Colnago’s new C68 carbon road bike shakes things up quite a bit for the Italian bike builder. The top-tier C series model is still made entirely in Colnago’s Cambiago, Italy workshop, and it is still customizable with semi-lugged construction. But now the C68 will actually be available as either a road bike, an all-road bike, or a gravel bike. There will even be two material options, one with almost completely hidden tube-to-tube carbon joints, and another with 3D-printed titanium lugs that allow fully-custom geometry.
On top of all that, you can now buy a Colnago C68 consumer-direct from your phone or the web. Oh, and there are NFTs too.
Colnago C68 Italian carbon (all) road bike
Colnago’s new top-tier C68 is a premium handmade Italian carbon road bike, but it’s not a race bike. Colnago’s V-series handles racing, evolved away from the classic line in recent years, with the latest made-in-Taiwan monocoque V3RS that Tadej Pogačar rode to a couple of Tour de France wins becoming more aero & lighter than these more classically constructed bikes.
But if you want the most exclusive & luxurious Colnago, and money isn’t an object, it really needs to be a made in Cambiago, Italy C68, right?
The latest in the handmade Italian C-series again gets its name from the number of years since Colnago’s founding.
Lugged carbon, or lugged carbon + titanium construction
The new full carbon C68 road bike uses a simplified & modular, semi-lugged construction with individual tubes each molded with an end lug, then glued together out of the mold to cut down on the number of joints while retaining size flexibility. The result is more of a modern monocoque look, but with lugged benefits.
Plus, for rider looking for complete geometry customization, a limited edition C68Ti utilizes 3D-printed titanium lugs to completely free up stack, reach, and frame angles (glossy ti lugs, above).
In either case, a close look still reveals an upper headtube lug and seat cluster lug, while the rest of the joints tend to blend smoothly from tube to lug.
Raw frame weight is said to be just 925g (S/M size 48.5cm) in all carbon, or 935g with the addition of titanium lugs.
The C68 comes in 7 stock road sizes with either rim or disc brakes, and of course the option for custom geometry with the carbon+ti version.
The new Colnago C68 gets completely internal cable routing through the straight 1 1/8″ CeramicSpeed SLT headset (guaranteed for life, so mechanics will never have to re-cable your bike just to replace a headset!) and the D-shaped steerer tube of the carbon fork. The bike also gets a new threaded T47 bottom bracket for simple durability, and a removable front derailleur mount for clean 1x builds.
The bike uses the same proprietary aero seatpost as the C64 & VR3S, and a hidden wedge-style clamp.
Even with the internal cables, the C68 also manages to integrate a mini multi-tool into the stem cap for everyday usability
The new C68 also offers a new CC.01 integrated handlebar+stem cockpit. Using a modular mold, the CC01 bar uses monocoque construction to offer four bar widths (37, 39, 41 & 43cm c-c) and seven -6° stem lengths (80, 90, 100, 110, 120, 130 & 140mm) in 16 total fit combinations. Generally, it gets 80mm reach, 122mm drop, 2cm of flare at the drops, with a weight of 310g (41cm x 110mm).
Colnago Blockchain & NFTs?
Colnago was already one of the first big bike makers to embrace the blockchain for anti-theft protection. Now the C68 takes it to the next level with an NFC tag on the downtube linked to a secure digital passport for the bike on the MyLime blockchain. Said to safeguard the bike over time, it stores a certificate of authenticity, proof of ownership, original tech specs, “multimedia contents of the manufacturing phases” unique to each bike, and a 3D rendered NFT of the customized bike for C68s designed via the Colnago app or website. It will even log certificates of participation in select, exclusive Colnago events where you ride your new C68 starting later this summer.
But what about All-road & Gravel bikes?
The new Colnago C68 does officially come in three different categories: road, allroad & gravel versions. But just the road is available starting today, meaning you’ll have to wait to take a C68 off tarmac. (Start saving up now, though!)
The all-road bike will come soon, with disc brakes only and room for bigger tires to transition to dirt roads, starting this fall in 6 stock sizes. And the full C68 gravel bike version with disc brakes for off-road drop bar riding will come late this year, in 5 stock sizes for early winter 2022.
Colnago C68 – Pricing, options & availability
The all-new Colnago C68 is available as a disc brake full carbon frameset for $7100 / 5650€, or for a mixed carbon & titanium C68Ti frameset for $8000 / 6600€.
A big part of the new consumer-direct buying experience is a brand new 3D configurator online and in iPhone/Android apps, which builds in augmented reality for a more realistic preview of your customized paint scheme or custom build. Custom colors add another 1200€ to the frameset or complete bike price.
A complete carbon Colnago C68 build with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2, disc brakes and Dura-Ace C50 carbon wheels sells for $16,000 / 14,065€.
A C68 with SRAM Red AXS & Zipp 303s is a bit cheaper from 13,260€, and a more Italian C68 build with Campagnolo Super Record EPS & Bora Ultra WTO 45 wheels will set you back even more at 15,770€.
Complete carbon & titanium C68Ti bikes add about a thousand euros extra. Plus, there are always options to spend more with wheel or power meter upgrades.
Direct-to-consumer availability is limited to Europe & the UAE for the moment via the Colnago website or mobile app (just imagine Apple Pay hitting you with a 16,780€ charge… yikes!) US buyers can get a new C68 through their local Colnago dealer, so at least you’re less likely to impulse buy! Colnago says a custom-configured bike will be manufactured, painted, assembled & delivered between 90-180 days.