Colnago C59 - is it really that good?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
airwise
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by airwise

Can I ask a delicate question? What do you weigh if riding such a beast of a bike?

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carbonLORD
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by carbonLORD

spud wrote:
might some of the differences be due to vastly different setup on each bike? From the picture, it appears the saddle on the Venge is 2 cm further back, at least. Pushing the mass that much further back has a big effect on the handling and feel of the bike.


Well, they are different bikes. One is set up strictly for road and the other for a mix between crit and TT (It is an "Aero" Road Bike after all).

The set back on the Colnago seat post is greater then the Venge. The Colnago saddle is slammed forward.

The 3T Ergosum handlebars have tons more reach then the ENVE compact bar thus the need to slam the saddle forward on the C59. I will be swapping the bars to 3T Ergonovas for their shorter reach so I can continue to use 110mm stems on both. I hate the feel of 120mm or longer stems.

The Venge in that picture was also never ridden and since then I have dropped the saddle 10mm to accommodate the 177.5 cranks and 54/39 chain rings where I keep 175's 53/39 on the C59.

Different bikes indeed. However, without ever using a fitter and the Venge being a 58cm sloper versus the C59 traditional being a 60, both bikes have nearly identical measurements from saddle to bar, pedal to saddle and headtube and wheelbase. I measured them well after I had seat time to let my body decide what felt best and am amazed how close they fit without the use of fit's, tools etc.

If anything, I want to bring the C59 saddle back to a neutral position through changing the bars. The Venge, now dialed in and raced on is perfect though I may consider going back to a 175 crank with 53/39 but for now, lots of power, lots of leverage.

Still, Venge is stiffer, the Colnago more compliant. Shimano Di2 vs Campy mech, Zipp vs Enve etc etc.
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Calnago
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by Calnago

airwise wrote:Can I ask a delicate question? What do you weigh if riding such a beast of a bike?


Of course... I'm 195-200lbs currently (88-90kg), and 6'1" (185cm) with a 91cm inseam. I know, I'm as much as beast as my bike :wink: . Which is not the least of the reasons I like Colnago, it is solid. At my lightest if I really try I can be around 180lbs (82kg) but that means a lot of sacrifice and willpower and less fun and enjoyment. Regarding frame size, I've tried smaller and I've ridden bigger. You can get a proper "fit", meaning the 3 points of contact are identical on a whole lot of frame sizes, with different stems, saddle setback, etc.,but finding that sweet spot where your center of gravity is just right on a given frame is a process. And that really varies for everyone. And I for one, appreciate a wheelbase that gives me that balance. For me, the 61 traditional is it. The beauty of colnago (C59 at least) is that they still offer incremental sizing versus small, med, large, etc or sizing in 2cm increments or using the same size chainstays for all the frames (this makes no sense to me but it's cheaper to manufacture I concede).

Often the hardest part of purchasing a colnago is trying to figure out your perfect size, then the colour, etc. Must be a dealers nightmare. But when you get it right... :beerchug:

Anyway, here's my beast of a bike (C59) from my iphone (ignore the Mar 83 thing, that was what the Instagram thing did):
Image
Colnago C64 - The Naked Build; Colnago C60 - PR99; Trek Koppenberg - Where Emonda and Domane Meet;
Unlinked Builds (searchable): Colnago C59 - 5 Years Later; Trek Emonda SL Campagnolo SR; Special Colnago EPQ

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asphaltdude
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by asphaltdude

Dang, still love the silhouette of a non-sloping frame with relatively slim tubes.
Whow! That's a pretty damn nice garage door!

airwise
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by airwise

Calnago,

thanks for that detailed response - very interesting. You sound like just the sort of chap to get behind on a long stretch of valonnais ;)

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SalsaLover
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by SalsaLover

Hey Calnago

Now that there is plans to put on the market for 2014, C59s on real AD paint jobs I have for the first time started to consider one.

However I am fully happy with my C50 that is from 2009, so the latest incarnations with the HM carbon, lighter lugs and lighter fork, but still Italian carbon and BB threads.

Do you (or other who had a C50 and a C59), think it is really a worthy upgrade ? Or should I keep my C50 some more years ?
Hucken The Fard Up !
Colnagos : C50 ST01 - Master 30th AD10 - C40 Mapei WC

r_mutt
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by r_mutt

carbonLORD wrote:
The set back on the Colnago seat post is greater then the Venge. The Colnago saddle is slammed forward.

The 3T Ergosum handlebars have tons more reach then the ENVE compact bar thus the need to slam the saddle forward on the C59.




isn't it well established that reach to the bars should not be shortened or lengthened by saddle placement? saddle placement is dictated by where the center of the BB is, no? reach should be adjusted with stem length.

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Calnago
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by Calnago

Absolutely. One should never let the bars dictate where you sit on the bike. The proper seated position is first and foremost in the fit process. Everything else follows from that.
Colnago C64 - The Naked Build; Colnago C60 - PR99; Trek Koppenberg - Where Emonda and Domane Meet;
Unlinked Builds (searchable): Colnago C59 - 5 Years Later; Trek Emonda SL Campagnolo SR; Special Colnago EPQ

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Calnago
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by Calnago

@SalsaLover: I still have my C50 and really like it. And will keep it. It's actually a trad 62cm and my C59 is a 61cm trad. It sounds like you have the Colnago bug. I got the C59 because I've learned that when you see a particular Colnago you like the looks of, you should get it because you may not be able to the next year. And I really like building bikes and the matte (MTBK) C59 just was such a nice looking bike that I decided to get it. It's really hard to say if its a worthy upgrade. I think it is, but a large part of bicycles for me goes far beyond just the riding aspect. And that's where I think a Colnago is really different from most other brands. Yes it's history. Yes it's about tradition. And yes, I like that. I also like Trek's geometry options and would actually like to ride a Madone to see how it feels but it still won't have the same appeal to me as my Colnagos. When I sold my C40, it was for no other reason than the C50 had come out. If you're looking for a technical justification to get it, or that the ride is just night and day different from your C50, you won't get it from me. Yet without hesitation I would whole heartedly encourage you to get one if you're so inclined, and can still afford to put your kids through college. I've heard people say the C59 is so much stiffer. Meh, I could and do ride my C59 all day long and do not find it harsh at all. The wheels and tires make more of a difference in that regard. You just built up a beautiful steel Master, right? With a quill stem and all. I love that. It's beautiful. It's not the lightest bike but there probably aren't many bikes you'd trade it for. I could go on but you get the drift. I just gave my EPQ a makeover with the new Campy 80th anniversary gruppo. Most beautiful bike I've ever built. Maybe I'll start a thread and feature all my Colnagos in one place where we can talk about the differences in detail, complete with pics of whatever people want to see. In the meantime, enjoy your rides and your bikes.
Colnago C64 - The Naked Build; Colnago C60 - PR99; Trek Koppenberg - Where Emonda and Domane Meet;
Unlinked Builds (searchable): Colnago C59 - 5 Years Later; Trek Emonda SL Campagnolo SR; Special Colnago EPQ

xjbaylor
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by xjbaylor

r_mutt wrote:
carbonLORD wrote:
The set back on the Colnago seat post is greater then the Venge. The Colnago saddle is slammed forward.

The 3T Ergosum handlebars have tons more reach then the ENVE compact bar thus the need to slam the saddle forward on the C59.




isn't it well established that reach to the bars should not be shortened or lengthened by saddle placement? saddle placement is dictated by where the center of the BB is, no? reach should be adjusted with stem length.


Agreed, I thought exactly the same thing.

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Max Gravity
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by Max Gravity

I had a C59 size 62 and found it uncomfortable as well as very unpredictable/nervous on descents.
The geometry is also very old style felt more like sitting on top than just on.

To be honest I never ridden an Italian bike that handles well downhill mostly I think that this is an Italian thing:
"large bikes don't handles well" I had accepted this until I got a TREK SSL and suddenly it was a new game.
One thing is that Italians seems to think that it is ok with the same fork rake over all sizes.

After 3 weeks with the C59 I went to my LBS and ordered a new frame, I have never had a bike for so short time before.
The bikes I use now is a Look 595 ultra XXL and a BMC slr01 s60 both are in another league entirely.

This saying that all CF bikes are the same, serious? It had never been bigger difference between framesets.
In the old days "everyone" bought Columbus SL tubing but now the possibilities to set up your own character is endless.
For good and bad.

Buy a C59 if you like the looks of it and don't have any other modern frameset to compare too.

Feel free to have another opinion.
Max Gravity, unfairly treated by gravity!

savechief
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by savechief

xjbaylor wrote:Agreed, I thought exactly the same thing.


Glad that I wasn't alone with this thought.
Time VXRS Ulteam (7.16 kg)
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carbonLORD
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by carbonLORD

xjbaylor wrote:
r_mutt wrote:isn't it well established that reach to the bars should not be shortened or lengthened by saddle placement? saddle placement is dictated by where the center of the BB is, no? reach should be adjusted with stem length.


You guys are missing something. The Venge saddle is properly positioned, the C59 is not.

Why would I ride a stem shorter then 110mm? I'm 6'3" tall. I'm going to use a 100-90mm stem on a 60cm frame? No.

Did you miss the part where the saddle is slammed forward on the C59? That is not where the saddle should be and it is not because of the stem, its because of the bars.

The shorter reach of the ENVE bars allows for perfect positioning of the saddle. If I wasn't so keen on keeping 3T (Italian....Asia) parts on my Italian frame I'd just get another set of Enve bars and call it a day.

I will get the same bar dimensions (from 3T) to match the Venge fit because the Venge fits perfectly.

I always felt the 3T Ergosum and Rotundo have too much reach. Ive always used 110mm stems and 42cm wide bars on all my bikes (even when I had carbonLORD branded products).

I had a 120mm 3T ARX LTD on the Colnago because everyone said longer stem, pro, bla bla bla. It was even more or a mess and the bike felt like it cornered wide. The 110mm stem helped but the weak link is the bars here, not the stem and not the saddle.

Really I'd go with a 0 set back seat post as well, but my saddle position currently is that of a TT bike. I want the saddle centered. I have a 33 1/2 inch inseam so I am more legs. I do not need a long bar, 120mm stem and 25mm set back seat post.

You cant get this stuff out of a fit book and apply it to every cyclist out there. If it weren't for building the Venge up, I many have never realized the bars are too long on the Colnago.

Look at all that reach from the stem top cap to the hoods!?

Image

Now look at the Venge. (Look at the drops, look at the saddle position in both)

Image
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carbonLORD
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by carbonLORD

Calnago wrote:Absolutely. One should never let the bars dictate where you sit on the bike. The proper seated position is first and foremost in the fit process. Everything else follows from that.


But I look at your bike, and your height (and inseam) and wonder... Not much post showing, he might be better off with longer cranks and a smaller frame....

I mean, You are 6'1 and ride a 61. I am 6.25 (realistically, I always round off to 6'3") and prefer the tighter frame, more post and in some cases a longer crank. Your inseam is way too long for 175's I'd think.

But if it feels right, it is right. I know you changed out that crazy -17° stem at one point, (though they do look good on traditional geometry).
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Colonia
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by Colonia

Calnago wrote:
pritchet74 wrote:
Is there anyone out there that has NOT liked a C50, EPS, or C59 that they have owned? If so then why?


I currently own a C50, EPQ (EPS/C59 hybrid), and a C59. My first carbon Colnago was a C40 but I sold it to a friend when I got my C50. I love each one. I am fortunate enough to be able to work on high end bikes pretty much exclusively. Colnagos are special, for whatever reason you want to attribute that to (many people have different reasons, some valid some not, but they are real to them).

To say that all high end bikes these days are made of carbon therefore they are all equal (for a given geometry) is a gross oversimplification in my opinion. Just like there are many fine steels from straight gauge to double and triple butted of varying wall thicknesses, so to are there many ways of producing a carbon frame, from choosing the type of carbon, to how it is laid up, to the resins used to hold the fibers, to the "glue" that bonds the tubes to lugs (if lugs are used), to the pressure that the molded frames are pressed at, etc.

The more subjective stuff that magazine reviews are made of I take with a grain of salt. Or when a rider says (and this goes for any brand) it "corners like it's on rails" and my personal favorite "it climbs like a mountain goat". Well, I can tell you that being on any of my colnagos still hurts when I'm heading into the stratosphere, and I don't believe I'm going to get to the top any faster or slower because I'm on a colnago, or any other bike for that matter. But while I'm cursing and slugging my way to the top, it sure is a pretty bike to look down at and ponder the other things in life that matter. But of all the things I ponder while I'm riding, thinking about getting a different bike is not one of them.


Well, I disagree. High-end carbon bikes mostly ride similarly. The end effect of the materials and workmanship on performance at this level/price range is minimal.

My Extreme-C is a beautiful bike, but I'm not any faster on it than I would be on any other carbon bike with similar geometry. Actually, barring componentry, I highly doubt I'm that much faster on it than I am on my old steel Super.

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