high-end carbon fibre frames these days, and the C60 has moved in this direction. Only Colnago have their own, rather neat solution.

Essentially they have designed an 86mm wide shell with screw-in alloy cups that carry the bottom bracket bearings. The alloy cups have a more precise tolerance than the carbon shell, so should avoid the usual PressFit problems, and they’re easily replaceable. It also accepts any BB86 compatible crank from Shimano, SRAM, Campagnolo and FSA, along with the BB386EVO we have here.

With that larger bottom bracket shell Colnago have been able to dramatically increase the diameter of the down tube, seat tube and chainstays. The down tube is now a 66x52mm square section, up from about 44mm of the C59. That's a big difference. It’s also shaped with a noticeable star-shape profile, the ridges are something that really catch the eye when you first see it in the flesh, in homage to the original Master. It’s a bit more angular looking than the smooth lines of the old C59, but this shape isn't just for aesthetics, it has contributed to the increased stiffness.

The seat tube now measures a maximum of 51.5mm, compared to the C59’s 34.9mm. You can see that it is asymmetric around the bottom bracket, wider on the non-drivetrain side but pinched in on the driveside for the front mech clearance. Up top is a 31.6mm seatpost. The reason for this size, and not a 27.2mm, is because Colnago very much still rely on feedback from the professional racers, who want maximum stiffness, and they design this bike to meet their needs and requirements. 

Also large in size are the chainstays. They are about twice the height at the bottom bracket as they are at the dropouts. Internal reinforcing ribs add more stiffness. We’ll have to see how that fares out on the road. At the end of the chainstays are all-new CNC-machined one-piece dropouts. Carbon dropouts are increasingly popular on similarly high-end carbon frames, but Colnago reckons these alloy dropouts are lighter. The mech hanger is replaceable, and they’ve cleaned up the internal routing for electronic groupsets. All cables are routed internally, as you'd expect on a frame like this.

The other reason for the new dropouts is because the C60 has been designed from the outset with disc brakes in mind. Yes that's right, from the outset the C60 will be available with or without disc brakes, so you can take your pick. It keeps everyone happy. The disc version won’t be available for some time though according to Windwave, because Colnago are concentrating on getting the caliper braked version to market and fulfilling orders.

All these changes contribute, according to Colnago, to frame that is lighter and stiffer than the C59. By how much we don't know, Colnago haven't released any data or even a claimed weight, so for now we have to take their claims at face value. As soon as we know more we'll let you know. 

Campagnolo Record, FSA and Vision build

So a bit more about the bike we have in for test. It’s been built with a Campagnolo Record groupset, 11-speed and mechanical, with the new FSA K-Force Light BB386EVO chainset. This new chainset has been two years in development and uses a new four-arm five-bolt spider, with one bolt concealed behind the crank arm. The power you apply to the cranks isn’t equal through the pedalling stroke, the load peaks when the leading crank arm is roughly level, says FSA. So by rotating the spider and placing the fifth bolt behind the crank arm, the design puts extra strength where it's needed most in the pedal stroke. Sounds similar to Shimano’s latest chainset design.

The crank arms are made from hollow carbon fibre with a unidirectional finish and the rings are 3D forged and CNC machined from 7075 aluminum. They claim a weight of 584g. They are available in loads of configurations, we have a 52/36t setup, an increasingly popular choice.

Colnago are offering a range of paint finishes in three general styles; Racing, Italia and Classic. This is from the Racing range, and is rather fetching with a contemporary look that is a long way from some of the more elaborate finishes of Colnagos from the past. 

The Vision Metron 40 wheels are all-new, but we’ve already put some time in on them, at the Cannondale Synapse launch last year. We came away very impressed so we have high expectations for them, and we’re looking forward to getting them out onto UK roads. The have a 40mm depth and they’re wide, as is the current thinking in aero wheels, with a 25mm external width. They weigh a claimed 1,495g, and they’re also available in a tubular version - that’s the wheel that Peter Sagan and the Cannondale team race. They’ve been fitted with 25mm Continental GP4000S tyres.

Rather than the stock brake blocks supplied with the wheels, Windwave fitted the new BBB Carbstop brake blocks, because they distribute BBB in the UK. BBB have developed their own compound which they claim produces greater power and durability than other carbon brake blocks, so we look forward to trying them out. They cost £16.95 for a set. 

The bike is finished with the latest FSA K-Force Compact handlebar and SB32 seatpost, a OS99 stem and Colango branded saddle and bar tape. There's really been no shortcuts with this build, and it produces a stunning looking bike. The high level of finish, though you could easily go higher, puts the complete build at £8,076.46. On the road.cc scales it’s 7.25kg (15.98lb).

Windwave are expecting the C60 to be available by the end of May, so time to form an orderly queue. We’re going to get some miles in while it’s sunny, we’ll let you know how we get on in a couple of weeks. This bike needs some thorough testing.

Expect to see Thomas Voeckler out of the saddle hustling this bike along in a heroic solo break at some point in the year, tongue poking out, face a picture of pain

More at http://colnago.com and www.windwave.co.uk

27 user comments

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Higher tolerance? Do you mean tighter?

jezzzer's picture

posted by jezzzer [339 posts]
16th April 2014 - 21:14

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jezzzer wrote:
Higher tolerance? Do you mean tighter?

My mistake, meant to say more precise tolerance

David Arthur's picture

posted by David Arthur [1419 posts]
16th April 2014 - 21:44

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That paint job isn't from the classic range.

posted by Nick T [763 posts]
16th April 2014 - 21:55

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May get hung here for this but maybe the review does not do it justice or maybe the pics are not that great but..... Does not seem like 8k worth of bike there. Granted its nice but not that nice, don't see what the fuss is about really. Maybe after riding one it would be 8 times better than my Cinelli experience or 5 times better than my rt 58 ( which rides like a dream and is lighter )
Unfortunately I would never have this kind of money spare to even think about a test ride Wink

posted by Gareth W-R [24 posts]
16th April 2014 - 22:15

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Nick T wrote:
That paint job isn't from the classic range.

No it's from the Racing range

David Arthur's picture

posted by David Arthur [1419 posts]
16th April 2014 - 22:17

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Gareth W-R wrote:
Maybe after riding one it would be 8 times better than my Cinelli experience

When has 8 times the price ever equalled 8 times better? My house costs 8 times more than a 1 bedroom flat but I don't have 8 bedsrooms.

posted by Nick T [763 posts]
17th April 2014 - 5:48

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Nick T wrote:
Gareth W-R wrote:
Maybe after riding one it would be 8 times better than my Cinelli experience

When has 8 times the price ever equalled 8 times better? My house costs 8 times more than a 1 bedroom flat but I don't have 8 bedsrooms.

True, not usually the case but if I was spending a large amount of money on a bike I think I would kind of expect that it was that great. Maybe I am alone in thinking this?
Also congrats on having an expensive house, not really a great analogy for what I was saying though.

posted by Gareth W-R [24 posts]
17th April 2014 - 6:45

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You really fail to grasp the hypothetical, don't you.

posted by Nick T [763 posts]
17th April 2014 - 8:09

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Anyway, I like Colnago. I think this frame looks the business, and I can't wait to hear how it rides. Would I spend £8k on this build? No, it's not worth that to me with this spec list. Would I spend £3.5k on the frameset? Absolutely.

posted by Nick T [763 posts]
17th April 2014 - 8:19

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I'm sure it rides beautifully but remove the stickers and it could be any other bike.
What happened to all those thing that made a Colnago distinctively Colnago? Confused

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posted by andybwhite [176 posts]
17th April 2014 - 9:01

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andybwhite wrote:
I'm sure it rides beautifully but remove the stickers and it could be any other bike.
What happened to all those thing that made a Colnago distinctively Colnago? Confused

Ehhhh the bespoke tube and lug shapes ?

All Campag

posted by Flying Scot [480 posts]
17th April 2014 - 9:10

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After some careful consideration, I've decided that the FSA chainset is absolutely hideous and I'm struggling to see what you gain over the Record cranks other than a happy parts supplier gaining publicity.

posted by Nick T [763 posts]
17th April 2014 - 9:20

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Yep what on earth is going on with the FSA chainset! - Campag needed on that ASAP.

Cant make my mind up about Colnago's - half of me likes them a lot and the other half cant see beyond the tacky Ferrari stuff they have done over the years.

posted by NeilXDavis [111 posts]
17th April 2014 - 9:28

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The FSA does look a bit daft! Record would suit better and if you're doing that, you might as well bosh a pair of Bora's on it as well.

Hidden chainring Bolt behind the crank arm.....isn't that Record circa 20 years ago? Or am I getting muddled up?

Vision is FSA isn't it? Perhaps pushing this as an alternative.

All Campag

posted by Flying Scot [480 posts]
17th April 2014 - 9:38

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Don’t care about the criticisms can you send one my way please Kiss

posted by Wesselwookie [110 posts]
17th April 2014 - 9:42

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Quote:
Yes that's right, from the outset the C60 will be available with or without disc brakes... The disc version won’t be available for some time though

Hmm.

Not sure on those tube profiles either. I know it's an homage to the Master, but surely that shape isn't lighter/stiffer than simple round tubes, meaning it's form over function? A 16lb weight for that build suggests the frame isn't exactly superlight. (I know that's not really the point with a Colnago, but still...)

posted by ashfanman [49 posts]
17th April 2014 - 9:51

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Flying Scot wrote:
you might as well bosh a pair of Bora's on it as well.

But if you did that you'd shave about 400g and spend less money!

Wait, that's good, right?

posted by Nick T [763 posts]
17th April 2014 - 10:11

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Am I seeing this wrong, or did they wrap the bars backwards? I swear it looks like the wrap job finished at the end plug, which boggles the mind.

I hate to rip on the distributor, but I really see no other option. For a high end build, or for that matter, any professional build, I can't fathom the circumstances that would lead to that kind of oversight.

I would go on criticising them, but my disbelief has left me speechless.

pedalpowerDC's picture

posted by pedalpowerDC [205 posts]
17th April 2014 - 14:41

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andybwhite wrote:
I'm sure it rides beautifully but remove the stickers and it could be any other bike.
What happened to all those thing that made a Colnago distinctively Colnago? Confused

can you name me one other bike that has similar tube profiles and lugged construction? the only thing it looks remotely like is the C59.

i know it's the thing to say 'all carbon bikes look alike' just like it is to say 'all modern cars look alike', and with a lot of bikes it's true. but this one? really? you *really* couldn't tell it was a C60 if it was debadged?

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7256 posts]
17th April 2014 - 14:52

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pedalpowerDC wrote:
Am I seeing this wrong, or did they wrap the bars backwards? I swear it looks like the wrap job finished at the end plug, which boggles the mind.

it certainly does look like they started at the top...

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7256 posts]
17th April 2014 - 14:54

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I'm unsure as to whether I really, really like this or find it somewhat distasteful.

Good job I can't afford it!

Twitter: @velosam

SamShaw's picture

posted by SamShaw [252 posts]
17th April 2014 - 14:58

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worst paint job ever, not good enough for a colnago imo. the classic range schemes are much nicer.

posted by Karbon Kev [667 posts]
17th April 2014 - 17:54

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Dave Atkinson wrote:
pedalpowerDC wrote:
Am I seeing this wrong, or did they wrap the bars backwards? I swear it looks like the wrap job finished at the end plug, which boggles the mind.

it certainly does look like they started at the top...

Read somewhere that Mr Merckx had his tape done like that. If it's good enough for Eddy....

Velotastic !

Too many hills, but too little time.

badback's picture

posted by badback [264 posts]
17th April 2014 - 21:04

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I acknowledge Colnago have always used different tube profiles from the norm, here I feel they are aping the De Rosa Protos, with the downtube section, which is interesting because the De Rosa Protos has the highest stiffness to weight ratio of any bike on the market.

posted by hmsgenoa [1 posts]
18th April 2014 - 23:01

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I still don't really get the point of lugged carbon frames. With steel I can see how the lugs enable a thinner gauge of tubing to be used but surely if you're building a carbon monocoque frame, you can manipulate all these elements to the Nth degree anyway? Are the lugs therefore to make custom geometry easier? To enable individual tubes to be replaced in the event of a crash without scrapping the whole frame?

Anyway, I have similar feelings for modern Colnagos as I do with Ferraris. Wonderful machines and I obviously wouldn't turn down the chance to ride/drive one if it came along. But I much prefer the classics to the current line-up. Seem to have lost their soul somewhat...

posted by Yennings [205 posts]
22nd April 2014 - 10:23

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Like modern Ferraris it is all in the ride (drive). I rode a C50 for a thousand miles and it was a great ride- second only to a Time VXR I owned. It comes down to what you want in a bike and IF you can notice the difference. After riding most of the best racing frames (I ran an Ebay business selling used high end road bikes) I can attest that there is not an incredible difference between good carbon frames. Any differences in frame attributes is greatly offset by good fit. I would rather ride a cheaper frame that fits than the best that does not.

Bryin

posted by Bryin [16 posts]
22nd April 2014 - 10:47

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Not a huge poster but thought I would weigh in on the C60. I was at the Colnago Gran Fondo at Lake Garda, Italy a couple weeks ago and Colnago had numerous bikes available for a test ride. My friend and I rode the C60 for a few hours and here are a couple of impressions both of us came away with. My test rig came with dura ace mech with colnago carbon 50mm tubulars. First of all, I am a recreational rider that will throw in a couple gran fondos a year if the food looks like its going to be good at the end...just to put it into context. First, the bike finish (race color, matte black with Italian stripes) was flawless. One of the best looking bikes I have seen. As a matter of fact, the bike itself looked like a piece of art. Fantastic. As for the ride... Although I am not obsessed with weight, I was a little surprised how heavy my 52 sloping frame felt. I never put it on a scale so I can't comment on actual numbers but nonetheless, it did "feel" a touch on the heavy side. As for the ride quality. This is where I really noticed a difference. First, the ride position was very comfortable and would accommodate long rides without breaking your back. Ride position is somewhat upright which would reduce that back fatigue on longer rides but not as upright that you might expect in a true gran fondo setup. Second, the bike was smooth. I mean really smooth. I noticed no road buzz or vibration as I intentionally rode over all the rough road and potholes I could find. The bike also appeared to transfer pedal effort into forward bike movement efficiently. On several shorter climbs I noticed that the C60 felt very lively on the incline. Overall great bike.

20140504_105202.jpg

posted by gjs620 [2 posts]
18th May 2014 - 18:39

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