First Look: Colnago’s New C64

Ernesto Colnago re-imagines his bike that made history

By: Zap

Over the course of three decades since the first model appeared, Ernesto Colnago’s C-series of carbon bikes have remained among the most prestigious of all high-end Italian bikes for two reasons. It’s not because they are the lightest. It’s not because they’ve won the most races. It’s not because they’re the most expensive. It’s because of the name on the downtube and where they are made. Simply put, both Ernesto Colnago and the carbon bikes made at his factory are the greatest living testament to the way things used to be.

Where it all began…the venerable C series of carbon bikes started in 1994 when the C40 was rolled-out.

Recently a handful of journos were invited out to Tucson, Arizona for a quick intro of a new Colnago. Could it be a gravel bike? Nope. It was the latest incarnation of the vaunted C series of carbon bike that are still individually handmade in the small factory which resides in the basement of la casa Colnago in Cambiago, Italy.

THE NEW C64
No, this is not a ground-up re-design of the C60, but a revised version to pay tribute the brand’s glorious past – Ernesto’s 64 years in the business – as well as current trends like wheel clearance for bigger (albeit only 28mm) tires. Signature aspects like the star-shaped lugs accompany tips to modernity like the aero influenced seatpost from their V2r aero bike.   

The name says it all…priced around $6000, the C64 is one of the rare bikes that can be seen less as an expenditure and more of an investment .

 

The rim brake version of the C64 will be dedicated to dual-mount brakes. The disc brake model to come will be dedicated to flat mount brakes.

 

The fork length was increased by 5mm to accommodate larger 28mm tires, yet it still has a hollow upper structure to lower the weight while maintaining the same stiffness and performance of the C60 fork.

Both the rim brake and disc brake models still run a seatstay bridge.

Colnago has long defied the industry-wide move to stocking fewer frame sizes. The C64 will be available in nine different sloping sizes with five different “high-stack” headtube lengths. (Yes, the days of riding a Colnago with a horizontal top tube are over).

It’s never a bad day to be “stuck” riding a homegrown Colnago outfitted with a full Campagnolo Super Record drivetrain and Bora tubular wheels.

 

Although the frame looks similar to the C60, it has lost upwards of 200 grams by virtue of re-engineered tubes and lugs. The seattube and and BB are now one piece.

 

The C64 has lost the traditional round seatpost and now uses one that shares the aero shape from the V1-r. The standard post has 15mm of setback with 0mm and 30mm options.

We only got to ride the C64 for just over 50 miles so I won’t pretend to offer any all-encompassing critique of the ride. Yes, at just under 15 pounds and rolling on Vittoria tubulars, it was a sweet ride with all the handling traits you’d imagine a bike designed by Ernesto Colnago to exhibit, but we’re looking forward to getting test bike for our own roads before passing judgement.

For more info: Colnago Bicycles

 

MORE COLNAGO MAGIC

Ernesto’s own version of a triple-triangle frame.

The great German champion Erik Zabel from his days on a Colnago.

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