07 February 2012

Colnago bikes

A tradition of innovative winning bikes
It is time I learn more about Colnagos, I have thought of the brands such as Colnago and Pinarello as the luxury line of expensive toys, not as affordable fast racing machines. Yet there I was a few weekends ago, watching Neils Albert race and win on his 2012 winning world champion cyclocross Colnago Cross Prestige bike. Albert rode with such smooth strong impressive bike handling skills during his win at Cyclocross World Championships in Belgium, that he made me take notice of his bike. He clearly was not fighting the machine; I wanted to learn more about Colnago bikes and their designer.
I read that Ernesto Colnago was already an accomplished mechanic when he started his own bicycle company in 1954. He first mastered the art of wheelbuilding after breaking his leg racing and needing a trade while recovering at home. He broadened his mechanical skills eventually becoming a mechanic for Eddy Merckx and a few other Italian and Belgian racing teams before returning to a small town outside of Milan, Italy, to build his own steel bikes. Just 6 years later at the 1960 Olympics, Italian Luigi Arienti won a gold medal racing on a Colnago bike. By 1972 Colnago had again teamed up with Eddy Merckx and built an innovate light weight frame ridden by Merckx to beat the world one hour record.
Ernesto Colnago and Gianni Motta
One day-classic wins, Grand Tour wins, and World Champion titles came year after year. You may give a word of thanks to Ernesto Colnago for being one of the first to use carbon fiber, for pioneering the use of titanium, for drilled chains and for 24-spoke wheels. Riders such as Gianni Motta, Michele Dancelli, Eddy Merckx, Giuseppe ‘Beppe’ Saronni, Joop Zoetemelk, Maurizio Fondriest, Johan Museeuw, Franco Ballerini, Paolo Bettini, Stefano Garzelli, Oscar Freire, Erik Zabel, and Alessandro Petacchi can say thanks to Ernesto Colnago for providing them with excellent bikes over years of racing victories. 
If you like old bikes, read and see more about the history of bike design by Colnago (2002): Creating the best bikes – Part 1: The man & the collection and Creating the best bikes – Part 2: The bikes, A visit with Ernesto Colnago and an exclusive look at his personal museum.
The old Colnago Eagle and Arrow " La Freccia" logo created in 1954
Asso di Fiori - Ace of Clubs Colnago Logo was created in 1970
Colnagos 
Here is the basic line-up of Colnago bikes click any image to enlarge
Colnago C59
Colnago CX-1 Evo
The new Colnago CLX 3.0 Ultegra Di2 2012
Colnago Cross Prestige
Colnago Flight time trial bike
This was Neils Albert's recent 2012 Cyclocross World Champion winning cross bike - the Colnago Cross Prestige. See more photos and read about how Neils Albert's bike was set up for Worlds - World Champion Bike Profile: Niels Albert’s Colnago Prestige Cyclocross Bike By Cyclocross Magazine.
Neils Albert's World Champion cyclocross bike  Photo tweeted by
Photo by and tweeted by Graham Watson
Colnago Sponsored Bike Teams 

Colnago will officially sponsor five bike teams in 2012: Team Europcar, Colnago CFX Inox, Landbouwkrediet, Team Type I Sanofi, and the Colnago Mtn Bike team. Thomas Voeckler of Team Europcar earned 10 days in the yellow jersey during the 2011 Tour de France. The Colnago-CFX Inox team will be racing in the 2012 Giro d' Italia. The Colnago team together with Team Type I with both compete at Milan-San Remo this year. Colnago supports the cause of Diabetes awareness, testing and supplies through sponsorship of Team Type I Sanofi (a U.S. Professional Continental Team).
This is Team Europcar's new Colnago road bike for 2012 shown at the team presentation last month. It looks similar to the model their squad used at the 2011 Tour de France with a few changes.
Ernesto Colnago in 2012 with Pierre Rolland and Thomas Voeckler Photo tweeted by
Colnago matt black and neon green Europcar team bike
You will be seeing the team on the black and green frame and also on the white and green frame C59 models in 2012. Here is the team at the Grand Prix d'Ouverture La Marseillaise seen below, and with a fleet of C59s at the recent Tour of Langkawi.
Photo tweeted by
Team Europcar at the 2012 Tour de Langkawi
Team Europcar's Colnago Flight time trial bike
View lots of wonderful pictures here from the 2011 TDF: On the road and behind the scenes look at Colnago & Team Europcar

For the Italian Colnago CFX Inox team they will ride the Colnago C59 with Campagnolo Super Record 11 V.
For the Italian Continental team Colnago-CSF Bardiani, their 2012 bike is Colnago + Campy:
Colnago-CSF Bardani 2012 team bike
The Colnago C59 frames are still made in Italy!  ©Photo by PedalDancer™
 Here is the Colnago mountain bike
Colnago TWENTY IX mountain bik
Colnago Ferrari Partnership

Just as Specialized teamed with McLaren to develop the McLaren Venge, Colnago joined forces with Ferrari to design their joint effort - the CF8 and CF9 road bike models introduced in July 2011, and the Limited Edition. 

The Colnago Ferrari CF8 ($15,799.00) buy it
Colnago Ferrari CF8
Colnago for Ferrari Di2 Bicycle - Limited Edition ($13,620.00)
Look at this beauty - the Colnago C549 Italia Limited Edition in white buy it
08 March 2012 - Tech Update: Colnago launches disc brake road bike By VeloNews

Colnago C59 road bike with disc brakes
Video: Colnago's K.Zero and C59 Disc at Taipei Cycle By Bike Radar
2012 Taipei Cycle Show | Day 1 gallery By CyclingIQ
new disc brakes on Colnago road bike
Ernesto Colnago with his C59 disc brake road bike  Photo from cyclingiq.com
Update March 2012: 2012 Colnago K.Zero time trial bike 
new Colnago time trial bike - K Zero
Photos by Pedal Dancer of Colnago bikes at races in the United States (the Continent) in 2011
Images of Colnago bikes at the Tour of California and the USA Pro Cycling Challenge ridden by Team Type I and Bissell. I remember seeing the fleet of Team Type I's Colnago Flight time trial bikes at the 2011 Tour of California and thinking those bikes are almost too beautiful to ride.
Team Type I Colnago time trial bike   ©Photo by PedalDancer™
Power  ©Photo by PedalDancer™
Colnago at the race with fans  ©Photo by PedalDancer™
Team Type I car and bikes in 2011  ©Photo by PedalDancer™
Colnagos at the Tour of California ©Photo by PedalDancer™
©Photo by PedalDancer™
Team Bissell Colnagos at the USA Pro Cycling Challenge ©Photo by PedalDancer™
©Photo by PedalDancer™
©Photo by PedalDancer™
©Photo by PedalDancer™
I'm going to ride off (in comfort) into the sunset on this one - the modern Colnago City Classica ($2,194.00)
Colnago Classica bicycle
Or on this fine red bike - the Colnago Ferrari CF9 ($3,759.00)

Update 02/09/12: Ernesto Colnago is 80 years old and is celebrating his birthday by releasing 80 special collectors version Colnago bikes called the C59 Ottanta. C59 is currently their leading frame and Ottanta is eighty in Italian. The special bike was designed in beautiful detailed gold paint with Campagnolo Super Record EPS 11s electronic components featuring a special 'Eagle and Arrow’ logo (created in 1954, see image above). Also see a new CyclingNews Gallery of Colnago photos from years past or read Colnago celebrates his 80th birthday with a limited edition bike.
2012 Colnago C59 Ottanta  80th birthday limited edition bike
Please click to enlarge the image of this bike - it is beautiful!

Update 02/20/12: More images from a recent visit to an official Colnago dealer. All photos below by PedalDancer.com.

Colnago CLX 3.0 frame with Ultegra Di2 (approx $5700): (also in white, red, blue) (more details)
Colnago CLX 3.0  ©Photo by PedalDancer™
©Photo by PedalDancer™
©Photo by PedalDancer™
©Photo by PedalDancer™
©Photo by PedalDancer™
©Photo by PedalDancer™
©Photo by PedalDancer™
©Photo by PedalDancer™
©Photo by PedalDancer™
©Photo by PedalDancer™
Colnago Ace with Shimano Ultegra or 105 ($2700-$3100)
Colnago Ace   ©Photo by PedalDancer™
©Photo by PedalDancer™
Colnago Air (read more)

Colnago Air   ©Photo by PedalDancer™
Colnago World Cup CX frame
Colnago World Cup CX   ©Photo by PedalDancer™

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