It's been a busy couple of years for Colnago. There was the completely revamped C60 and the all-new V1-r aero race bike not so long ago, two flagship racing bikes, but for 2016 the Italian company has brought back the CLX, albeit with a total redesign. The Italian company has also unveiled limited edition of both the C60 and V1-r models. We also got a look at the beautiful Arabesque on Colnago's Eurobike stand.
Let's start with the new. The CLX is back, not a new model name, but the bike has been completely updated. The CLX fits in between the sportive focused CX Zero and the more expensive C60 and V1-r models, which is another way of saying it'll be a bit more affordable than those top-end bikes, though don't expect it to be cheap.
The CLX shares the same geometry as the V1-r, so should be an ideal race bike for someone that doesn’t have the budget to stretch to the Italian company’s flagship racer. It has a full carbon fibre frame and fork and benefits from developments on the aforementioned V1-r, including the ThreadFit 82.5 bottom bracket. It’s a pressfit bottom bracket but the shell inserts can be removed if the threads ever get damaged.
Frame weight is a claimed 950g and it’s available in eight sizes and four colours.
Unlike the V1-r, the new CLX has regular dual pivot brake calipers. There are also carbon fibre dropouts and a tapered head tube, and cables are internally routed.
The seatpost is 27.2mm, so should provide a bit more comfort. Most bike manufacturers are going down this narrow seatpost path in an effort to increase comfort, which has become an increasingly desirable trait in a road bike.
The UK will get two CLX build options, kicking off with a Shimano Ultegra mix groupset and Colnago wheels at £2,799.95, and a full Ultegra build and Fulcrum Racing 5 wheels costing £3,499.95. It should be available as a frameset option as well
For 2016 Colnago has released two limited edition ranges based on the C60 and V1-r. First, there’s the C60 Tricolore, a range of specially painted C60 bikes limited to just 100 bikes. Get them quick, these bikes are sure to sell very quickly, despite the high prices.
“The Colnago C60 Tricolore is a work of art on two wheels which combines the class and style of one of the most famous Italian brands in the world to the great technology of a frame that can not be compared with any other,” boldly claims the company.
The C60 is constructed using a tube-and-lug process, and on this special edition version, the lugs are painted in a contrasting colour to the main tubes. The seatpost is painted a matching colour too. Each bike is built with a Campagnolo Super Record 11-speed groupset and the carbon fibre brake levers have the Italian flag painted on them.
The C60 will cost £8,499.95.
The V1-r is being offered in a limited run of Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 and Lightweight-equipped builds. The bike is called the 1-50, because each colour bike is limited to just 50 units worldwide.
The five colour options include silver, green, blue, orange and even pink. Each bike has a colour matched seatpost and seatclamp. Form an orderly queue, the green one is all mine... The V1-r will cost £9,499.95.
Colnago used to make all its bikes in Italy, and the Arabesque is a good demonstration of the sort of bicycle Colnago used to make, a heady culmination of Italian bicycle design, craftsmanship, culture and history. It's a fantastic example of how the Italian company earned its legendary reputation.e
Released in 1983 to commemorate Colnago’s 30th anniversary, the Arabesque was a celebration of the company’s finest steel frame building expertise and demonstrated exquisite attention to detail. The lugs were hand-carved and the frame was made from Columbus tubing, shaped with the customary Colnago star shape. The bike was only in production for a very limited time so it’s a rare and much sought after Colnago.
Placing the Arabesque alongside something like the V1-r shows just how far bicycle design has come over the years. The skinny star-shaped tubes, borrowed from the iconic Master, are anorexic in comparison to the modern carbon fibre bikes.
Not only are there stark differences in the frame and fork, but also the components used to build the bike. This one is decked out with Campagnolo’s 50th anniversary groupset which includes down tube shifters and just seven sprockets on the cassette. The groupset was released in 1983, an era well before compact chainsets and 11-32 cassettes.
Those gold Campagnolo shield logos, on the cranks and rear derailleur, are actual 22 carat gold additions.
Colnago was one of the first bicycle brands to dabble with disc brakes on road bikes. It was showing anything new this year, just the same C60 Disc we saw at the show last year. This one is built up with a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupset with hydraulic disc brakes. Hopefully we'll get to review this bike soon and see how it compares to both the regular C60 and the current crop of disc-equipped road bikes.
More at http://colnago.com/
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.