Thanks for the compliments. I can't reiterate how happy I am with the result. The reviews you read online about the magical properties of carbon from Cambiago are true! I couldn't have imagined a better outcome of fit, ride, and handling.
Maybe once I get my new bars and some bar tape I'll take more photos with my DSLR for the gallery. I didn't realize there was a competition.
ajs914 - i'm on a 52s too and think it might handle a little better with a longer stem (currently on a 110 mm with 85 mm reach bars).
I'm 6 foot / 183cm tall. I was debating a long time between the 52S and the 54S because the reach on both is almost identical but I think the 52S is perfect.
That's a stunning bike, I'm surprised to hear you say that your Z4 is dead in comparison to this, is it something you can put your finger on?
If you read my other topic I tried to describe the springy, lively feel I got from my Calfee. viewtopic.php?f=3&t=134133
I loved the Calfee Dragonfly. On a smooth road it had this lively feel that just made it feel fast - like I could pedal an extra 2-3mph. I don't know how else to describe it. Springiness? I'm sure the feeling was psychological. The downside of the Calfee was that it beat me up on rough roads.
I've had a few other high end bikes with different characters which I'll try to compare.
1995 Litespeed Classic - my first high end bike - $2500 in 1995 dollars. And it was my main bike for almost 20 years. I finally wanted to try carbon plus after switching to modern pedals I lost 1cm in stack height plus I refined my position with a lower saddle height. Those two things made the Litespeed a size too large.
2008 Time VXS - interestingly, this one handles most similar to the C59. Very sharp handling - point it into a turn and you have this incredible amount of confidence. The C59 reviews usually call this "race geometry". It feels twitchy at first and then you get used to it in 5 minutes. The Time's ride though is very dampened. And it should be as it was developed as Boonan's Roubaix bike with extra vectran in the layup. This bike had zero of that liveliness feeling but was super comfortable on the roughest of roads.
Time Edge First - this was actually my first higher end carbon bike. I only rode it a short time. It was very similar to the VXS. Handling was less sharp and it had more road feel (not the special vectran layout for roubaix) but a comfortable ride none the list. It was a great all-arounder. Every Time had has impressed me in some way.
Parlee Z4 - If you read the Calfee topic you'll see I was at a crossroads of too many bikes in the stable, wanting to love the Calfee but not quite feeling it. The Z4 has a bit of that lively magical feeling, it was a lot lighter than all my other bikes (900g frame), has a unique carbon layup, and is quite handsome. Handling isn't as racy as the Colnago or my Time VXS but it was competent, stable and predictable. The Calfee had similar handling. Overall, I still like the Parlee.
Colnago C59 - It's a homerun for me. I got the razor sharp handling like my Time VXS. I got the magical lively feeling I was finding in the Calfee, and the C59 is very stiff yet comfortable with regards to road vibrations and doesn't beat me up if the road turns rough. On top of it, I think I got the best fit I've ever had on a bike. The little bit shorter reach allows me to get my seat back where I like it and still have a 12 or 13cm stem for good weight distribution. This all leaves me wondering what a C60 is like.
When I was a kid I used to get the Palo Alto cycles catalog and lust over the Colnago Super and Mexico so I'm finally glad to have put a Colnago in the stable.