Colnago has added a new C68 gravel bike to its C Series lineup. The new gravel machine takes things a step further into the chunky gravel territory than the C68 Allroad model the brand released last year and adds another gravel bike to sit alongside the race gravel bike model G3-X.
And with that gravel race bike already existing in its ranks, with the C68 Gravel Colnago is trying to establish that although the new gravel bike is premium and well, performance-oriented, the whole 68 series is really aimed at "a certain type of rider" - not necessarily a racer. The Italian brand has actually defined the C-Series rider as "the uncompromisingly stylish human being". So if you're stylish, then this new C68 Gravel is certainly one to complete the look.
The C-series bikes are still handmade in Italy, and represent the cream of the crop, according to Colnago. The new C68 Gravel is no exception to this, and Colnago goes as far as saying: "It's more than a mere bicycle; it's a true, powerful work of art, seamlessly continuing the legacy of excellence, beauty and performance embodied by our esteemed C Series bicycles."
Blimey! Right, and now we take off the rose-tinted Asso di Fiori glasses…
Though the C68 gravel is new to the premium lineup, it's still built using a modular carbon frame design, featuring tubes and lugs sanded and glued together instead of opting for a monocoque construction. This results in a more sleek look and better ride quality, according to Colnago.
Though the C68 Gravel stays true to the rest of the Colnago C-series aesthetics, its geometry has been optimised for rowdier gravel riding and terrain. Though, despite this being a gravel bike, Colnago has kept the mounting points to a minimum and only added an extra pair to the top tube for a bag.
In terms of fit, the C68 Gravel comes with a longer reach and higher stack than the C68 Road, and also differs from the Allroad in a similar way. Colnago says the geo offers "an optimal handling and setting, perfectly poised for challenging landscapes, while maintaining an overall aggressive setting".
Take what you want from that – it's perhaps easier to compare the differences from the geometry numbers. That, however, isn't as straightforward as it could be as the C68 comes in five sizes: 450, 480, 510, 540 and 570 – and these are slightly different to the seven sizes offered for the C68 Road and C68 Allroad.
But if we take the size 550 C68 AllRoad and compare it to the C68 Gravel, the latter has a 2mm taller stack and 15mm longer reach figure. The Gravel also has a very slightly slacker seat tube angle of 73.2° and a two-degree slacker head tube angle of 70.5° compared to the Allroad.
Compared to the brand's existing G3-X gravel race bike, the C68 Gravel has an increased stack-to-reach ratio (which should allow for a shorter stem to be used for "more control") and the overall wheelbase is longer for increased stability.
Where the C68 Gravel does take things further from the C68 Allroad model is in tyre clearance. The C68 Gravel boasts a tyre clearance of up to 42mm, in line with most modern performance-oriented gravel bikes, and plenty more than the 35mm on the Allroad.
The C68 Gravel also comes with an all-new Colnago CC.01 Wide one-piece, integrated cockpit. Colnago says you could swap this to another configuration as long as the system is disc brake and internal cable routing compatible. The CC.01 Wide handlebar comes with more flare than the previous Colnago CC.01, and has a 72.5mm reach and 120mm drop measurements. There is only one width available: 40cm (46cm on the drops) but there are five stem lengths to choose from, ranging from 80mm to 120mm.
The new C68 Gravel will be available in three builds, or you can get a frameset for £5,269. All of the builds come in 1x configurations, with the new CC.01 Wide handlebar and Pirelli Cinturato Gravel H gravel tyres, and they're available in two colours: green and black. Colnago has confirmed the bikes could also take a 2x setup, just as long as it's electronic.
Colnago C68 Gravel with Shimano GRX 820 - £6,899.95
Colnago C68 Gravel with SRAM Force XPLR ETAP - £8,099.95
Colnago C68 Gravel with SRAM Red XPLR ETAP - £11,099.99
Colnago is also using some new non-cycling technology with the C68 Gravel, as every bike will come equipped with an NFC tag linked to a digital passport stored in the blockchain. This will allow you to access information about your bikes, ensuring authenticity, ownership certification, and technical specifications without the need for any paper certificates.
The Colnago C68 Gravel is available now, and you can find out more about it on Colnago's website.
Suvi joined F-At in 2022, first writing for off-road.cc. She's since joined the tech hub, and contributes to all of the sites covering tech news, features, reviews and women's cycling content. Lover of long-distance cycling, Suvi is easily convinced to join any rides and events that cover over 100km, and ideally, plenty of cake and coffee stops.