Italy’s Colnago are releasing a new carbon-fibre road bike for women in their 2013 lineup. The CLD, which is a lot like the existing CLX men's bike, will be available in the UK in a couple of different builds.
Sometimes a women’s-specific road bike is essentially a standard men’s bike with a few flashes of pink or purple and a slightly cheaper (ie downgraded) spec, but Colnago have been back to the drawing board – or the computer screen these days – and tweaked the geometry here.
The CLD has a shorter top tube than you’ll find on Colnago’s traditional frames, women being typically longer in the leg and shorter in the body than men. The head tube houses a tapered 1 1/8in to 1 1/4in fork steerer.
When it comes to the components, Colnago use shorter than normal Deda stems, the lengths ranging from 60-100mm depending on the frame size. They spec narrower Deda RHM01 handlebars too – just 38cm on the smallest size. The saddle is a Selle Italia Lady Flow, which is a popular choice, and all the chainsets are compact (50/34T chainrings).
Two different builds will be available in the UK, both based around Shimano groupsets. The cheaper version (£2,399.95) gets a mainly 105 group along with Shimano R501 wheels, while the top-level CLD (£2,899.95) comes with mostly Ultegra kit and Shimano RS20A wheels.
If you're eagle eyed you might spot that some of the pictures in the gallery show a CLD fitted with Shimano Di2 electronic shifting components although that's not one of the complete builds that's currently available.
The CLD is available in four different sizes. Colnago’s sizing is a little odd – they’re called 40s, 43s, 46s and 49s. What that means is that the seat tubes (centre to top) range from 40cm up to 49cm with effective top tubes from 50 to 53cm. A complete geometry chart is available on Colnago's website. The bikes are available in four different colours: white/red, black/white, white/pale blue and black/pink.
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over the past 20 years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for seven years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a youthful 45-year-old Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.