The Colnago C60 has long been one of our favourite bikes here at Bespoke. Why has the C60 been so popular? It's a classic, a bike that traces its history back to the C40, one of the most iconic race bikes of the last 20+ years. Conceived by Ernesto Colnago at a time when steel frames still ruled the peloton and bike companies were experimenting, often with disastrous consequences, with alternative materials and construction methods.
Its enduring popularity is due to that legacy, and despite increasingly lightweight and uber advanced frames from the big players (mostly American) in the cycling market at present, there's something appealing about a bike that is handmade in Italy using a tube and lug construction method that provides a tangible visual connection to race bikes of yesteryear.
But time marches on and forces progress, and to mark 64 years since Ernesto founded his company, and on his 86th birthday, there's a brand new bike, the C64. The name might be misleading perhaps but is indicative of the refined nature of the updated bike, less revolution and more evolution.
In the words of Ernesto Colnago himself:
This year is the 64th anniversary of the company and this bike really a Colnago bike, so we put all our passion into this bike and this project
He adds: "This bike is the new C64, an evolution of the C40 which was the first carbon bike to win Paris-Roubaix, a race we won five times. And then the C50 and all the C series, all the bikes were made in Italy and this one is also made in Italy and we are still the biggest Italian frame maker of carbon fibre. And we are very proud of this project."
However, a slew of changes has resulted in a noticeable weight loss. The rim brake frameset is 205g lighter than its predecessor. Colnago places a size 54 frame at about 850g so it's well within realms of similarly priced frames.
Those changes have come courtesy of a new seat tube that features an integrated seat clamp, with the seatpost borrowed from the V2-r, which both improves aerodynamics and seated comfort. The head tube lug has thinner walls, cable routing is now moulded into the bottom bracket, which houses the ThreadFit82.5 system that our mechanics love working on.
Brand new is the fork, saving 40g thanks to carbon dropouts on the rim brake version (they were aluminium on the C60) with a specially shaped steerer tube designed to accommodate fully internal cable and brake hose routing, along with a stiffening rib that does away with the conventional top tube bung. The new fork also has a new rib section that is claimed to both improve compliance and lateral stiffness.
The chainstays and dropouts are moulded as one, and asymmetric to increase stiffness. The downtube features a new internal cable routing approach that is not dissimilar to other new bikes this year, and the bottle cage is slightly recessed to both serve as improved aero and stiffen the down tube.
Words by David Arthur for Bespoke
Bespoke Features Editor David Arthur has ridden the new C64 and came away impressed. Read his first impressions on our blog, and subscribe to our newsletter for future updates.
On the move, the new C64 feels lighter and sharper. It's a dynamically exciting bike when the road twists and curves through the hills, but it's steadfastly composed on the long cruise. The C60 was always a bike you felt you could ride all day in great comfort, yet it could handle itself in a road race or fast-paced group ride. The C64 is no different, but it feels it would be even more impressive when the riding gets more demanding.